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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Senator Chuck Schumer said today that “the Democrats are tired of losing,” and further clarified by reapeatedly saying that “the Democrats want to win.”. Schumer explained, “That’s what I see, that’s what voters want. They want change.” Now this is the sort of fiery rhetoric that the DNC really needs to energize its base as the campaigns approach. Seriously, though, I think this uninspired babble really captures the spirit of the Dems at this juncture. We know what all they hate about the current administration-the war on terror, NSA “wiretaps” (overblown beyond compare), global warming, price-gouging oil companies (a bandwagon that has unfortunately had a few Republican passengers as well), conservative judges, yadda yadda yadda. What do the Dems have to offer? Nothing more than that nebulous yet iconic entity, Change.
A Harris poll taken early this month showed the approval ratings for congressional Democrats only a couple of points higher than Republicans, so it appears that public dissatisfaction with the congress is non-partisan. If we look ahead to what the voters want to see this fall, the numbers still provide little sense of optimism for the Dems. An ABC News/Washington Post poll of June 3 shows that 40% of Americans think the country should follow Bush’s lead while 42% favor the Democrats’ “plan.” This demonstrates no clear advantage for the Dems; it instead shows that they have far to go in order to change the tide.
A visit to http://www.democrats.com shows how innovative the Dems are in formulating their strategy for the fall. Its full of reactionary populist drivel addressing all the latest headlines coupled with the tired old cast of subjects like “No…real plan in Iraq,” “Tax Cuts for the Rich,” and “Civil Rights…in Jeopardy.” The optimism on behalf of the Dems stands on a shallow foundation whose cement is mixed from premature thoughts that the GOP congress is dead. This optimism on the part of the Dems is contingent upon the GOP’s ability to shore up its image in time for November. There still much time, and the recent good press on Iraq shows how easily the pendulum can swing in the Republicans’ favor. If the best rabble-rousing line Democratic leaders can offer is “we want to win,” then they stand ill-prepared to take advantage of potential GOP weakness in the coming months.