Tone Deaf

The WaPo thought to ask a pair of democrats for their views on the upcoming election.  While Donna Edwards seemed rather reasonable, Jim Moran gives a hackneyed analysis:

But some other explanations of the Democrats’ woes, especially from Moran, seemed complacent and even counterproductive. Moran believes that Democrats are temporary victims of knee-jerk opposition to the “profound, watershed event” of electing an African American president. The GOP’s current energy is fueled largely by fear and racism, he said, and by manipulation of grass-roots sentiment by a handful of ultra-rich families funding the tea party.

When you frame your opposition with such negative accusations, it’s easier to dismiss their argument without considering the substance. Moran continues:

“Many people who will be elected in the House and Senate don’t represent the majority,” Moran said. The expected GOP surge will be short-lived, he predicted, because Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012 will spur increased turnout among minorities, liberals and the young.

The Republicans’ current intensity shows only that “the brightest stars are most often shooting stars which are on their way down,” Moran said.

That’s a fair point. Perhaps Congressman Moran can introduce the pots to the kettle in the White House.

Interestingly enough, the WaPo doesn’t let this flawed premise go by unchallenged:

That kind of thinking is not going to help the Democrats or the nation. For one thing, passionate opposition to Obama is not automatically a sign of racism, and I’ve got an excellent example to prove it: Bill Clinton.

There was a strong backlash against the Democrats in 1994, two years after Clinton pushed a national health-care program, just as there is now. It wasn’t racism then, obviously, and it’s misleading and unfair to assume that racism is the GOP’s primary motivation now.

As for the rich footing many of the tea party’s bills, yes, it’s happening and is the latest sign of the problem of the exploding influence of money in politics. But the people who are about to vote for the GOP, according to polls, are energized mainly by dissatisfaction with the status quo and dislike of the Democrats’ policies.

If the liberals want to storm back in 2012, they’re going to have to convince people that they offer more-effective government. It’s not enough to rely on complaints about racism and fat cat interference.

Exactly right. It’s not racist to be concerned about the national debt and the deficit. The American people are simply sick to death of out of control government spending. It’s just that simple. Both parties have their fringe and fat cat influence issues, so Moran’s argument on that point is hypocritical leaving his analysis at racism. Such a gross distortion of the issue suggests, to me at least, that the democrats either lack the ability to effectively argue against it or they are tone deaf to the problem. If that’s the case, here’s a hint paraphrasing their pal James Carville: it’s the spending, Stupid.

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