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Reps. Michele Bachmann and Steve King
Exhibit A: House Republicans' immigration leadership
There's such a plethora of really bad Republican stuff for Democrats to campaign against in 2014, how can they possibly choose? That's why The Hill is accusing them of throwing the "kitchen sink" against Republicans. But there's a very real theme behind the Democrats' message that covers all them: Republicans are bad for working people.
While the Democrats’ official campaign strategy focuses wholly on the economy, education and women’s rights, party leaders have charged into the August recess with a much broader message that paints Republicans as too tough on immigrants, too easy on corporate election donors and too focused on toppling President Obama in lieu of helping the middle class.
That's a pretty coherent theme, actually. The Republicans are picking political fights at the behest of their corporate overlords, and abandoning middle class America. Meanwhile,
GOP leaders are running largely on the theme of opposing all-things Obama — a strategy punctuated by their recent push to sue the president over what they consider his habitual abuse of executive power. […]

Karlyn Bowman, a public opinion specialist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said a focus on the middle class will be crucial for both parties leading up to November. The trick for Democrats will be to tie the many elements of their message to that singular motif, she said, while the test for Republicans will be taking advantage of Obama’s low approval ratings without being seen to lack a positive message of their own. [emphasis added]

Given that they are utterly lacking a positive message, or any accomplishments besides suing Obama, that one is going to be a challenge for Republicans. Sure, they'll nail down the base and that will probably be enough for them to hold the House, might be enough for a few Senate pickups, but with an electorate as pissed off as it is, they'll have to bring a lot more to the table for big wins or to face a national election in 2016.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (40+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:12:27 AM PDT

  •  our guys are smarter (18+ / 0-)

    we have the issues and we have the smart strategists.    We have the tech/ground game people and we have the smart-ways-to-put-it people.  I have a very good feeling about the '14 race.

    plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    by anna shane on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:21:13 AM PDT

  •  Part of the way Democrats can focus (18+ / 0-)

    on the middle class is to point to income inequality, how it hurts not just the poor, but also the middle class.  That and student loan reform can become economic wedge issues for our side.

    Anyone arguing that there's no difference between the parties is a fucking moron who can simply go to hell. -- kos

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:21:37 AM PDT

    •  I would love that but you do realize POTUS/ (7+ / 0-)

      White House has decided that "income inequality" is too divisive, right?  "Income inequality" dropped from 2014 State of the Union:

      The White House signaled ahead of the speech that Obama would frame the politically loaded idea of income inequality through the more positive lens of promoting individual opportunity at the bottom of the ladder.
      But he was careful to avoid demanding too much from business leaders or the wealthiest Americans to change this paradigm, simply noting he’s “been asking CEOs to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at new jobs, a new chance to support their families.”

      The speech tried to bring a new, measured tone to the normally fiery debate over inequality as formulated by the Occupy movement and populist heroes like New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio* (D) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Those politicians have gained enormous popularity by taking a blunter approach to inequality, assailing an unfair system that offers breaks to the wealthy while allowing corporations to take advantage of the poor. (!!! JVolvo - so let's move away from that??)

      2014 Strategy: Dems need to water the idea down so as to not a) offend FIRE campaign contributions and b) bum people out with realistic framing.  Chasing those chimeric "late-deciding moderates" is more important than taking it to the hoop with authority.


      --- ---
      *  Of course, one could argue that De Blasio has lost some luster since his mayoral win.  I would counter it's precisely because he's been squeezed and pressured by Third Way Cuomo and since backed off some of his populist positions that has caused the falter.

      "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

      by JVolvo on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 12:59:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was January SotU. Here's July 4 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, 420 forever

        No "income inequality" from POTUS.

        After making fighting income inequality an early focus of his second term, President Obama has largely abandoned talk of the subject this election year in a move that highlights the emerging debate within the Democratic Party over economic populism and its limits.

        During the first half of this year, Obama shifted from income inequality to the more politically palatable theme of lifting the middle class, focusing on issues such as the minimum wage and the gender pay gap that are thought to resonate with a broader group of voters.

        The pivot is striking for a president who identified inequality as one of his top concerns after his reelection, calling it “a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life and what we stand for around the globe.”

        "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition /= GTFO" Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon + JVolvo

        by JVolvo on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 02:42:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  All i hear them talk about (0+ / 0-)

        is income inequality. Grimes spoke about it this week.

    •  What really bugs me about comments like this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DROzone, hbk

      (but doesn't bug me about you personally because I like you) is that the Democrats do have an election agenda and it does address the middle class, income inequality and student loan reform. I'll post a diary about it tomorrow so everyone has a chance to read up on it.

      Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

      by Mopshell on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 03:18:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt it'll get 20 comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that's how things go around here.

        •  You may well be right. (0+ / 0-)

          It's a sad reflection on those who purport to support the Democratic Party, especially those who complain about them not having an agenda when they do! Criticism isn't a problem though - it's criticizing with eyes shut fast that bothers me.  (◕_◕)

          Nevertheless, the diary will be published at about 2:30pm EDT Thursday. Actually, at this stage I think I'd be pleased if it got as many as 20 comments!

          Please note that lamps in the Magic Lamp Emporium are on a genie time-share program so there may be a slight delay in wish fulfillment. (◕‿◕)

          by Mopshell on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 03:55:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree ITSCS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

      by rebel ga on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:28:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Given the title, (8+ / 0-)

    was hoping for a roundup of positive messages by Democratic candidates. Makes one a little sad... Don't know that I'd call Republican bullshit "riches;" "fertilizer," perhaps.

    Maybe one day we can have a country with a halfway decent Republican Party. Then there would be actual competition for good governance. But maybe that day is when the two parties are called the Socialist Party and the Libertarian Party, and I could happily be a left-moderate.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:27:13 AM PDT

  •  And yet no one is predicting a chance in hell (9+ / 0-)

    of us taking the House.

    And the only races that were expected to be threats to us and aren't are VA-SEN and, possibly, LA-SEN.

    Polls are showing Hagan down slightly in NC, Pryor down a few in AR, Grimes down by 1 or 2 in KY, Braley in a dead heat in IA, and Udall and Peters fighting for their lives in CO and MI, respectively.

    On the Gov side, neither FL, AR, ME, MI, IL, WI or HI look like sure wins.  I mean we'll take PA back for sure, but still...

    I watch these polls everyday and the countdown clock I keep running on my desktop tells me polls open in 91 days, 18 hours and 29 minutes and 12 seconds and "Embarrassment of Riches" sounds a little over the top at this point.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:30:02 AM PDT

  •  Democrats positive theme and negative theme (5+ / 0-)

    Last February, we called for Dems to develop a positive theme for 2014. Our suggestion was "We Have Your Back."

    Last month, we called for Dems to add their negative attack against Republicans. We suggested a 2-part attack. #1 is Republican War on Women/LGBT/People of Color/Young People/Middle Class/the Poor. #2 is Republican Failed Leadership, i.e., blocking legislation, failing to pass bills, blocking nominees, shutting down the gov't., etc.

    We're glad to see the Democrats getting this together.

  •  Re: The Tweet (5+ / 0-)

    Michelle Bachmann can read?

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 10:50:35 AM PDT

  •  How do Repugs take advantage of Obama's low (7+ / 0-)

    approval rating when their own approval rating is something like HALF of his?  People don't approve of Barack Obama, but they want to murder Repugs in their sleep.

  •  Sam Wang (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mopshell, MaggieLeftNY, Matt Z
  •  "It's about JOBS, stupid." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, dagnome, Mopshell

    "GOP ≠ JOBS"

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 12:33:23 PM PDT

  •  In a nut shell... (0+ / 0-)

    .. they will run their entire campaign on... "We're even more pissed than you are, can't you see that?!"


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:04:57 PM PDT

  •  Democrats are wimps? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I hate to say this but our party leaders are wimps!  Pelosi, who is my rep in San Francisco, and Reid must step aside.  We need to younger leaders that will push for the principles of the Democrat Party.  Someone made a comment to me and I am now beginning to believe it.  "Republicans stand for something even if it doesn't help the average person but the Democrats they don't stand for anything."  It's true.  Democrats tend to throw issues out there and see which one 'sticks'.  We need our Democrat leaders to stand up to the Republicans.  But then when Pelosi was Speaker of House, she let the Republicans walk all over her.    if the Republican party is in disaaray why are all the political pundits predicting they will take control of the Senate and keep the House?

    •  Please don't use conservative phraseology (5+ / 0-)

      You may not even be aware that you are ceding the framing to the Republicans but the correct usage is "Democratic Party", not the "Democrat Party". The latter has been used for the past twenty years or so as a pejorative by conservatives and is grammatically just as incorrect now as it was when they started doing it. But it goes beyond grammar as it was a deliberate attempt by conservative operatives to express contempt for the party. Please stop.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:27:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Make bigotry the issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Democrats need to nationalize the campaign by making Republican bigotry the issue. Republicans lose when bigotry is the issue.  Americans are not predominately anti-immigrant (especially when the immigrants are children or DREAMers), anti-woman, or anti-gay (at least any more).  The bigotry of Republicans is undeniable and easily demonstrable, and the media (outside of Fox News) will carry water for Democrats on these issues, instead of playing the "they all do it" game.

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:17:11 PM PDT

    •  House Republicans voted for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Steve King's disgusting immigration bill. King may be able to get re-elected in his deep red district, but other GOP candidates can be linked by association and by their votes to King and his xenophobia, homophobia, and general bigotry.

  •  When the Village is whining or complaining (0+ / 0-)

    about something you are doing... do it more.

    The Hill can be as pointed in their adjectives all they want.

    I would personally love it if the entire journalistic commentariat was collectively screaming about how outrageously tough the Democrats are being on the GOP.  

    It's all true. Every word of it.

    Nobody ever got the vapors in DC because Republicans were vicious or tough or unrelenting in a campaign. (Or outright lying, smearing, or cheating for that matter.)

    "Real journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." -George Orwell

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:18:11 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Democrats have an abysmal record for exploiting Republicans' weakness, incompetence, duplicity and malfeasance. We all know it. They will take the "high road" at the urging of their consultants and once again save the Republicans from themselves or so I choose to believe while hoping against hope that they will prove me wrong.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:19:22 PM PDT

  •  In the modern reality of divisive politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you don't win by being for something, you win by being against something.

    What gets Democrats excited isn't a laundry list of progressive visions, it's stupid shit Republicans say. Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney did more to elect Barack Obama than Barack Obama.

    Republicans get excited when they can beat up on Democrats and Democrats get excited when they can beat up on Republicans. Those looking for some ideological vision are imaging a society that doesn't exist. It would be nice if issues got people elected, but they don't. Vitriol does

    Even progressive hero Elizabeth Warren only gets attention when she's yelling at a banker, not when she's proposing student loan reform.

    •  Ugh, there's that word again. (0+ / 0-)
      In the modern reality of divisive politics you don't win by being for something, you win by being against something.
      The simple "reality" that liberal ideas are never effective in elections (much less policy), should never even be brought out, and we will win all the elections simply by pointing out how kooky the R's are.

      God I wish so many people here didn't beleive that.

      Has it ever occurred to you that most everyone already knows how kooky the R's are? That maybe people are, in fact, looking for something to vote for? Probably not.

      What gets Democrats excited isn't a laundry list of progressive visions, it's stupid shit Republicans say.
      Right, this is why we won so big in 2010, right? When all those moderates turned out for us? Jeez.
      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)
        Has it ever occurred to you that most everyone already knows how kooky the R's are? That maybe people are, in fact, looking for something to vote for? Probably not.
        Actually it has, but after a decade of trying to get people excited about these issues, I gave up. In my experience in politics, I find nothing excites people more than beating the other guy. America is a combative country, we like fights. Calling out the other guy gets more attention than trying to sell ideas. After all, we're dealing with a country that's civically and politically illiterate.
        Right, this is why we won so big in 2010, right? When all those moderates turned out for us? Jeez.
        No, what lost us the race in 2010 is that we tried to govern and Republicans used it against us. They won by being against Democrats, not by being Republicans.
  •  A quote from AEI? (0+ / 0-)

    Was Rense Priebus not available?

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:38:28 PM PDT

  •  Out of options. (0+ / 0-)

    "GOP leaders are running largely on the theme of opposing all-things Obama" -  what are they going to use when it is no longer Obama, they have invested so much in anti-Obama rhetoric and yet he will no longer be president regardless.

    Perhaps they (R) will claim responsibility for removing Obama from presidency...?

    Keep religion out of government and I'll keep government out of religion. Do not use god to disprove Science and I will not use science to disprove your god. Do not use faith to judge morals and I will not use morals to judge your faith.

    by Mentat Render on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:44:29 PM PDT

  •  get real (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's the US of A--it's about race.  Obama has dark skin, at least 100 million people hold that against him.  Being against Obama on everything makes sense to bigots.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 05:52:30 PM PDT

  •  If Democrats would get out and VOTE.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Democrats would get out and VOTE....

    •  Your expecting us not too? Wow such little conf... (0+ / 0-)

      Your expecting us not too? Wow such little confidence in your own party, you already let the Republican filth contaminate your mind into thinking we can't win..

    •  Need a positive reason to vote (0+ / 0-)

      The Democratic Party has to have a coherent, inspiring and positive agenda to really get out the vote.  Focusing in republican negatives will NOT do it (see 2010 results).

      Democratic candidates should drafting policy that they can show as examples for "elect me and I will . . ." such as

      Fund infrastructure jobs to rebuild America and the middle class (aka a New New Deal)

      Stop deporting refugees and create a way for them to become productive citizens

      Crack down on environment polluters (see West Virginia, Ohio, etc)

      Level the taxation playing field by treating dividends and interst as ordinary income

      Protect US jobs by elimentating tax advantages for out sourcing and inversions

      Etc etc etc

      While these draft bills will get nowhere in current Congress, having them written and ready would give candidates a concrete positive platform to run on.

      Slagging republican opponents and policies would be a natural follow in contrast, but opening or running on a "look how bad they" message is a loser - particularly for get out the vote

  •  Are we seriously looking too Politico here for ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Are we seriously looking too Politico here for information on real polling and out come data? The same people who predicted a Romney land slide with every other major polling output? Wow has this site lost it's credit... Sense when is the apologize for the GOP and false equivalent nut house that is Politico a good source for this?

  •  "Reading" through the bill? (0+ / 0-)

    I hope it had lots of pictures...

  •  Caption this picture (0+ / 0-)

    Bachmann: THERE'S Waldo! Right behind Jesus on his dinosaur!

    King: Waldo? That name don't sound 'Murikan! Sounds commie, French, and gay to ME!

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:44:43 PM PDT

  •  Photo: All that personality disorder (0+ / 0-)

    in such a small, confined space...

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