Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Dems inability to address economic issues will cost them in 2010 elections

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How unusual are things in the 2010 election season? We keep seeing candidates that everyone assumes would win a race not even entering.

Afraid to lose even if you think you will win?

Beau Biden, Delaware Attorney General and son of the vice president, announces that he won’t run for his father’s Senate seat in 2010. The younger Biden was seen as the Democratic Party’s best chance of keeping the seat. In fact, because Biden was seen as the one who would run, Democrats in the state withdrew consideration, and momentum.

Biden waited an awful long time to announce that he wasn’t running. Until this point, Biden had taken a long time to decide what to do. For someone who seemed to want the job, Biden’s sudden change is mystifying.

You could argue that Biden’s time in Iraq changed his perspective, though Biden doesn’t mention it.

But Biden’s exit from the race, the loss of Congressmen who didn’t try for the Senate (Ed Markey, Jan Schakowsky among others), and the newest House retirement — Marion Berry (D-AR) — points to one major issue. There is a fear of running or being in Congress.

The experts have focused on who, but not why, this trend is kicking in for the 2010 election season. Let’s try one theory: teabaggers.

The level of uncivility during the town halls must have scared some in Congress to either retire or not try to move up. It’s one thing to have these occurrences in the South, but if politicians in blue states are running nervous, this doesn’t speak well for democracy.

The teabaggers will tell you they are the pro-democracy ones. After all, they would argue that speaking up is a key element of democracy. But democracy is about speaking up with knowledge and allowing others to speak. Teabaggers went 0-for-2.

The MSM played a role as its coverage of the teabaggers came without criticism, and we’re not even talking about Fox “News” Channel. Those who protest from the left are treated with skepticism by the MSM, those on the right were given the red-carpet treatment.

The MSM was so uncritical of the teabaggers that they didn’t even focus on the legitimate anger that they possessed. The MSM loved their anger, but never asked why they were angry. For all the criticism against the teabaggers, and there is plenty, some of the teabagger anger, however misplaced, was justified.

We have gone through a few generations of economic malaise. Even in the “good” times of the mid-1990s, many of these people still didn’t get the economic benefits that reached the middle class and the upper class.

Even now, as millions of Americans are unemployed or underemployed, President Obama’s focus — finally is on something — but it’s still on the middle class.

If Obama wants to help the teabaggers, and show them he is on their side, the DLC-retread obsession with the “middle class” won’t work, and will antagonize those who really need help.

Those who can’t get themselves up to middle class are much angrier than those in the middle class. Republicans are embracing their anger for their own purposes. Democrats, by and large, are ignoring them completely.

The longer the Democratic Party waits to help these people, the longer 2010 will seem when it comes to the election cycle.


Written by democracysoup

January 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

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