In a Washington Post symposium on the Tea Party, Bob Shrum (who never figured out how to win a presidential race), Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (who lost a gubernatorial race in Maryland), and Donna Brazile (who vouched for Obamanomics) — what, Michael Dukasis wasn’t available to share his political genius? — are in agreement: the Tea Party is great news for Obama. Seriously. Well, are they?
When Shrum writes this sort of hooey, you wonder if he believes it or if he is desperately trying to pep up the disillusioned liberal base:
The Tea Party will prove to be the best thing that’s happened to Barack Obama and the Democrats since, well, Sarah Palin, the media-hyped 2008 vice presidential nominee who turned out to be a bursting bubble, not a lasting bounce, for the McCain campaign.
Raising the bogeywoman of the left, I suppose, suggests he’s in the base-boosting business.
Townsend is practically unintelligible:
So the Tea Party may help the president not only in this election but, most interestingly, with policy. By constantly raising the issue of the long-term deficit, it is forcing a discussion on how we pay for programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which take up a large part of the federal budget. During the Bush years, these questions went unanswered. A drug benefit was given without paying for it. In fact, taxes were cut, creating a $1.3 trillion hole.
Of course, Bush was an amateur on spending compared to Obama; but more to the point, how does focusing on spending help Obama?
Weighing in on the side of sanity, Ed Rogers explains:
The Democrats and some of their media elite allies seem to believe that the Tea Party’s rise has diminished Republican prospects in the midterm elections this fall. In fact, the Tea Party is a big problem for President Obama and his party this year and probably through 2012.
Think of the Tea Partyers as the tip of an iceberg. The visible part. … The much larger, submerged part is the roughly two-thirds of the electorate who think America is headed in the wrong direction, disapprove of Congress and believe the president is handling the economy poorly. The Democrats are about to hit the whole iceberg.
I wonder what Shrum, Brazile, and Townsend will have to say on election day. When the results come in, how will they explain that the Tea Party was really good news for Obama? They’ll no doubt move on to another explanation. Americans are crazy. Or Obama wasn’t liberal enough. It’s always something — except a repudiation of liberalism.