UPDATE - 7/15, 7:00 PM: Politico makes a nearly identical argument. Ace tears it to shreads. Details below.
The folks at ABC News are confused. Democrats are passing all this awesome legislation, they posit, so why are Americans acting so hostile and looking to hand Congress to the GOP? The key problems, ABC's Z. Byron Wolf deduces, are that Democrats simply have not embraced liberalism enough and Americans have failed to perceive just how great the Democratic agenda has been.
"The imminent passage of a tough new Wall Street Reform bill," wrote Wolf, pictured right, on ABC's website, "will cap off a wildly productive two years for Democrats in Washington – they will have passed two pieces of sweeping legislation and an enormous $800 billion stimulus bill to deal with the ailing economy."
Wolf goes on to wonder why those three pieces of legislation haven't benefited Democrats' electoral prospects. Let's see: 6% of Americans believe the stimulus bill created jobs, a strong majority favors repealing the health care bill, and almost 80% of Americans polled have little or no confidence that the financial reform bill will achieve its stated objectives. Is Wolf still confused?
He goes on to write that Democrats' problems stem from the fact that they just have not embraced liberalism to a great enough degree.
"Rather than energize the electoral base that helped put Democrats in control of Congress in 2006 -- and President Obama in the White House in 2008," Wolf writes, "the accomplishments have often frustrated activists, who see compromised ideals and watered-down bills instead of legislative victories."
If this is supposed to be an explanation for Democrats' poor prospects in November, it falls well short.
First of all, the districts where Dems are vulnerable are by and large ones they picked up in 2006 and 2008 from sitting Republicans that couldn't shake the tarnished Republican name. Now that Bush is a memory, red state Dems need to court moderate Republicans, not cater to the far left.
Furthermore, the number of Americans who identify themelves as "conservative" is at its highest point since 1994, when Republicans walloped Dems in the midterm elections. Forty-nine percent of the nation believes that Democrats are too liberal, up 10 points from 2008. Only 10 percent believe they are too conservative.
A shift to the left is not going to be a winning strategy.
While Republicans have, since President Bush left office, instituted an almost myopic, party-wide focus on spending and debt, Democrats have struggled to rally behind their versions of health reform and Wall Street reform. They could barely find enough votes to pass the bills. And despite millions of jobs Democrats say were created by the $862 billon stimulus bill, the unemployment rate remains high, and is not expected to come down any time soon.
"I think the public doesn't quite perceive (the accomplishments) because they don't see much change in their everyday lives. They're still having trouble finding work," said Donald Wolfensberger, director of the Congress Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
Got it? Obama and congressional Democrats have made fantastic accomplishments, but the American people are too dumb, distracted, or removed to perceive it.
These three defenses of the Democratic Party in the face of intense public opposition -- that they have been politically successful, that they have not embraced the far-left elements of the party, and that Americans are generally unable to perceive just how awesome they are -- are tired leftist talking points.
And with liberal pundits and politicos parroting them nonstop, is it any wonder Americans are ready for some house (and Senate) cleaning?
Politico led a piece today with the following paragraphs:
The passage of financial reform, just a couple months after the passage of comprehensive health care, should decisively end the narrative that President Obama represents a Jimmy Carter-style case of naïve hope crushed by the inability to master Washington.
Yet the mystery remains: Having moved swiftly toward achieving the very policy objectives he promised voters as a candidate, Obama is still widely perceived as flirting with a failed presidency.
Ace is having none of it.
Well, the economy is in shambles, despite Obama promising projecting that with his stimulus unemployment would reach no higher than 8.5% and then drop significantly. And the Jackass' response to the Gulf Oil Crisis is to try to get three under par on the back nine. And the idiot continues to agitate against a bill about immigration that has seventy f***ing four percent approval in the country.
And yet the People of Stupid keep wondering, "Gee, why don't nonpartisan, practical-minded, results oriented independents get as delighted as we liberal reporters do about Obama's purely partisan easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey legislative lay ups?"
Well, I'm sure we'll all one day be happy he pushed through some sh***y legislation on party-line (actually, worse than that-- liberal-caucus-only-line) votes and did absolutely nothing that counts as an objective "general good."