Winning With Fake Outrage
Democrats are poised to lose big this November. Since 2009, nearly all Democrats have embraced Barack Obama like a medal about their necks, but his chickens have come home to roost. Their proud Obama medal has turned into a rotting albatross, and its stench only Obama's most ardent or uninformed supporters can abide. It seems a sure thing that Democrats will lose, but if they can find a pair of snips and some deodorizer to remove the albatross and its stench, then it might be a surprisingly narrow defeat, even if that removal is only illusory. Can Democrats appear to rid themselves of the albatross?
Many people have the mistaken belief that the electorate votes based on policy and character, but the vast majority are "low-information voters", who queue on opinions, perceptions, and mannerisms based on vague sources and singular events. To win in November, Republicans must transform popular Democratic incumbents into well-known villains. Considering that many Democrats have done multitudes of villainous deeds, this seems simple enough, but just as a chicken forgets in three steps, the low information voter forgets in three months.
In Illinois, we have a political saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me again and again and again, I must be a Democrat. The political tricks are cheap and plentiful, and one of the most commonly used is the bag of candy. Six months before an election, the incumbents begin passing little, inconsequential, feel-good, do-nothing bills to create the illusion that they care about their constituents.
For example, the 'cupcake' bill; a legislative response to an incident in which an 11-year-old girl's cupcake business was shut down. While the 'cupcake' bill appeared a feel-good measure, and was propagandized to make it easier for small entrepreneurs, typical for Illinois, it was initially a piece of poisoned candy. Rather than making it easier to operate, the bill maintained requirements for business licensing, training and certification. The only real changes were a whole new cadre of onerous rules and regulations. Illinois' rules and regulations are already so plentiful and onerous, that it becomes difficult to distinguish shake downs from legitimate enforcement. In the end, the new, onerous regulations were stripped out, and the 'cupcake' bill was transformed from a piece of poisoned candy to a piece of sugar-free candy.
It is doubtful that much, if any candy will be coming from Washington D.C., as Republicans might get credit for it, and playing the candy game is not really the Republican way. Republicans prefer substantive over illusory changes. Why are Democrats so keen on illusory changes? Democrats, such as Senator Durbin (D-IL), like to promote their excellent constituent services. If a mobster listens to the laments of the people who refused to pay their protection money, and chastises his goons for busting up their stores too much, does that mean he has good constituent services?
Another commonly used trick is the fake outrage, and this is the one most likely to come from Washington Democrats. Fake outrage is rather simple: in the first, most common form, a politician vocally states his opinions concerning trivial, but outrageous events. For example, the owner of a sports team might angrily say something nasty to another party in a private, but recorded conversation. The politician will vocally state how they completely disagree with the nasty things said, but what will they do? Make it illegal to be angry at someone or hold a private conversation? What does it have to do with the business of the State or country anyway? It is nothing more than an excuse to get their name mentioned in a positive light.
The second form is rarely used among Democrats, as it could turn one of them into a sacrificial lamb. In this variation, an unpopular Democrat becomes the villainous figure who says bad things and does bad deeds. These evil acts need to be so offensive, that even his most ardent supporters may be unable to stomach them. For example, an unpopular governor could call for making his temporary, across-the-board tax increase permanent. The Democrats in battleground districts can then rally against it, but it is all illusory. Regardless of Democrats winning or losing in November, the lame ducks will make the increase permanent, in the hopes that Democrats will still control some portion of government, and Republicans will be unable to repeal it.
Most of Obama's misdeeds have been highly partisan, and rather than view them as scandalous, the Democratic base viewed them as proper, and celebrated or defended them, even the raid on a Republican-owned guitar factory. The IRS scandal was excused because conservative political activities should never be non-profit. The energy embezzlement was excused because it was necessary "investment" in our future. Obama has even doubled-down on it. His lies about ObamaCare have been excused because they were necessary to further the cause. While all of these scandals seem to have sat well with the Democratic base, evidenced as Obama's popularity never fell much below 50%, they had Democrats in battleground and slightly blue States biting their nails off. Unable to remove their Obama albatross for fear of alienating their base, Democrats were losing the middle.
Now we have a scandal in the Veterans Administration and a ridiculously lopsided and unpopular prisoner exchange. Barack Obama is sticking a hot poker into the backside of America, and seems to be enjoying it. Was this all just a horrible miscalculation that originated from his delusional worldview? Whatever the cause, the Democrats in those battleground states have now taken the opportunity to remove that rotting albatross by openly criticizing Obama.
The jaw gaping is likely to continue. We will see even more outrageous, nonpartisan policy failures come from the White House. As October nears and Republicans assault Democrats with ObamaCare, Fast and Furious, the Stimulus, the IRS, and others, expect Democrats to blame it all on Obama. The energy loans were a good program, until Obama ruined it. Gun smuggling was a big problem, until Obama tried to use it as a political tool. The Stimulus would have worked, if Obama had distributed the funds properly. ObamaCare would have had no problems, if Obama had been honest about it from the start. Meanwhile, expect Democrats in deep blue States to defend Obama, just as they always have.
Vilifying Obama could save many Democrats, but make no mistake, the outrage is false. Once election day passes, expect every Democrat to be completely loyal and supportive of Obama, until six months before November 2016. The opinion of your Democrat matters not; top-down is simply the way the Democratic Party works.