( – promoted by buhdydharma )
E. J. Dionne has a bit of good news today in his editorial in today’s Daily News Record, “Issues This Year ‘Moving the Democrats’ Way.” He supports Barack Obama’s new political voice by pointing out the recent election success of Democrat Don Cazayoux in Louisiana. It seems that the Republican Party has had the 6th District in their pockets for 33 years. They ran the usually successful campaign of “slash and burn,” “guilt by association,” and “tax and spend.” They lost.
In a district that Republicans had held for 33 years, the party and its candidate Woody Jenkins ran a campaign straight from their tattered playbook. Republicans tried to persuade voters that Cazayoux was really pronounced “Tax You” and were unrelenting in trying to tie Cazayoux to Obama and the Democratic House speaker.
“A Vote for Don Cazayoux is a vote for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi,” one ad declared. “If Don Tax You gets to Washington, he’ll do what they tell him to do.” Another ad cast the stakes this way: “Is Obama right for Louisiana? Is Pelosi? You decide.” Decide the voters did, not so much for Obama and Pelosi as against the very concept of the Republican campaign. Cazayoux ran as a conservative on guns and abortion, but relied on national Democratic themes in advocating for “middle-class families” and the proposition that “every family should have health care.”
Senator Obama has regained his balance after the recent media broadsides about race and religion, has taken the body blows from Senator Clinton, and has engaged the debate with Senator McCain in anticipation of the fall presidential campaign. It appears that the “change” that Obama has been proclaiming since the beginning of the campaign is taking root. In Louisiana, the voters voted against the Republicans as much as they voted for Cazayoux. This is especially significant in that a Democrat won for the first time in 33 years. Could the political landscape be turning? Is this perhaps an indication that the divisive politics of the past might give way to the uniting politics of change?
In his speech Tuesday night, Obama predicted that his opponents would “play on our fears and exploit our differences.” He would face “the same names and labels they always pin on everyone who doesn’t agree with all their ideas, the same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives, by pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy, in the hopes that the media will play along.” And then he promised “to make this year different.”
The best thing for America right now is a hard turn away from political business as usual. The Republicans have enjoyed 28 years of being the top dog. Bloggers are still reminding us that what they’ve accomplished during their reign of error is still better than “Carter Malaise”, the “Great Depression”, “Stagflation”, and “Hoovervilles.” That two of those four are on the Republican Party doesn’t seem to matter in the attack dog right wing blogosphere.
The War Party has a tired and worn platform. They are still running against the New Deal, the 60’s, and are still trying to justify the Vietnam debacle and the Watergate scandals of the 70’s. They’ve pushed too hard, divided the country to the point that they’ve finally isolated themselves and are reduced to lobbing rhetorical mortar shots from behind their safe ideological walls. These are OLD ideas that have little relevance to today’s political climate. Democrats have the pulse of the nation, the Republicans are mired in the past.
Newt Gingrich said it best in a recent issue of Human Events Magazine.
The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti- Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.
This model has already been tested with disastrous results.
In 2006, there were six incumbent Republican Senators who had plenty of money, the advantage of incumbency, and traditionally successful consultants.
But the voters in all six states had adopted a simple position: “Not you.” No matter what the GOP Senators attacked their opponents with, the voters shrugged off the attacks and returned to, “Not you.”
The danger for House and Senate Republicans in 2008 is that the voters will say, “Not the Republicans.
He goes on to say:
The Republican loss in the special election for Louisiana’s Sixth Congressional District last Saturday should be a sharp wake up call for Republicans: Either Congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this November.
Folks the tide is turning. I’m more encouraged by this news than I have been in this whole political season. It ain’t over till it’s over, but hope is abounding. The dogs of the war party are losing the scent, the Great American Hypocrites are being exposed finally as political frauds. Their true aims of Empire and Monarchy have been exposed. The choice between Empire and Republic is clear. Republicans have chosen Empire, Democrats will return us to a Republic. President Barack Obama…I like the sound of that!