Just as Scrooge had his vision of three ghosts it's time for Obama and the Democratic party to show the Democrats their three spirits and give them a warning that it isn't too late to change. November is coming fast but there is still time to change.
The first visit I bring is the ghost of elections past. Let's travel back in time just prior to the 2006 elections.
The nation was growing tired of George Bush and his war in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan was the media darling because she highlighted everything America was feeling about the Iraq war. We went in under the belief there were WMDs and nothing was found but yet we stayed and American soldiers continued to die. Bush shined the spot light on his own stupidity with the "Mission Accomplished" banner. Democrats took advantage of this and won big in 2006 gaining control of both the house and senate essentially ending the Bush presidency.
But Bush was still president and as president his face is what people connected with everything going on with the country, good or bad. Bush was already being critisized for his deficit spending but in 2006 Democrats increased the debt to a whole new level. They took the deficit from $400,333,890,506.89 per year to $1,225,566,877,960.11 per year. Still Bush was the face so Bush was blamed and the nation grew angry. In 2006 they reported that Bush was spending five times more then the nation spent during Clinton's 2nd term (during which Republicans controlled the house and senate)
The public grew angry and Bush and the Republican party seemed to do everything they could wrong. They continued spending and they continued to push an unpopular war.
Then in 2008 came a new face, a face that promised "hope" and "change". Obama, the new face of the Democratic party came from no where almost unheard of before running for president. He was exactly what people wanted. Someone new, someone different, someone who wasn't a Washington insider. Being this new face people saw in him what they wanted to see and because of this he was able to beat Hillary, a true insider, in the primary then soar past McCain who Democrats successfully branded and Bush continued.
You can see it in the faces here tonight. There are young and old, rich and poor. They are black and white, Latino and Asian and Native American.
They are Democrats from Des Moines and independents from Concord and, yes, some Republicans from rural Nevada. And we've got young people all across this country who have never had a reason to participate until now.
And in nine days, in nine short days, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join us in saying that we are tired of business as usual in Washington. We are hungry for change and we are ready to believe again.
...Don't tell me we can't change.
Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can.
Obama seemed to understand that it wasn't just Democrats who helped in his parties landslide defeats over republicans.
He continued to show he was in touch with what Americans really wanted by offering tax cuts. His tax cut calculator quickly spread across the internet showing Americans how much more they would get from his tax cuts then from McCain's plan. People thought he would be the one to really shake up Washington, eliminate the waste bringing balance to the budget and giving working Americans a chance to keep more of the money they work hard for.
He promised a new level of transparency in government.
In short, Obama offered exactly the change people wanted. Open government, tax cuts, elimination of the deficit and an end to the Iraq war.
Last night Obama was visited by the second ghost, the ghost of elections present. That ghost came in the form of Scott Brown.
In the past year that Obama has been in office under full Democrat control of both houses we've seen a one trillion dollar stimulus plan that dwarfed any level of deficit spending under Bush get pushed through despite objections and before it could be discussed openly. As bits and pieces surfaced by the news the public grew more and more alarmed. Months later the news comes out that the stimulus did nothing to produce new jobs and the country has as a whole lost more jobs then the stimulus claimed it would create.
Adding to the public discontent, team Obama and Democrats around the country propose tax increases as our economy continues to crumble. The anti tax protesters around the country are all dismissed by the Democrats as being Right Wing Extremists who would never vote Democrat to begin with.
The wake up call first came with two elections, Virginia and New Jersey. Again Democrats dismissed both.
Democrats continued to insult the American public pushing a costly heath care bill and adding to the insult by preventing people from viewing it for themselves. Then going against Obama's own promise of transparency, Democrats blocked C-Span from the health care debates. As Republicans warned the public of dangers in the bill the Democrats wrote them off as fear mongers while at the same time preventing the public from being able to see things for themselves.
Then Teddy Kennedy passed. Massachusetts had an open seat. This was the curtain falling back and reviling the wizard for what he was, the frail old man. Democrats were exposed as hypocrites having just changed the laws while Mitt Romney was Gov stripping away the power for him to be able to appoint a replacement. Now with one of their own, Governor Patrick, they scrambled to change the law back.
People watched and grew more frustrated and upset with the Democratic party.
Along come the primaries. Martha Coakley jumps out in front as the media darling. Democrats fell over backwards at the novelty of electing the first woman senator from their state to fill Teddy's seat. And this was MA after all where a Republican hadn't won in the past 47 years.
Martha won her party's nomination without much debate and moved forward against the little known Scott Brown.
People watched as Scott Brown proved he was the better candidate and Martha made mistake after mistake even going so far as to call Curt Schilling a Yankee fan. With the nation watching the two candidates exposed the key differences between true Republicans and Democrats. While Martha pushed more government spending and the bloated health care bill, Scott Brown said he'd be the one to say no to the spending. He'd put his foot down and stop it. Martha and Democrats being as out of touch as they are helped him even further running his words in their own ads.
Then came the Christmas underwear bomber and this was the kick in the pants (no pun intended) that really helped Scott pull out into the lead. This terrorist after burning his privates to bits was singing like a canary. He was giving the names of other terrorists, details of training facilities, information about other upcoming terror plots and so on. Rather then shipping him off to GitMo and getting everything they could from him, team Obama supported by Martha shove a US defense lawyer his way, paid for with your tax dollars, and advised him he has the rights afforded to all US citizens and can remain silent, which he of course did.
Between the massive spending and granting foreign terrorists US Constitutional rights it was too much even for the heart of Liberal territory. Massachusetts elected a Republican to fill Teddy Kennedy's seat. The first Republican elected in the state in 47 years.
Obama and Democrats across the nation woke up shaken and scared, unsure of what to do next. Here I present the 3rd ghost. The ghost of election futures.
Democrats are already falling apart.
The Democrats who do get it are rushing to the center to appear moderate. They've become desperate to get Republicans to sign on to the health care bill now suddenly offering to come back to the discussion table when before they were ready to steam roll over anyone in their way. Like a leopard they are attempting to change the color of their spots but people are awake and watching, they've already seen what the Democratic party has done in 2009 and they don't like it.
Meanwhile others continue to push for the big spending bills. They continue to show that they have no idea who or what the Tea Protesters were or what they were about and rather then accept that they were truly independents and yes even some Democrats, they continue to frame them as the extreme right and attempt to link them to every protest they dislike regardless whether or not it actually has anything to do with the tea protest movements.
On Blue Hampshire when asked if they should take the "teabaggers" seriously Douglas Lindner wrote back:
No, no a thousand times no.
Teabaggers are not a coherent movement with principles. It's just a common name for a people who hate the President. They're not unified.
Further proof they don't get it is seeing calls on Blue Hampshire among other places for yet another stimulus and higher taxes. Mike Caufield wrote (bolding was his not mine):
1. I hope a real stimulus bill comes out of this.
2. I would like also to see a dramatic & shocking tax on Wall St. profits enacted. And I would like it to be pitched as
a) earmarked for job creation
b) a result of "hearing the voters of Massachusetts loud and clear"
Meanwhile others have dismissed this election just like they did Virginia and New Jersey saying that Martha was a poor candidate. Can't argue with that, but remember this was MA were even an alcoholic who left a woman to die in his car while he sobered up can win election after election.
If the Democratic party and Obama does not change they will lose hard in the November elections and they will create the next Ronald Regan stepping up after Obama as Regan did after Carter and pulling the nation together in a way that will echo for decades to come.
My advice to Democrats is as follows
1) Follow through on the tax cuts Obama promised and do it responsibly. After railing Bush for deficit spending Democrats need to show they can cut back out of control spending and eliminate government waste.
2) Look for less government ways to improve health care, not more.
3) End the war in Iraq as promised.
4) Treat terrorists like terrorists. These are NOT US Citizens and should not be told they can remain silent. They are foreign terrorists waging a war on our country and should be treated accordingly.
5) Transparency. It was promised but the opposite was delivered.
If the Democratic party can follow those five pieces of advice their is hope for their future, if not they'll lose harder then Republicans did after Bush.