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Liberals continue to scare away moderate voters

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, October 11, 2010

Updated: Monday, October 11, 2010 13:10


Last week, in a column about how the Democrats could retain partial-control over Congress, we discussed strategies for the party to be successful in the upcoming midterm elections. Among the ideas were to avoid controversial stances, to ignore the liberal base of voters, and to stop supporting policies that kill the economy and harm small businesses. Since that time, the state of the party has declined rapidly, to the point that it looks almost certain that Republicans will win both the House and the Senate in 2010. There are quite a few of actions by Democrats that almost suggest that they have no desire to win this election.

The first hint that this would not be a good week for the party was on Monday, when pundits began to take note and publicize an ad from Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida. Grayson, known for his “over-the-top” comments and behavior, is perhaps best well known for comments he made during the 2009 debates on health care, including one that Republicans would like for the poor and those who do not have access to health care to “just die quickly.” However, this week the Congressman took things even farther, airing an ad dubbing his opponent “Taliban Dan.” The ad features women dressed in Burkkas, troops storming through the middle east, and Arabic music, as claims run across the screen that his opponent believes that his wife should “submit to [him],” and that he believes that rape victims should be forced to carry the rapists’ child. The ad faced bipartisan criticism, and many groups called the ad the “worst ad” they had seen all year. Worse, the campaign of Dan Webster, the opponent, later posted a full video showing that the footage from the ad was taken fully out-of-context.

The second big thing to happen this week was the vote to put the issue of tax-cut extensions on the backburner until after the mid-term elections by Democratic Congressional leaders in Washington. This vote ensured that there would not be a vote on taxes until Congress returned following the elections, and so in theory, wrath from voters not wanting a tax increase would not be felt on election day. Instead, recently members of Congress have been debating about sharks and other wildlife, and have enjoyed the testimony of such guests as comedian Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central. What could have been a major political win for Democrats, who should have voted to decrease taxes, has instead turned into at best a lost opportunity, and at worst, a major liability, when it comes to re-election this November.

Perhaps the biggest problem for Democrats this week has been the community organizer himself, Barack Obama, and his speeches across college campuses about the “upcoming change.” Obama has been embarrassing the party and its candidates with rhetoric too left-leaning to appeal to an electorate that is angry about government, and at a time when his policies have been failing extraordinarily. In Iowa, the crowd he spoke to was especially hostile, demanding answers to problems related to health care, education, and unemployment that the president has yet to help solve. One woman had a son who campaigned for Obama in 2008, but now remains unemployed eighteen months after graduating from college. Another woman with a relative in a nursing home was especially concerned with the health care bill. By the end of it all, the president was brow-beaten and worn, attempting to drum up support by mentioning the opportunity to be had in America, but failing to win over the crowd.

Unfortunately for Democrats, this is the picture all across the country, and barring a miracle it will only continue to get worse. Barack Obama, despite polls putting his approval ratings in Iowa and elsewhere far into the negative, is continuing to make speeches, Alan Grayson is sticking by his unfortunate choice of attack ad, and Congress is still ignoring the issues that are most important to voters. In order to win votes and to please the majority of voters, the party is going to have to step it up and appeal toward moderates.

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