Obama, Pelosi, and Reid shoved the hated ObamaCare legislation through the world's greatest deliberative body, and we are seeing the results. As my friend Rick Ballard says, "Those who went along with the Three Stooges of the Democalypse are going to pay for it on November 2." The polls are rather uniform in showing the likelihood of a tsunami wiping out a Democrat majority in the House, with only the margins being in doubt, and some, like Dick Morris, are predicting that the Senate will also shift into Republican hands.
Although it's the main drag on the ticket, it's not just ObamaCare that is killing the Democrat brand; the party leaders, themselves from safe districts far left of the mainstream, have allied the party with forces that hurt ordinary voters whose support they need. In California, "Don't Call Me Ma'am" Senator Boxer just discovered California's Central Valley, a rich agricultural center which was devastated by water shut-offs because of legislative and judicial constraints that Boxer supported.
Elsewhere, other schisms in this party are obvious. For example, either it continues to pay back the public employee unions for their unparalleled financial and political support, or what Michael Barone calls the "gentry liberals," who care about public service quality and cost, see their interests advanced. There is no happy medium here, and the pretense that there is one no longer seems sustainable.
Liberal bloggers are accusing the Democrats of abandoning them and their interests, and increasing numbers of voters say they will not vote for someone endorsed by Obama.
As for independents, they are leaning increasingly toward the Republican Party. A poll by Douglas Shoen and Heather R. Higgins reveals that
independents made clear in the survey what they want candidates to do: Decrease the size and scope of government, cut spending and taxes, balance the budget, reduce the federal debt, reduce the power of special interests and unions, repeal and replace the healthcare legislation, and decrease partisanship.
It's hard to see how one could achieve all those things and "decrease partisanship," but the rest of the wish list seems remarkably like the Pledge the Republicans announced this week.
The only true nonpartisans this week were the Republican members of the Senate Energy Committee who refused to remove Lisa Murkowski. She lost her seat in a Republican primary in Alaska and then announced that she would run as a write-in candidate against the winner, Joe Miller. As her only campaign message is that her membership on that committee puts her in a better position to help Alaska, the move might well have had only one effect: helping the Republican party lose one very important Senate seat. On the Hill, the race for the dumbest solon is a very crowded field.
Until now, Obama has created straw men and scapegoats, but he's running out of both, and as the very bright Jay Cost observes, this election is going to be about him and his multiple failures. Reports are that Obama intends to blame the Tea Party, but no sentient human being can find them in the least responsible for the policies which have so infuriated the public. Cost also notes that the president and his policies are killing the party in the Midwest, where, for example, Republicans are poised to win eight of the nine gubernatorial contests and might well sweep the nine Senate races.
To those who say the connection between the Democrats' diminished prospects and ObamaCare are "overdetermined," Cost notes,
[I]f we examine the 39 Democrats running for reelection in congressional districts that voted for McCain, we find some interesting results. 17 of these 39 Democrats voted for ObamaCare. Of those 17, Charlie Cook now rates 14 of them as in toss-up races while only 3 are in "Lean Democrat" races. 22 of the 39 voted against ObamaCare, and they fare much better. Just 6 of them are in toss-ups, 8 are in the "Lean Democrat" category, 5 are in the "Likely Democrat" category, and 3 are currently listed as safe. Those safe Democrats include Gene Taylor (MS-4) and Dan Boren (OK-2), whose districts gave John McCain 67 percent and 66 percent, respectively. The president is not doing poorly in just the Midwest, though. Even in Manhattan, he cannot fill a hall with supporters. He is a pariah. Two networks that provided him some of his most favorable coverage have also seen their viewer numbers plunge, and it looks like the owners have finally seen the connection. Both the NBC and CNN chiefs got the boot this week as Obama's numbers sank to their lowest point. I wonder if that means that the NBC plan has been canceled? According to Newsbusters, NBC granted the president a half-hour on Monday's "Today Show," and the chat "will be roadblocked across various NBCU Networks in Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen, Chiller, Sleuth, UNI HD and Universal Sports."
It's a long time now since Obama was a community organizer. Even then, he might have been more comfortable dealing with communities than with individuals. Democrats are best with groups. If I break down on the side of the road, I hope a Republican stops -- he'll fix my flat and offer me a drink. A Democrat will get busy forming a Committee to Protect Women Who Own Vulnerable Cars.
But I think I figured out where the Democrats are going. They got no traction picking on Boehner, Bush as bogeyman is overdone and no longer credible, the Tea Party is not a useful scapegoat, and every demographic seems to be running away. There's only one possible tranche to hang on to: the Beavis and Butthead morons.
This reach-out-to-morons campaign will have its culmination just before the election, when John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have rallies on the national mall. Their effort is clearly to diminish the serious Americans who rallied there before them in opposition to the administration and its destruction of what they hold dear. If the Tea Party or the Beck supporters can't be dismissed as racist or held out as scapegoats for Obama's failure, perhaps ridicule will work.
Some have said that Colbert was called as a congressional witness this week to distract from the coverage of DoJ official Coates before the U.S Civil Rights Commission. It's true that Coates' testimony of a "travesty of justice" in the dismissal of the Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, and his persuasive evidence of racial prejudice in the DoJ's own civil rights division is shocking, but surely if the election goes as anticipated, that will provide a platform for forcing the removal of Attorney General Holder and will cause the White House, host to a certain Malik Shabazz in the critical July 2009 period, some serious problems, potentially including perjury charges. But I think Colbert was there to build up interest in the October rally -- the Hail Mary for this administration, whose every other effort to divert blame and regain its footing has flopped.
Unfortunately, I think Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's bright notion to grab the morons' attention by highlighting Colbert only made matters worse. John Podhoretz writes,
This may have been the single biggest pointless blunder in American political history, and I am not kidding. With an election only five weeks from now in which Democrats are poised for major losses, this morning's depiction of Congress as ludicrous dupes of a TV personality -- which will be replayed for weeks -- will make the analogistic point that the majority is unfit to be running things. How exactly will they argue otherwise?
Did Colbert himself understand the damage he was going to do to the political and ideological forces he clearly supports by mocking the political process they control in this way? Is he, secretly, more O'Reilly than O'Reilly? Whatever is the case, the disaster was predictable and could have been avoided. I know, because I predicted it. What I didn't predict is that the House leadership and the Democratic leadership generally are in such a state of degeneration that they didn't know, or didn't try, to intervene before this political Jonestown.
UPDATE: Oh my Lord. Speaker of the House Margaret Dumont Nancy Pelosi has defended Colbert's appearance: "He's an American. He has a point of view."
The Democratic Party, having cast its lot with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, stands on the brink of electoral ruin. Watching on the sidelines, Hillary Clinton shuttles from foreign capital to capital, having left the Senate and any responsibility for the debacle. Her rejection by the party in 2008, when the nomination was thought to be hers, no doubt still rankles. But revenge, as the Chinese say, is a dish best served cold.