Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Change! Democrats Plan to Run Against Bush This Fall

The same, old tired playbook to be unveiled this fall. They've got nothing to run on themselves so they figure they can play the Bush card again.

Weak. Very weak.
House Democrats plan to revive the political ghost of former President George W. Bush in their bid to retain the majority this fall, according to Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the head of the party’s re-election efforts.

Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Tuesday signaled House Democrats will try to repeat their success in the last two election cycles by once again running under a change banner.
Well, if their signature legislation of healthcare is so popular, why not run on that?
“This time we will make the case that supporting a Republican is simply turning back the clock to Bush economic policies, the same policies that got us into this mess to begin with,” he told reporters gathered at the downtown offices of Third Way, a centrist Democratic think thank. Republicans, Van Hollen added, “will I think put themselves clearly in the position where they represent the status quo and that the Democrats, while we have the White House and both houses of Congress, remain the party of change and reform.”

Van Hollen waved off comparisons to the 1994 midterm elections, when insurgent Republicans channeled popular dissatisfaction with Democratic control to knock off 54 Democrats and win back the House. But Van Hollen argued that in 1994 — unlike now — the GOP presented itself as a viable alternative; Democrats were caught flat-footed; and President Bill Clinton’s support was sagging.

And while Van Hollen declined to predict how many seats Democrats will lose in November, he stated flatly they will maintain control of the chamber. “Our Republican colleagues are prematurely measuring the curtains in their new offices and prematurely popping the champagne bottles, because we’re going to make sure this is not 1994 all over again,” he said.
Sure, it won't be 1994 all over again.

It'll be 1946.
Recent polls tell me that the Democratic Party is in the worst shape I have seen during my 50 years of following politics closely. So I thought it would be interesting to look back at the biggest Republican victory of the last 80 years, the off-year election of 1946. Republicans in that election gained 13 seats in the Senate and emerged with a 51–45 majority there, the largest majority that they enjoyed between 1930 and 1980. And they gained 55 seats in the House, giving them a 246–188 majority in that body, the largest majority they have held since 1930. The popular vote for the House was 53% Republican and 44% Democratic, a bigger margin than Republicans have won ever since. And that’s even more impressive when you consider that in 1946 Republicans did not seriously contest most seats in the South. In the 11 states that had been part of the Confederacy, Democrats won 103 of 105 seats and Republicans won only 2 seats in east Tennessee. In the 37 non-Confederate states, in contrast, Republicans won 246 of 330 seats, compared to only 85 for Democrats.

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