Go ahead. Make their day.
According the New York Times, Team Obama is considering a direct attack on the Tea Party movement, including national advertisements that cast the GOP as all but taken over by Tea Party “extremists.”
In an election year when Democrats simply can’t seem to get a break, the Democratic leadership appear intent on following a course that can only make a bad situation worse.
Indeed, their record since summer only confirms the notion.
Lets start with “Recovery Summer.”
The narrative that the President’s economic stewardship has led to a new, socially responsible economic renaissance, strains any sense of credibility.
Despite nearly $1 trillion in “stimulus,” Recovery Summer was a bust with stubbornly high and increasing unemployment, dropping exports and housing sales/starts, declines in exports and manufacturing, and ebbing consumer confidence and spending.
Indeed, with a blizzard of new regulations, mandates and tax increases that the Democrats have legislated, the private sector has already cast a vote of no confidence by sitting a $2 trillion in potential investment that would jump start the economy, rather than commit resources in this uncertain economic climate.
Result? by a margin of 57-41% voters disapprove of the way Team Obama has handled the economy.
Then Team Obama found time to sue Arizona for passing a law on illegal immigration, ironically made necessary by federal inaction. In a transparent attempt to lock down the Hispanic vote for the midterms, the federal lawsuit was accompanied by a concerted assault on anyone who supported the law, defaming those supporters as bigoted xenophobes.
Result? According to a Quinnipiac poll, 60% of Americans don’t approve of President Obama’s handling of immigration. With regard to Arizona specifically, 59% of Americans feel the state law is about right. An additional 14% say it doesn’t go far enough.
The mosque at Ground Zero provided yet another opportunity for Democrats to distress voters. President Obama’s unqualified support for the construction of the mosque at the site flies in the face of American sensibilities. And again, the President’s supporters painted mosque opponents with the broad brush of intolerance, bigotry and Islamophobia.
But contrary to the rhetoric, opposition to the mosque has been principled and nuanced. Indeed, 73% of Americans believe that the Cordoba Initiative has a constitutional right to build their mosque at Park51. But by a margin of 61-32%, Americans don’t believe they should given the location and its proximity to Ground Zero.
This is an entirely reasonable position, and strongly at odds with the liberal hysteria that controversy over one building reveals a new awakening of anti-Islamic attitudes in the US.
And coming back to Washington five months after passing health care reform, Democrats face an electorate thoroughly unimpressed with the President’s signature legislative achievement. According to a Fox New poll, a majority of Americans remain upset the legislation became law and favor its repeal.
So, not to put too fine a point on it, but who exactly are the “extremists” here?
Indeed, Tea Party “extremism” in practice, doesn’t seem as threatening to voters.
Consider the Tea Party candidates that have won thus far. Most were branded as out of the mainstream in their primaries and unelectable after their wins. Yet Tea Party-backed Marco Rubio holds a double digit lead in a three way race in Florida. Rand Paul leads by eight points in Kentucky. Ken Buck leads by four points in Colorado. Joe Miller toppled Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska and will soon be on his way to Washington. Even Sharon Angle, Harry Reid’s personal pick as an opponent, leads the most powerful member of the Senate by a point.
Indeed, the details of Tea Party “extremism” are less than meets the eye when you look closely.
An on-line poll of Tea Party priorities attracted nearly 500,000 votes. The top vote getters? 1) laws passed by Congress should be constitutional, 2) the federal budget should be balanced by reducing earmarks, auditing the federal government line by line for waste, fraud and duplication, and future spending growth should be limited to inflation plus population growth, 3) the tax system should be simplified and taxes reduced, 4) energy policy should be “all of the above” to continue exploration and production of traditional energy sources as we develop and deploy new, alternative sources of energy, 5) repeal Obamacare.
In any poll available today, these positions – and not those of the Administration and Democrats – would win majority support.
Clearly, the Administration and congressional Democrats have opportunistically seized upon the upset election of Christine O’Donnell in the Delaware Senate primary as a vehicle to fan flames of perceived Tea Party extremism. There is no disputing that Ms. O’Donnell has an unorthodox life story and a series of sometimes eye opening statements long in her past. But how does that compare when her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, wrote a paper in college entitled, “The Making of a Bearded Marxist”?
The fact is that this midterm election will be a referendum of the management of President Obama and the Democrats. That Democrats are desperate to run on anything but their governing record is a harbinger of their formidable electoral challenges ahead.
By targeting the Tea Party directly, Democrats are not answering critics but rather further eroding their own legitimacy.
It has all the making for a really ugly November 2nd.