Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DSCC urges quick offensive

DSCC urges quick offensive for 2010 - POLITICO.com Print View

Discuss: If you were a Dem candidate/manager are these the questions you would use against Republicans? If you were a Republican candidate/manager, how would you respond if these were used against you? And is it just me or do these sound like questions that might have come from last summer but which are now outdated (or come from 1964 or 1933??)


  1. If I were a Dem candidate/manager these are not the questions I would use against Republicans to start a campaign. These questions seem more of jabs that could be used in a memo or a debate when arguing over more pressing policy issues. I would try to tie in the reforming of health care, and position the issue as a way of bringing down costs of meidcare and other entitlements and thus bring down national debt. I would also urge my candidate to support the fiscal commission that President Obama is trying to enact and press my opponent if they had voted against the Senate version of the bill.

    As a Republican candidate/manager, I would use a line from President Obama and say that the Dems are playing "politics as usual". Then make the point that none of the questions have bearing on the issues we are focused on: creating jobs, cutting taxes, lower govt spending. I would make sure as to not fall in the trap of claiming President Obama was not born in the US. With these questions it seems an easy layup for a GOP candidate, first outright dismiss, pivot to more pressing and popular issues, then throw in a jab at the Dems.
    These questions do indeed seem outdated. I do not have a poll but I think a vast majority of Americans strongly support Social Security and Medicare. I have also not heard of many Republicans trying to take these programs away from citizens. Sure some republicans wanted or want to privatize social security but not take away these programs. Also during the summer, the Republicans were the ones trying to claim that the health care bill passed in the house would cut out lots of money from medicare. I understand the strategy of trying to create some in-fighting between a radical republican and a moderate but I think the DSCC needs to re-focus and use issues that are being debated currently. I also do not think blaming President Bush is going to work very well in the upcoming election cycle, and this is a trap that many Dems may fall into.

  2. I stand corrected I guess some Republican candidates are still going with the Obama birth certificate issue.....

  3. I agree to a great extent with Mitchel F’s comments about how as a democratic candidate or manager, I wouldn’t ask these types of questions, especially the more radical of the questions (e.g. Obama’s citizenship, socialism questions). I believe these questions and the arguments they evoke are tired and not constructive as I think they can backfire by arousing a feeling of, as Mitchel F said, “politics as usual.” This would especially be true to vocal proponents of Obama’s presidency and agenda as he based his entire campaign on “change” from the status quo.

    As a democratic strategist, I would first ask questions to Republicans concerning the health care bill given the prominence of that debate and the place it holds in the public discourse at the moment. I think it would be wise if Democrats asked Republicans specifically what they would propose as a health alternative to the bill in Congress at present. Given the vocal Republican opposition to the bill, I think these sorts of questions would be advantageous to Democrats as they would put Republicans in an uncomfortable predicament – if they just point to what they don’t agree with in the current bill and don’t propose a new bill or even specific changes, they could be tagged with that harmful “party of no” label. This way, Republicans would be forced to impress potential voters and supporters with their “solution” to America’s health care system rather than absorb voters simply because they are left with an unattractive plan proposed by Democrats. Rather than play into the hands of Republicans by asking other questions, Democrats would force Republicans to “play their hand” and state their core beliefs.

    Though if the Politico.com questions were asked, as a Republican candidate/manager, I would too turn the tables on the Democrats and focus on the economy, jobs, and the national debt. I think the public is becoming increasingly disillusioned with the idea that Obama has put forth that we will “spend our way” out of the recession through massive “stimulus”/spending bills. Instead, as a Republican strategist, I would explore the idea of tax cuts for families and small businesses, especially with April 1st looming just around the corner. Given the rising impatience among Americans with the lack of “stimulus” provided by the stimulus bill to the economy and the slowly improving job market, people will be looking for a new strategy in Washington to improve the economy.

  4. I think these questions are irrelevant and very outdated. Democrats are sidestepping the real issue which is not passing any of the high profile proposals, like health care, that they have promised. The Democrats need to stop playing the blame game and start producing results.

    Additionally, these questions are side stepping the real issue in this nation which is unquestionably jobs and the economy. Democrats in Congress should really be asking questions about how Republicans how they intend to deal with issues like a double digit unemployment rate, a 1.267 trillion dollar budget deficit, and a still sluggish economy. Perhaps the Republicans can do no better. What about health care? Many Americans feel it needs to be reformed in some way, but there have been very little ideas from the right introduced. Questions about relevant issues need to be asked, not questions about Obama's citizenship or perceived socialist tendencies. In my opinion, that is mindless, irrelevant jabber, and I think any Republican would dismiss it as such. The Republicans have learned that they can win by taking a note from former President Clinton: "It's the economy, stupid."

    Finally, the Democrats should also be acknowledging some of their accomplishments, like the Dow Jones, which has steadily increased since mid-March, or their successful 'Cash for Clunkers' program. Even the positive rate of return on some of the bailout money that was given to banks should be recognized. While there have been few accomplishments for the Dems as of late, they need to be able to show some form of success rather than asking these irrelevant, poor questions.

  5. It is incorrect to assert that republicans are not bringing anything to the table when it comes to Health Care. The fact of the matter is that President Obama as well as both houses in Congress are not providing any opportunity for bipartisanship - as Obama himself has pointed out. The real reason that President Obama doesn't want to compromise in any way - even in the areas that both parties agree with, such as tort reform, is that once these issues succeed and start to drive down costs, what little public desire for health care reform exists now will eventually dwindle down to nothing. This - not surprisingly - is not acceptible, as without the public call for more health care reform, their opportunity for passing a completely government run health care system is effectively taken away.


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