Commentary Magazine


No Good News for Democrats

There is no good news for the Democrats in this survey and analysis by James Carville and Stan Greenberg (h/t Taegan Goddard). For starters, they find a six-point lead for the GOP in their generic congressional poll. Republicans have the advantage on the economy and on jobs, a majority have an unfavorable view of Obama’s job performance (most of which sentiment is attributable to health care and jobs), more voters favor tax cuts over spending to stimulate the economy, and on and on it goes. Their advice is nothing short of a repudiation of the Obama record:

With the recovery barely visible and Democrats still behind on the economy, progressives should not seek a mandate based on their performance, but on their advocacy for ordinary people versus Wall Street and on where they want to take the country, compared to the Republicans. Democratic candidates should run as outsiders and independents that battle to change Washington. They should show their passion for jobs, the economy and middle class.

There are a few problems with all that, of course. To begin with, what are the Democrats who aren’t outsiders, and who have shown no independence from the Reid-Pelosi-Obama line, going to do? And it might not be a good idea to bring up jobs, given that there are so many unemployed and that this has now become a Republican issue.

You can hardly blame Carville and Greenberg, however. What are they supposed to say to fellow Democrats – “Many of you are going to lose but life after public office isn’t so bad” ? That would at least have the advantage of candor.