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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Angry Democrats trying to spin away the image

--posted by Tony Garcia on 2/09/2006

I suppose this is somewhat old news.
The Republican national chairman created a furor this week when he suggested Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is too "angry" to win the White House in 2008. And to hear Republicans tell it, Clinton is just one of many Democrats with an anger management problem.
Everyone has opined on this already. Yet it continues on because the Democrats are against the ropes with this reality being articulated.
In recent months, GOP operatives and officeholders have cast the Democrats as the anger party, long on emotion and short on ideas. Analysts say the strategy has been effective, trivializing Democrats' differences with the GOP as temperamental rather than substantive.
Actually, no, it has not been recent months...it has been years. And it is not the GOP operatives, it has been everyone not Democrat...they have not 'cast the Democrats', they have been pointing out a reality.

The truth is that since 2000 the Democrats have had very little to offer in the way of ideas. They have been running the anti-Bush campaign since December of 2000...for 62 months. John Kerry and his supporters had very little of their own ideas to promote, it was mostly "Bush did this and I won't" or similar platitudes.

Why would Howard Dean declare that the Democrats would be releasing in the near future what they stand for? They have to CREATE what they actually stand FOR. The world know what they stand against...everything Republican. They still have candidates running the anti-Bush campaign. Look at Coleen Rowley's campaign...it is pure anti-everything and void of any actual proposals.

History shows the failure of the angry or anti- campaigns. Carter was kicked out because of his pessimism (remember the Misery Index he created and then proceeded to make worse?) Bob Dole, optimistic while in the Senate, was the anti-immorality in 1996. Nixon in 1960 was mroe about anti-Commie than pro-anything. As I have already mention, Kerry was the anti-Bush. 2002 the Democrats were the anti-Bush.

You have to not only be anti-something but pro-something as well. Why did the Republicans win Congress in 1994? Because they were NOT anti-status quo as much as they were pro-reform. What's the difference? They spent more time talking about "we need THAT change to THIS" whereas the Democrats now are simply saying "THIS is bad so vote for us."

Look at the flip side:
Political history is dotted with failed presidential candidates perceived by the voters as too angry - think of Howard Dean's famous scream in 2004, or Bob Dole admonishing George H.W. Bush in 1988 to "stop lying about my record." Both parties' most revered figures in recent years, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, projected optimism and hope.
FDR served 3 1/2 TERMS based on optimism. Reagan got 8 years on optimism...even while angry he inspired hope. The big bear commercial of the 1984 campaign injected reality-based fear about the USSR and that Reagan was the hope. Even the "there you go again" line was anger followed by rational justification. Clinton was optimisim in the face of adversity. He got 8 years out of it. Even "W" was about a plan..."here is who I am and what I want to do." It turns out that he had the fortunate circumstance of terrorism creating a renewed understanding for he need for defense. JFK got 2 1/2 years because of optimism.

Rather than learn from these historical examples the Democrats are trying again to run against them.
"Democrats want a leader who shares their frustration - even anger - about Republican failures," Democratic strategist Dan Newman said. "Anger at terrorists is expected, outrage about corruption is a plus."

Some Democrats, in fact, complained that Clinton doesn't get angry enough. Some also denounced Mehlman as mean-spirited, and smelled more than a whiff of sexism in his remarks.
First, of course they smell "a whiff of sexism"...they smell '-ism' in everything whether it exists or not. Why? To make it an issue...and as they run with this they will be the ones who both started the discussion about sex and condemn the fact that sex was brought up as an issue.

Back to the steak of the story. What Newman says is HALF true. Americans can want and support someone who "share their frustrations - even anger" but there are a few requirements on that. There can be little, if any, question about the connection between "frustration" and the source of the frustration. Hints of partisanship in those links generally can sour the support. The other thing that is crucial for support of the 'frustrated' is a plan. Not general "we need change", but a plan. Neither of these crucial elements is owned by the Democrats currently. Their "frustration" and "anger" is purely partisan in nature (not a crime, just hinders resonating with the general electorate) and there is no plan.

What is fueling the understanding that the Democrat's frustrations are about partisanship is the fact that they have NOTHING positive to say. They fail to give credit where credit is due. That would have helped their cause tremendously. In 1996 the Republicans could not run out and say, "the economy is in shambles". For the most part they understood the lunacy in that. Instead they claimed it was doing well in spite of Clinton. The Democrats will not even acknowledge the positive things: elections in Afghanistan or Iraq, the Bush-Kennedy education bill, unemployment numbers akin to the 1990s (a period that they claim to be the best economy), etc. The failure to at least acknowledge the good stuff shows their stragtegy is not about changing the status quo but is about giving them their birthright carte blanche power again.

Back to the mashed potatoes of this story...the sexism. This is part of the anger-raising strategy.
RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt dismissed the charge of sexism, saying the anger strategy was fully justified when Democrats launch personal attacks. She cited Dean's description of Republicans as "brain dead" last year, and Reid's calling President Bush a "loser."

"Whether she's a man or a woman is completely irrelevant. If some Democrats want to fall back on the gender card, that's their prerogative," Schmitt said.
The problem is that ANY criticism against a Democrat gets labeled as any kind of -ism. Why? To stifle actual debate. The fact is, on this issue there is NO relevance of sex to the discussion. The whole party is about anger. Men, women and other...they are all about anger. They are anti-everything-not-Democrat and offering little. This has nothing to do with Clinton being (reportedly) a woman.

They just cannot learn...so let them squander another opportunity. Maybe this time we can get Janice Rogers Brown on the Supreme Court as a result!!


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