The 2014 elections are only 16 weeks away. That means you’re going to be hearing all kinds of noise in the media — from kids with Ebola to Benghazi to lawsuits against President Obama. The Republicans will do everything to distract from the real issues on which they are vulnerable. So it’s time for Democrats to focus.
We already suggested back in February of this year that the Democrats needed a positive unifying theme for the 2014 elections. You can judge whether the Democrats came through. But now it’s time for the flip side as well: the Democrats need a unifying attack theme against the Republicans that they can focus on for the next four months. Here is our simple two-part suggestion:
1. Republican War on Women/LGBT/People of Color/Young People/Middle Class/the Poor
Republican policies, actions and statements demonstrate time and time again that the Republican Party exists to serve wealthy older white men and big corporations, and is at war with just about everyone else. It’s easy to find examples, as the Republicans keep feeding this narrative without any help from us. The latest example in the Republican War on Women was the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which gives some corporations power over women’s birth control. Check out how shrill and flummoxed Republican spokeswoman Carly Fiorina gets over the Republican “War on Women” in this exchange with liberal comedienne/radio talk show host Stephanie Miller on a recent CNN appearance, and you can tell that the “War on Women” attack is getting to the Republicans. And by the way, if you’re using your opponent’s attack labels in denying the attacks, as Carly does in the clip, you’re losing the argument.
2. Republican Failed Leadership
As the video at the top of this post indicates, in his January 2011 State of Union speech, President Obama recognized the reality that American voters had voted for divided government in the 2010 elections, giving Republicans a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. President Obama gave a warning to Republicans and the rest of America:
With their votes, [Americans have] determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all.
Did Republicans step up and provide leadership to help govern America after the 2010 elections, or beforehand for that matter? Again, the evidence is more than overwhelmingly “no!” We know that Republicans had a secret meeting on the very night of President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 where they plotted to obstruct President Obama at every turn, even to the point of sabotaging the U.S. economy, rather than helping America, because doing so might also benefit the President. Since then, Republicans have blocked, obstructed, filibustered, shut down the federal government, held phony hearings and ginned up lawsuits. What Republicans have not done is help to create jobs, fix our crumbling roads and bridges, help more Americans get affordable healthcare insurance coverage, and participate in immigration reform or any other aspect of running the United States of America.
Lately, President Obama has mocked the Republicans for their failed leadership. In a hilarious and bitingly true moment the other day, Obama paraphrased the movie “The Departed” to slam Republicans over their planned lawsuit against him regarding his rather minimal use of executive orders:
I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy. So rather than wage another political stunt that wastes time, wastes taxpayers’ money, I’ve got a better idea: do something. If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, let’s team up! Let’s pass some bills. Let’s help America together. You know, it is lonely, me just doing stuff. I’d love if the Republicans did stuff too.
President Obama has been doing a great job mocking the Republicans and attacking this theme of the Republicans’ failure to lead. But the President cannot do this alone. He needs the help of leading Democrats, and America needs your help.