- Jun 30, 2004
- Reaction score
What do you think???
The strategy of engendering a fury that eventually yields to wholesale apathy in the conservative base does not seem to have worked out as Democrats had hoped. The engineered saturation of the public with the Mark Foley scandal has failed to dispel the suspicion that Democrats are lacking in imagination and short on message.
There is nevertheless, a poignant irony to the story that Democrats have had to resort to, raising doubts about the integrity of their opponents by highlighting one of the worst cases of Republican dereliction of duty and moral bankruptcy; after all, this common deficiency in Democrat circles has seldom proven detrimental to their own party in years past. This incessant pounding on Republicans by the media and Democrats with the Mark Foley hammer seems to have produced three unintended results.
1. It has desensitized many exasperated Republicans to the point that they are no longer listening.
2. It has further angered some of the undecided voters by defining the Democrats as complete hypocrites who condemn unethical behavior only when it is politically expedient.
3. It has failed to significantly move the Republican base, which views the scandal as the transgression of one individual rather than a sign of the moral decay of a sizeable portion of the legislative branch of government.
Not exactly what Democrats had hoped for.
It looks as if Democrats must not think too highly of Republican voters when they cast the puerile laments often expressed by their peers and trumpeted by a compliant media as a true reflection of the sentiments of an otherwise loyal Republican constituency. Of course, it is not the first time Democrats have underestimated Republican voters for their presumed unrefined provincial habits. But they have it backward: it is Democrats who historically vote strictly on impulse unless they are overwhelmed by indifference. Republicans understand the stakes at hand, and they will not lightly give up their vote simply because they are wearied by the conflict. They have understood from the beginning that the Iraq war would involve sustained effort in spite of what the media keeps telling them about failure and quagmire to try to manipulate their emotions. For the most part, they are not quitters.
Informed voters (the kind who turn out in midterm elections) are also able to see through the veil of the Democrats insistence on broadcasting imaginary bad news in the midst of a robust economy and record high consumer confidence levels. This is a sleight of hand on the part of the Democrats whose basic strategy has been to disguise themselves as a fiscally responsible, family oriented, conservative values leaning party. Unmasking these pretenses should provide the Republican Party with some kind of leverage.
On another front, Democrats are trying desperately to appear strong on defense, since they perceive this as the Presidents weakness given the present discontent with the war in Iraq. But they miscalculate if they count on this discontent to translate into a sudden shift in priorities for the American electorate, who more than likely do not see this present frustration as sufficient enough reason to allow the devil they dont know to take the reins of both houses of Congress during wartime.
In the end Democrats will not be able to take Congress, primarily because they have not been able to convey the image of invincibility.
The Democrats appear visibly timid, in spite of the fact that everything int he media seems to indicate they are going to have a landslide victory in November. Some Republicans are likewise nervous because of these ebullient media predictions that are buttressed by constant polls reflecting negatively on the current status quo. All indications would seem to point to plausible reasons for most Republicans to be discouraged and for Democrats to be demonstratively confident. Yet President Bush and his advisor Rove do not appear discouraged, and Democrats resort to pretending they are fiscal conservatives favoring a strong national defense.
This could indicate that the numbers they are boasting of are manufactured mainly for psychological effect, but unlikely to solidify in the next two weeks. The Republicans have a pattern of gaining strength in the last weeks before elections, as the electorate begins the pay attention to the issues. The Democrats can at best remain cautiously optimistic, lest their well orchestrated efforts to regain power come to naught.
Lets hope, for the sake of the country, that such is the case in November.