Sunday, August 8, 2010

Slogans, spin, and excuses...

Cross-post from Pundit & Pundette

What do Dems have to offer to a veteran who sees homelessness one year away?

Slogans, spin, and excuses.

Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post takes the temperature of Virginia voters and finds that the boiling anger of last August has simmered down into a mixture of frustration, disaffection, and serious anxiety:
Most of all, people want to talk about the economy. [. . .]

In this district where unemployment is running in the double digits, "what you're seeing is a deeper anxiety," Perriello said Thursday after his second town hall in two days. "Can I just get through this quarter, and this month, and pay my bills? Can we ever get back" to where things used to be? [. . .]

With polls consistently showing that dissatisfaction with Washington is at or near record levels, another word for what voters are feeling right now might be "frustration," or "despair," or "disgust." Ask Donald Burroughs which best describes his feeling about elected officials these days and he says, "All of it."

Burroughs, a veteran who lost his job when his employer moved the business to China, can see homelessness from his house:

"I just can't see the avoidance of a depression, not from my end of things," Burroughs told Perriello. "This time next year, you might be talking to me living out of a vehicle."
The Democrats' strategy, to any struggling citizen who takes notice of it, sounds like spin and excuse-making:
Like just about every other Democrat who hopes to hang on to his job, Perriello tries to explain to his constituents that government bailouts and stimulus spending pulled the economy back from the precipice.
That scare tactic may have worked in the fall of '08 but its power to frighten voters has weakened.

He also touts the $2.9 million of federal money that will be spent to save teacher jobs and fix up the schools in Charlotte County, and the stimulus funds that will bring access to high-speed Internet service to every one of the homes and businesses in a county that still lacks a stoplight.
Most voters would undo the stimulus if they could. They see it as part of the problem, not as a solution.

All the Dems seem to have are lame slogans:
Strategists in both parties know that once the campaign season enters its final stretch on Labor Day, it will be difficult to change the course of the election. So Democratic House leaders sent their members home for August with pocket cards of talking points headlined "WE CAN'T GO BACK" and a list of weekly messages to push.

"We want the power of all of our voices to convey these messages, so we ask you to plan public events and media interactions in your district around weekly themes -- if they work for you," the leaders wrote in a memo to their troops.

Last week was "Make It in America" week, to be followed by "Protecting Social Security Week," "Consumer Protection Week," "Small Business Week" and "Troops & Veterans Week." The week of Sept. 6 will bring a reprise of "Make It in America" week.
Obama is also emitting the "we can't go back" meme. But the majority of Americans are hoping -- audaciously, perhaps -- that we can.

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