When voters were asked which party would be their choice for Congress in November, 45 percent said Democrat and 38 percent Republican. Twelve percent were unsure. However, in May, Democrats captured 52 percent in the same generic ballot question, showing their support had dropped 7 points in a month.What's wrong? The Democrats, that's what. Laura Rozen gives us a few snips from Frank Rich's commentary on how Rove is once again stomping all over the DC Democrats with catchy phrases and staged photo ops, the recent Baghdad surprise being the latest. Rich concludes with this:
What's most impressive about Mr. Rove, however, is not his ruthlessness, it's his unshakable faith in the power of a story. The story he's stuck with, Iraq, is a loser, but he knows it won't lose at the polls if there's no story to counter it. And so he tells it over and over, confident that the Democrats won't tell their own. And they don't — whether about Iraq or much else. The question for the Democrats is less whether they tilt left, right or center, than whether they can find a stirring narrative that defines their views, not just the Republicans'.So what's needed? Taylor Marsh knows, they all have to sound like John Murtha:
What's needed, wrote Michael Tomasky in an influential American Prospect essay last fall, is a "big-picture case based on core principles." As he argued, Washington's continued and inhumane failure to ameliorate the devastation of Katrina could not be a more pregnant opportunity for the Democrats to set forth a comprehensive alternative to the party in power. Another opportunity, of course, is the oil dependence that holds America hostage to the worst governments in the Middle East.
Instead the Democrats float Band-Aid nostrums and bumper-sticker marketing strategies like "Together, America Can Do Better." As the linguist Geoffrey Nunberg pointed out, "The very ungrammaticality of the Democrats' slogan reminds you that this is a party with a chronic problem of telling a coherent story about itself, right down to an inability to get its adverbs and subjects to agree." On Wednesday Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were to announce their party's "New Direction" agenda — actually, an inoffensive checklist of old directions (raise the minimum wage, cut student loan costs, etc.) — that didn't even mention Iraq. Symbolically enough, they had to abruptly reschedule the public unveiling to attend Mr. Bush's briefing on his triumphant trip to Baghdad. ...
"Stay and pay" is how John Murtha described the current Iraq policy, when speaking with Tim Russert today, which came in response to Karl Rove's latest political belch from New Hampshire. But he didn't stop there. If all Democrats sounded like Murtha, we'd sweep into office next November like the reckoning of the righteous warrior.Spineless - clueless - inept, that's the only way to describe a majority of Democrats in DC. If they don't win in November it will not be because of Karl Rove it will be because they simply don't deserve to win.
Murtha is right. Bush, Rove and the Republicans have NO PLAN in Iraq. But they have a hell of a slogan aimed straight at the Democrats. If we do not fire salvos back, just as Murtha did today with Russert, we will not inspire people to vote in November. If we don't it will be the biggest political failing since Democrats voted for the Iraq war in the first place.
More on what Murtha said that the rest of the Democrats should be saying from Think Progress.
MURTHA: He’s in New Hampshire. He’s making a political speech. He’s sitting in his air-conditioned office on his big, fat backside, saying stay the course. That’s not a plan. … We’ve got to change direction. You can’t sit there in the air-conditioned office and tell troops carrying 70 pounds on their backs, inside these armored vessels hit with IEDs every day, seeing their friends blown up, their buddies blown up — and he says stay the course? Easy to say that from Washington, DC.Don't you just love a straight shooter?
And this is what the Democrats don't need, another momentum-less Joe
So, Joe Biden's running for president. He says Democrats need to show strong leadership on national security and be less condescending to people of faith. Of course no elected Democrats are condescending to people of faith and Joe's been in the Senate for quite some time showing piss poor leadership on national security. But, hey, Joe knows what those other Democrats need to do. One wonders why he doesn't do it.