Democratic Pundits Foolishly Embrace GOP Talking Points and Panic Over 2014

obama frown

Democratic pundits are setting the party up for defeat by mouthing Republican talking points, and making 2014 all about Obamacare.

E.J. Dionne wrote, “Despite the large strides in the health-care Web site’s performance and despite Obama’s efforts to regain the initiative with executive action, Republicans remain on offense. Executive actions — even helpful ones like last week’s aimed at keeping workers from losing overtime pay by being falsely reclassified as supervisory — cannot transform the political agenda or mobilize a movement. The most telling fact about the Democrats’ defeat in Florida’s special House election last week was the party’s failure to get its voters to the polls. This owed to many factors, but one of them is disaffection in Democratic ranks.”

Bob Shrum has a more logical approach, “Democrats have to stop allowing Republicans to define the election as an up or down vote on an abstraction called Obamacare. Instead of running away from health reform, they have to run on it — in the right way. The key is to denominate the choice in terms of specific provisions of the law, which are overwhelmingly popular in survey after survey.”

Marc Ambinder wrote, “But beyond these forces, there are a number of others that are blowing in the face of Democrats, some of them quite strongly. They are unique to this moment in politics and history. As Cook notes, President Obama’s relative unpopularity all but makes it certain that the Democratic base is unlikely to find themselves enthusiastic. A few other conventional metrics work to the Democrats’ favor. The economy is getting better, slowly, and personal incomes are rising. But I’d wager that the status in Washington has cast so big a shadow over perceptions about which party is doing more to help the economy that people think the country is kind of on auto-pilot.”

All of these pundits are in their own way, wrong. Dionne is wrong for buying the Republican spin that the Florida special election means that this is an anti-ACA year. Alex Sink lost because the district is 11% more Republican, not because of Obamacare.

Shrum is also wrong. Instead of trying to figure out how they should be running on Obamacare, Democrats need to ask themselves if they should be running on the ACA at all.

When Democrats run on Obamacare, they are playing on Republican turf. If Democrats choose to ignore the economy, jobs, and the woeful lack of ideas that the Republican Party is offering, they are setting themselves up for defeat.

Make Republicans talk about something else. Don’t play their game. 2014 doesn’t have to be 2010 again. The problem is not what to do with Obamacare. It is that Democrats are letting themselves be tricked into replaying the last successful Republican election.

Democrats have a chance to knock off Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, and capture a former Republican senate seat in Georgia — things aren’t as bad as the media’s Obamacare hysteria makes it seem. Democrats will have to fight on a state by state basis to keep the Senate, but it can be done if they don’t get suckered into the Obamacare trap.

13 Replies to “Democratic Pundits Foolishly Embrace GOP Talking Points and Panic Over 2014”

  1. Bob Shrum is right. Run on the individual options in the ACA not the ACA itself. Let the pundits talk, the people know what to do

  2. The ACA is strong enough now to speak for itself; Democrats should be letting it, for the most part. Republicans will trip themselves up with their lies and fear-mongering over it. Their base will still hate it–publically, at least–but they won’t gain any new voters over “repealing Obamacare.”

    Democrats need to be advocats of a multitude of other issues. Jobs, minumum wages, global warming, education, infrastructure, economic inequality, food stamps and other poverty issues, labor and consumer support and protection, environmental and financial regulation, women’s reroduction rights, immigration, voting rights, Social Security, Medicare, etc.

    Let Republicans campaign on one note. We’ll take on the rest…and win as long as we get out the vote.

  3. What the Dems need to do is flip the script. Every time the repubs bring it up remind people of the time wasted 50 votes against the ACA. They could have helped to refine it if they thought it was flawed. They could have been working on employment legislation, raising wages and addressing immigration instead of wasting time on frivolous votes. Put it in their face that they are the party of no answers.

  4. Why should citizens vote to be lead by a Party that does not embrace it’s own legislation ? That is a huge sign of weakness. Democrats should double down and proudly embrace a reform that the Republicans never had the guts to attempt. To do otherwise would backfire IMO.

  5. Democrats should be touting the benefits of ACA, the millions who now have health coverage, the way the ACA is driving down cost, and saving people money.
    They should also demand that the Republicans preset their own plans for health care(they have none) as well as pointing out how the GOP has every step of the way tried to block any and every thing that is geared to help the working class and the poor in this country.
    The Republican party- anti minimum wage,anti overtime pay, anti-health care, anti-equal pay for women, anti-women’s right to choose, anti-union, anti-clean air and water, anti-EVERYTHING that benefits the 99%. THAT’S what Democrats should be running on.

  6. Bull Crap! Why on earth would anyone listen to what the GOP have to say? Hey Democratic pundits this is a wake up call to you! Are you really so inept that you are going to react to any GOP predictions? Need I remind you that every GOP member believed over and over that Mitt Romney was going to win in a land slide.
    Want to listen to someone then try listening to me for a change. I tell you loud and clear what needs to be pushed hard as He** is VOTE. We all need to push the fact that a stay at home voter is a vote for the GOP and supports all of their policies. Yes you hear right. Push the fact that if a voter does not go vote that their choice of inaction is helping elect GOP members and furthering their radical agenda.
    Push it to the high heavens that you have a responsibility to vote, neglect it or ignore it then you might as well go join the GOP and be a card carrying GOP member. This is the real world of adults folks. The choices you make now will direct the future.

  7. Didn’t these idiots learn anything from 2010 or any other previous off-year election? It’s a cardinal error in judgment to EVER let Republicans establish the narrative. Because they have nothing of positive value to run on, they can only run on negativity which includes scare tactics. There is more than enough that’s positive about the ACA that should be should be show-cased during the course of an election, and Democrats should be embracing these positive developments as some of their talking points. Besides, the Republicans have done so much damage while in office on federal, state, and local levels that they have given their potential and actual opponents plenty of ammunition. While highlighting all that Republicans have done wrong, Democrats need to also keep hammering on their policies and how they will actually benefit people. As for these “pundits,” they need to either come off this tendency to let Republicans lead or get other jobs.

  8. Obama has a playbook. It worked perfectly in 2012. Republicans and media enablers wanted a referendum on Obama, comparing him to God Almighty, like Joe Biden likes to say. Instead Obama and his team made the election about CHOICE, not a referendum. Democrats should not run away from ObamaCare. What they need is to compare ObamaCare to Republican alternative. Republicans have no plan but some of their members floated some half baked plans. Just pick one, any one, and call it the Republican HealthCare Plan and run against it. For the next 6 months let’s talk about that plan that takes away healthcare from 10+ million people and raises taxes on the middle class. If in 2012 Obama listened to the pundits he would be writing his memoirs by now. Make the election about choice and the party of ideas wins.

  9. Why not run on all the dumb things that the GOP
    has done like shut down the Government, cut off Unemployment, Cut foodstamps, refuse to take up Gay rights or Immigration reform along with Obamacare this may not be in order but it is some of the Democrats talking points. So I agree but don’t get boxed in. Call them out on all their dumb stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.