by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest column for National Review Online focuses on notable holes in Democrats’ 2014 election strategy.
Obama and the Democrats chose not to defend the administration’s record of the last six years. On foreign policy, no Democratic chorus seconded Obama’s 2013 claim that this chaotic period in world affairs has been the most stable time in recent memory. …
… On the home front, why didn’t Democratic candidates run on their own prior overwhelming support for the Affordable Care Act, which passed without a single Republican vote? Could they have told voters that, at some future date, Obamacare, as promised, really would lower premiums and deductibles, reduce the deficit, expand coverage, and ensure that people could keep existing plans and doctors?
Could a few Democrats have at least made the reelection argument that stimulatory policies of adding $7 trillion in new debt, maintaining continual near-zero interest rates, and approving a $1 trillion stimulus had led to a robust recovery after the end of the recession in mid 2009? …
… If Democrats didn’t wish to run on their party’s past record, why didn’t they promise to fulfill Obama’s incomplete agenda that was short-circuited by the loss of the House in 2010?
In 2009, the Democratic House had voted to pass a cap-and-trade bill under Obama’s direction, but it was never passed by the Senate. Why didn’t Democratic candidates vow that they would see it through in 2015? Or promise to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline for good? Or vow to keep with the Obama agenda of curbing new federal leases for gas and oil exploration?
Under Obama, an effectively open border, coupled with de facto amnesties, has led to massive new influxes of foreign citizens at the southern border. Why didn’t Democrats promise to continue Obama’s laissez faire immigration policy?
Couldn’t the Democrats have pointed to Obama’s handling of the Ebola crisis, lauding his choice of Washington, D.C., fixer Ron Klain as a medically savvy, hands-on Ebola czar? Or to the president’s dynamic air war against the Islamic State?
Democrats understandably chose to ignore both what they had voted for in the past and what they were likely to support in the future.
Instead, they ran on the same old progressive idea of community organizing to get out the base. Obama was the past master of this strategy: energize American voters by contending that we have been separated by race, class, and gender; claim that conservatives have been waging pitiless war against blacks, Latinos, gays, women, and the poor; and then cobble back together the aroused and aggrieved interests to form a majority.