As of this first week in September 2007, I am not confident that the Democratic nominee will win the 2008 presidential election. Rather, I have been growing increasingly more pessimistic the party’s will make the vote even close.
Right now, the Republican Party’s 2008 strategy appears to be distraction, disruption, and delay. And despite the enthusiasm and optimism found on left-leaning blogs, a collectively small community, in the greater electoral playing field, I see signs of the Republicans’ 3d strategy working.
In 2000, the traditional media dwelt on fictionalized “character flaws” of Al Gore. These little sounds bites “boring”, “wooden”, “dull”, “invented the Internet”, “liar”, etc. were shaped with the help of Republican noise machine. Through endless repetition, they wormed their way into popular culture and into the homes of the voters. The same little vicious sound bites materialized again in 2004. From Howard Dean’s oft-repeated “scream” to the swiftboating of John Kerry, the Republicans’ tactic of introducing that little nagging doubt in the voter’s mind is repeated.
So, it should come as no surprise that in 2008, the doubting mosquito is once again buzzing in peoples’ ears. Bzzzzz. John Edwards gets expensive haircuts. Bzzzzz. Barack Obama is inexperienced. Bzzzzz. Hillary Clinton has high negatives. Just enough doubt buzzes repeated past the ears of the voters. For the most part, Chris Dodd seems largely ignored by the right, and the other Democratic candidates are ridiculed by many on the left to render them nonthreatening.
The negative buzzing distracts away from the positive message of change each Democratic presidential candidate is trying to convey. The buzzing of nagging doubts will undoubtedly grow louder and louder over the next 14 months.
In the 100th Congress, the Republicans have proved to be good at disrupting the agenda of the Democrats. The Democrats, for some reasons I’ve never been able to figure out, seem to believe that their “colleagues” across the aisle will play the game by the same, time-honored rules. What I think the Democrats are slow to recognize is not only are the rules changing, but the Republicans keep changing the game board.
For some reason, the Democratic leadership, at least in Congress, feel that 2008 is their year. It is as if they are counting their chickens before they hatch. But what if 2008 doesn’t come exactly as planned, then what happens? For example, dday writes on Daily Kos about “the Republican dirty trick that would change the way California apportions its electoral votes at the last minute and give up to 20 EVs to the Republican nominee in 2008.” What if the initiative passes? Or, take the problems with election fraud that happened in Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000. There hasn’t been a sustained investigation in Congress to insure votes cast in the 2008 general election will count and that those voters eligible to vote in the election will be able to do so.
Lastly, with all the jostling for who gets to go first in the primaries, the Republicans have been able to show to the voters Democratic discord and delay the Democratic presidential candidates from campaigning in important swing states. This narrative of disharmony and delay that is shaping up in the traditional media can be seen in this blog entry at the Chicago Tribune, Democratic disarray gives GOP Florida headstart:
The stunning decision by Democratic candidates to boycott Florida if it holds an early presidential primary potentially gives Republicans a head start in the largest electoral swing state.
Both major parties in Florida face sanctions because of the Jan. 29 primary set by state law. But Democrats have pledged to avoid campaigning in states that violate party rules, while Republican candidates still have incentives to establish direct contact with Florida voters.
The result may be a wide-open field for Republicans over the next five months to establish momentum for the general-election campaign while Democrats bicker among themselves.
So through control of the Florida state legislature and governorship, the Republicans once again are disrupting the Democrats in the Sunshine State. The Democratic presidential candidates are not only delayed, but most voters will receive only two messages put forth by the traditional media: 1) the Democrats are in disarray and 2) the Democrats are punishing the voters of Florida, while the Republicans are courting them.
Of course, none of my ‘analysis’ is new and I could certainly be accused of buying into the negatives offered by the 3d strategy. But since this is a spankin’ new blog, I thought I’d share what was on my mind without worrying too much of what y’all would think of me.
So, I guess it all comes down to this question. When it comes to the 2008 election, how many chickens do the Democrats see in this picture?