Last night on “Larry King Live,” Michael Moore remarked that the Democratic Party must be holding strategy meetings to come up with ever more brilliant ideas on how to lose this election. It’s getting ridiculous.
First of all, from the progressive policy standpoint at least the Democratic Party has been a miserable failure in Congress and the White House beginning in 2007. We can skip the agonizing details, already covered in many One Utah posts. Just look at what they have done lately:
Item: Last month Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine promised a major announcement. It turned out to be… a new party logo, best described as a “D” in a hole. Some of us think the Dems deserve an “F” instead of a “D.” Cenk Uygur comments.
Item: Congress adjourned at the end of September without taking action on whether or not to cut income tax rates on incomes under $250,000, because Dems were afraid that the massive tax cut they wanted to enact would be portrayed as a tax hike by Republicans, and because Blue Dog Dems are actually in favor of more tax cuts for millionaires on top of the other tax cuts.
Item: On October 6, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano proudly announced that the Obama administration has deported a record 392,862 immigrants over the last year, an increase of more than 81,000 deportations over the final year of George W. Bush’s presidency.
Item: On October 10, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod indicated that the White House would do nothing to stop the epidemic of fraudulent home mortgage foreclosures. A record 816,000 families lost their homes to foreclosure in the first nine months of 2010. The crisis has already deteriorated to the point where title insurance companies won’t cover sales of foreclosed homes, and major banks are voluntarily halting foreclosures.
Item: On October 12, Secretary of the Interior Salazar immediately lifted the government moratorium on offshore oil drilling instead of waiting until November 30 (or extending it indefinitely, which would the right thing to do).
Item: California District Court Judge Virginia Phillips has found that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) rule prohibiting homosexuals from serving in the U.S. military is unconstitutional, and on October 12 she issued an injunction blocking the military from enforcing DADT, effective immediately. The Judge Advocate General of the Air Force published guidance to commanders, telling them to comply with the order. What did the Obama DOJ do? They filed a notice of appeal and requested an emergency stay of the injunction!
How bad is 2010 going to be for Democrats? It’s hard to know in advance, because so much depends on voter turnout in mid-term elections. Probably the Dems will keep control of the Senate and lose the House of Representatives. I would recommend Nate Silver’s projections (currently a gain of 48 House seats for the GOP), although the main thing he is projecting is a very high degree of uncertainty:
[T]his U.S. House election is frankly one that calls for some hedging and humility. The 95 percent confidence interval on our model runs between a Republican gain of 17 seats and 78.
A net gain of 40 or more House seats gets the Republicans to the magic number 218. A GOP majority in the House would probably force a government shutdown in 2011. That’s not all. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has proclaimed, “all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another.” And then there’s impeachment of the President. “We should demand an Impeachment Inquiry as one of the first orders of business of the new Congress,” says a new direct mail campaign going out to conservatives.
UPDATE: Paul Krugman has a good column about the foreclosure fraud crisis.
True to form, the Obama administration’s response has been to oppose any action that might upset the banks, like a temporary moratorium on foreclosures while some of the issues are resolved. Instead, it is asking the banks, very nicely, to behave better and clean up their act. I mean, that’s worked so well in the past, right?