Morning Widdershins: Plouffe, The Magic's Draggin'
Posted January 26, 2010on:
Well, it’s official. David Plouffe has been taken out of mothballs, dusted off, and is cranking up some more audacity to win kind of stuff. Apparently, the President has finally noted that all is not well in the kingdom, and the peasants are in full revolt. What to do, what to do? Spend the remaining stimulus bucks on actual job creation? Implement Hillary’s plan to have blanket 4% mortgage refinance and thus end the cascade of foreclosures? Stop spending $5 billion a month on war without end? Redirect the bucks spent bribing drug lords in Afghanistan to American programs? Nope. The President’s plan is to run better campaigns with better candidates. Ergo, he has taken steps to centralize Democratic campaigns by bringing Mr. Plouffe into the DNC.
Now, there is no question that Plouffe was an extraordinary change agent in 2008. His grassroots organization took off like a rocket, and eventually had 13,000,000 activists involved. 2008 was akin to capturing lightning in a bottle, and replicating this will be no mean feat. After eight long years of Dubya, Americans thirsted for change. Out with the old, in with the new. Take one angry country, toss in liberal wads of cash, add some measured amounts of misogyny and name-calling, swirl with soaring orations and the liberal blogosphere and voila! You’ve got yourself one tall, cool, frothy President, garnished with sprigs of hope and change.
Today’s landscape looks considerably different. As previously discussed, OFA is MIA and the rest of the political landscape is looking rather bleak. Beau Biden has announced that he will not seek the Senate seat that was occupied by his father for the past thirty years. Harry Reid, Blanche Lincoln, and Evan Bayh all have polling issues in varying degrees from poor to just awful. A number of moderate Democrats in the House have also announced impending retirements. And, of course, there was the recent Boston Massacre. Plouffe needs to start fluffing ASAP.
Sunday’s Washington Post boasted an op-ed written by Plouffe in which he stated “But it’s long been clear that 2010 would be a challenging election year for our party.” He admits to the need to “defend a more fragile turf” and “a white-knuckled ride for many of our candidates.”
In order to avert such election debacles as Massachusetts, Virginia, and New Jersey from becoming the norm, Plouffe wisely recommends that Democrats do the business of the electorate, rather than carry water for lobbyists and special interest groups. He further suggests that a properly functioning government should “foster the security” of the middle class. He then states “Many of last year’s accomplishments are down payments on those principles.” (Interesting choice of words, no doubt, but if the down payments have been made, why is the public still standing on the roadside rather than breezing down the highway in the governmentmobile? ) Plouffe then recommends a seven-point attack on the problems confronting the American public.
- Pass a meaningful health insurance reform package without delay. Plouffe admits here that “the short term politics are bad”, and that it has “become a demonized caricature”. He postulates that even if the plan is shelved, Republicans will continue to attack. Should the plan pass, however, “dozens” of unspecified “protections and benefits will take effect this year”. He also notes that health care is a jobs creator.
- We need to show that we are not only focused on jobs, but also create them. He states that the Administration has some “terrific plans”, but the private sector is essentially dragging its feet. Democrats must lay a foundation for growth through efforts in education, energy, and health care reform. “Politically difficult” measures must be passed in order to stabilize the economy in the short term.
- Make sure that voters understand what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act did for the economy. Oh, indeed this will be a challenge, Mr. Plouffe. He avers that Democrats must “lift up” teachers, police officers and construction workers” who are working thanks to Obama’s leadership. He admits that these efforts have been stigmatized, and vows to show the real truth: that the Democrats “broke the back of the recession with not a single Republican vote.”
- Don’t accept any lectures on spending. He correctly notes that the Republicans managed to turn a $236 billion dollar surplus into a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit in eight short years. He states that this administration has “potent talking points on health care, honest budgeting, and cuts in previously sacrosanct programs.” He further claims that Republicans are pawns of the Wall Street lobbyists, and only the Democrats can keep honest workers from being left in the dust.
- Change is not just about policies. Plouffe claims that ethics reforms were passed by the Democrats, and is horrified at the recent Gallup poll showing that 55% of respondents find Congress to be unethical. He plans special help for the newest members of the House so that they can show their constituents that they are delivering.
- Run great campaigns. He vows that Democratic campaigns will use grassroots volunteers, technology, fund raising efforts and voter registration campaigns. He plans to have candidates build relationships with voters, especially newer voters, and keep them fired up.
- No bed wetting. Plouffe’s plan? “Fight like hell.”
Good luck, Mr. Plouffe. Methinks that the electorate has learned a lot in the past twelve months, and that it will take more than fluffing and buffing this time. The Democrats have some explaining to do.
This is an open thread.
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