As the local mid-term campaigns ramp up we are starting to get an idea of what the party strategies will be going into November. Both Democrats and Republicans will try their best to “nationalize” the local House and Senate races.
Democrats will attempt to tie local Republican candidates to the “most ineffective, do nothing congress in our history.” Whether the Republican candidate is an incumbent or a challenger the labeling will remain the same…” Vote Republican and you sign up for another term of partisan Washington gridlock.”
Republicans on the other hand will attempt to tie their Democrat opponents to the president: “He/she is Obama’s candidate. Vote Democrat and you sign up for another round of policies that hurt businesses and weaken our standing around the globe.”
The pundits believe that the Democrats are in danger of losing control of the Senate and even more seats in the House. We are not so sure.
Democrats have a reasonable chance of making their strategy work. This particular congressional body really IS the most ineffective congress in our history. They cannot count one substantive piece of legislation since taking control of the House in 2010. Their only claim to fame is that they wasted taxpayers’ money by voting unsuccessfully to repeal Obamacare 50…yes 50…times. The only approval rating lower than Obama’s belongs to congress and the Republicans.
Republicans have a tougher road to climb because their anti-Obama assertions are simply not true. Since Obama took office we have seen a dramatic climb from the near economic depression that we were facing under Bush 43. The country is no longer teetering over an economic cliff but growing albeit slowly. The banking industry, once on the verge of collapse is now stable. The auto industry, left for dead is now thriving. Construction is up. Retail is up. Housing stars are up. The DOW is posting record highs. An economy that was hemorrhaging 700,000 private sector jobs per month is now creating 220,000 private sector jobs per month. Yesterday Apple posted quarterly profits of $7 billion dollars… that’s billion with a “B”…in one quarter. If the president’s policies are so bad for business then how does one explain away these remarkable results?
On the international front, we are certainly far better off than we were when the president took office. The Iraq war is over. US troops will be out of Afghanistan by the end of the year. Osama bin Laden is dead. Has our reputation in the international community suffered over the last decade? The answer is an emphatic yes. But you can point directly to Bush/Cheney’s ill conceived invasion of Iraq for the root of that hatred. Obama was elected principally on the promise of disengaging us from that “war first” thinking. He has kept his promise. While the neo-cons will refer to his weak and feckless policies; the truth is the president has heard the American people and he is acting accordingly. And if America’s strength and leadership skills have been so badly weakened under this president, then why does the free world still call on America to solve its problems.
The campaigns will kick into high gear as we head into August. We think the Democrats have more to work with than the pundits think.