ALL THAT'S LEFT OF THE DEMOCRATS' BRAND -- AND THEY WON'T USE IT
Here's The Washington Post on the prospect that Barack Obama (and, by implication, congresssional Democrats) will run on the issue of the GOP's refusal to raise taxes on the rich:
The trouble for Obama is that presidents generally do not want to turn their reelection campaigns into crusades for higher taxes. Polling data may show voters siding with Obama on the details, but in general Democrats lose when Republicans paint them as tax-and-spend liberals....
Look, this is all the Democrats have left -- they haven't signed a blood oath never to raise taxes on stinking-rich people, and the Republicans have.
According to this page and this PDF, 234 out of 240 Republican House members have signed Grover Norquist's pledge never to raise taxes on anyone -- but only 2 of 193 Democrats. In the Senate, 40 of 47 Republican Senators have signed the pledge; only 1 of 53 Democrats-plus-independents, Ben Nelson, has signed.
So here's your ad campaign:
You buy billboards and put up a picture of a rich, smug, J. Wellington Worthington III sort of guy. He stands before his mansion and his Bentley. He reeks of wealth and privilege. Maybe his pockets literally bulge with cash.
The caption reads:
95% OF ALL REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS
HAVE VOWED NEVER TO RAISE MY TAXES!
And, under that:
VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS
Look, there aren't going to be any jobs between now and November 2012. There isn't going to be a recovery. There isn't going to be any reason for hope.
All the Democrats have is the potential to tap into the genuine, deep-seated, spontaneous, and entirely justified class resentment of the American people. They can't offer FDR-style Keyensianism anymore -- that's now as taboo as gun control. All they can offer is, maybe, a return to Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthy.
They should run on that. They should run primarily on that. They've got nothing to lose. And they've got nothing else.