What would one call a political strategy which depended upon portraying the majority of Americans as crazy extremists? The answer is: The current Democratic Party strategy which ignores the meaning of the Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts races, and focuses on smearing opponents as extremists and “Birthers.”
We saw this template throughout the summer as the public protested against the Democratic health care plans. Peaceful protesters were called terrorists and facists, and falsely accused of fomenting violence.
Now Benen is pushing hard for this sort of rhetoric to become a focus of Democratic efforts to stem the tide of electoral upsets.
In addition to the usual blame Bush meme, Benen urges Democrats to define Republicans as the “Party of Crazy”:
Republicans have spent a year trying to drive away moderates, and taking orders from a drug-addled radio talk-show blowhard. Instead of moderating its message and direction in the wake of humiliating failures in 2006 and 2008, today’s GOP moved even further to the right — becoming the home to Tea Partiers, Birthers, Deathers, Oathers, and “Freedom Fighters.”
In fact, Brown, with his vow to be the 41st vote against Obamacare and cap-and-trade, won independents by a 3-1 margin, and even won the union rank-and-file vote. Brown won Barney Frank’s congressional district, and Ted Kennedy’s hometown on Cape Cod. Brown won over 20% of Democrats.
Virginia. New Jersey. Massachusetts. In overwhelming numbers independents and centrist Democrats are rejecting the current Democratic agenda.
The gig is over for those political strategists on the left who think that calling people names can overcome the weakness of the Democratic agenda. The best days are behind Media Matters and Think Progress, and the bloggers who feed off their handiwork.
The strategy of smears worked before the country experienced a year of Democratic ineptitude and duplicity, broken promises, backroom deals, and the toxic soup of government-gone-wild packaged in the House and Senate health care bills.
The smear tactics will not work again because we are on to you, will respond quickly, and no one in the vast center believes you anymore. While you call us names, we will keep talking about your agenda.
Now you will have to run on your ideas of bigger government, more spending, higher taxes, higher debt and deficits, weak national security, and increased government control over the lives of ordinary citizens.
You have nothing to fear but your own agenda. Pretty crazy, huh?