The Self Made Pundit
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
THE MORNING AFTER: You have to give people a reason to vote for you. The Democrats didn’t and they lost Congress last night. It’s that simple.
Fearing to confront a popular war-time leader, Democrats have too often shied away from confronting Bush and his disastrous economic policies in the past year. The Democrats have also failed to articulate their own alternative economic plan. By acting as if they were embarrassed to be Democrats, the Democrats have actually reinforced the Republican attacks on Democrats.
The Democrats have behaved as if voters would vote for them only if they didn’t make too much of a fuss. Instead, many voters heard Democrats asking to be ignored and those voters complied.
The Democrats’ timid approach flies in the face of American history, which shows voters want politicians to have plans to deal with problems. The Republicans’ Contract With America did not prove especially popular after Republicans captured Congress in 1994, but it had already served its purpose on the campaign trail by convincing voters Republicans had a substantive plan.
During World War II the Republicans did not shy away from attacking FDR and his domestic policies while supporting the war. Those Republicans were not viewed as unpatriotic for engaging in politics. Today’s Democrats need to realize that true patriotism requires one to fight for those policies – both domestic and foreign – that are in the country’s best interests. Besides being the right thing to do, such an approach will attract more voters than the Democrats’ fainthearted approach of the past year.
I hope the Democrats learn at least one lesson from this election. You can’t beat something with nothing.
As a final point for this election wrap-up, I note that many Democratic leaning pundits have egg on their faces for being too optimistic about the Democratic prospects in the election. The Self Made Pundit, however, is content to note that his electoral prognostication skills (see the previous post) have improved since his prediction in 1972 of a McGovern presidency.