Wednesday, June 28, 2017

SAYING IT AGAIN: IF DEMOCRATS NEED AN AGENDA TO WIN ELECTIONS, WHY DOESN'T THE GOP THINK IT DOES?

Shortly after Jon Ossoff lost that special election, I noted that critics were urging the Democratic Party to put together a solid agenda in order to win elections, but Republicans apparently don't need much of an agenda to win. (Karen Handel beat Ossoff while running away from important parts of the GOP agenda.) A story in The Washington Post right now makes clear that running on attacks rather than an agenda is the GOP's plan for 2018:
The leader of the most important House GOP super PAC said Tuesday that the group will double-down on tried-and-true tactics for electing Republicans in 2018: tying Democratic candidates to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, which has ties to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), plans to spend $100 million on next year’s midterm elections, and Executive Director Corry Bliss said in a memo released Tuesday that he sees no reason to abandon a strategy that has paid dividends for six years — most recently in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where CLF advertising featuring Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her San Francisco district helped define and defeat Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in this month’s special election there.

“During the 2018 cycle, CLF will spend millions of dollars highlighting Nancy Pelosi’s toxic agenda and reminding voters across the country that Democratic candidates are nothing more than rubber stamps for her out-of-touch, liberal policies,” Bliss said in the memo....

“While results pointed to different sets of key issues from one district to the next, we did find a common denominator: Nancy Pelosi,” Bliss wrote.
Excuse me: Nancy Pelosi isn't an issue. Health care is an issue. Immigration is an issue. Education is an issue. Nancy Pelosi is a human piñata. But this is apparently how the Republicans plan to run next year -- not on their positions on any actual issues, but on OOGA BOOGA KILL THE WITCH.

The CLF memo quotes a Washington Post story:
A Quinnipiac poll last month, in fact, showed exactly 50 percent of registered voters had an unfavorable view of her vs. just 30 percent who had a favorable one. Even among Democrats, about 1 in 5 (19 percent) didn't like Pelosi. And independents were overwhelmingly anti-Pelosi, with 58 percent disliking her and 23 percent holding a positive view of her.
But that same poll shows Paul Ryan with a 54% unfavorable rating and only a 27% favorable rating; 26% of Republicans view him unfavorably. All three of those numbers are worse than the numbers the CLF quotes for Pelosi. But Republicans are still going to try to frame every campaign in 2018 as a referendum on her.

Well, of course they don't want to frame those campaigns as referenda on their own agenda (tax cuts for the rich, primarily), much less on their own accomplishments in the Trump era (still waiting). And yet they'll almost certainly retain control of the Senate and could well keep control of the House. Agendas are for suckers, I guess.

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