Pundits Blow Smoke; Democrats Panic!
By James Frye
As we head into summer, the pundit class is sounding all sorts of alarms about how the Democrats are DOOMED this year. I’d list a few examples but doing a search using “Democrats 2010” will bring up plenty. It’s all about how “anti-incumbent” voters are supposed to be energized, and the Democrats are not as revved to go vote this year as they were in 2008. Some Democrats are buying into this and doing their panic thing as well.
OK, reality check time.
First of all, let’s take a quick glance at the calendar. Does it say October or November to you? It doesn’t to me, either. These predictions are being made now before most of the candidates in the general election have even been decided yet. No worries, say the pundits, no matter who they are if they’re Democrats they’re screwed. Yeah, that works.
About that “who’s all excited to go vote and who isn’t” thing: This is May. Summer will be here shortly. Summer means many things like shorts, trips to the beach, vacations, getting a tan – things like that. One thing it doesn’t mean is politics. The elections aren’t even a faint blip on most peoples’ radar and won’t be until after Labor Day. The only ones paying attention to elections and such are us politics junkies and there ain’t that many of us. So we don’t know who’ll be itching to go vote in November yet.
OK, what about all this anti-incumbent, “we hate Congress” thing that’s flying about? Here’s my notably unreliable prediction about that: Saying people don’t like Congress is like complaining about the weather. Both sides will do their primary challenges but really – who thinks Democrats are so upset that they’ll vote to put back into power the people they rushed to the polls to toss out of power back in ’08? The teabaggers are going to vote for the party they hate to show up the Republicans? Puhlease.
Besides, things are changing as the year progresses. Polls may fluctuate over which party is winning the generic battle over Congress, most people may not be happy with the Democrats in Congress but they plain don’t like or trust the Republicans.
So let me put on my pundit cap and do a bit of predicting myself.
The Democrats will lose a few seats this year (a pretty common occurrence for the party in power) but once the dust settles they will still have complete control of Congress. Voters will do what they normally do, say “Your Representative/Senator is awful but mine is OK,” and re-elect most of them. After all the shouting by the Tea Partiers and the pundits’ visions of Democratic doom and gloom those pronouncements will be treated the way they usually are – they’ll be totally ignored.
This isn’t to say that Democrats can just coast to victory in November – they will have to get down from their towers and do some real battling to keep what they’ve got. In most cases, with the Republicans being as crazy as they’ve been, that means pointing out their nuttiness and hammering home the real question to be decided in November:
Do you really want these Birther,Tenther, no-taxes-ever, “Obama is a Socialist” freaks in control of the government again?
Democrats, I think we’re going to do just fine.Click here for reuse options!
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