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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Public Turning Off to Wingnut Lunacy?

Democratic ad-makers should have a gander at Steven Leser’s post at op-ed news, “2010 Election – A Democratic Momentum Shift Begins to Materialize,” not so much for the optimistic outlook as for the way Leser frames his critique of several Republican candidates and their party. Leser cites his reasons for the Democratic surge, including:

Republicans have been trying to make the case since a month into the Obama administration that Obama’s policies were too extreme left (they aren’t, if anything they are center-left). Instead of trying to follow-up that line of attack with center-right candidates, they nominated the most radical right wingnut candidates this country has ever seen. While it seems like I am saying the same things the Republicans and conservative media are saying, from the opposite side of course, unlike the Republicans, I can back up my claim. Consider the following:
While we are accustomed to Republican candidates being against a woman’s right to have an abortion, five high-profile Tea Party Republican SENATE candidates, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ken Buck of Colorado, Joe Miller of Alaska, Sharron Angle of Nevada, and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, are even against a woman’s right to have an abortion in the case of rape or incest! Women would have to have their rapists baby. Girls raped by an uncle or cousin or their fathers would have to give birth to a child from a resulting pregnancy.
…How does that square with the two year long Tea Party talking point that says that government is too intrusive and should stay out of people’s lives? How about the continued Republican/Tea Party fight against gay rights including the right for gays to serve in the military and marry? If you do not have the freedom to have consensual sex with other adults and have a choice over whether you reproduce (particularly if raped), I’d say that the rest of the freedoms really don’t matter much.

Leser goes on to describe the lunacy of Christine O’Donnell’s ideas about religion and science, Carl Paladino’s ugly flirtations with racism and the GOP’s WV U.S. Senate candidate John Raese’s celebration of upper-class privilege, along with Newt Gingrich’s lack of cred as a spokesman for ‘family values.’
With respect to the Republicans’ Speaker in Waiting, Leser notes what a GOP takeover of the House would mean for the speakership:

Regarding the “Pledge” the Republicans put forth, Republican house minority leader Boehner made the lack of a plan in “the pledge” clear on Fox News last Sunday when he said “The Pledge just lays down the pathway towards the possibility of building a framework for possible plan to have a real plan in the future.”

Leser provides a video showing more of Boehner’s ridiculous jive-talk. Leser concludes:

…While most Americans are normally too busy to take note of the latest Republican manufactured outrage or conservative media hyperbole, when it gets down to the 60 days before an election, people start taking a closer look. The trend in polling shows that what the American people are seeing with that closer look is not to their liking. Republicans, of course, see the danger in what is happening and in response, many campaigns are pulling back from media appearances and canceling debates with their Democratic opponents. I think it is too late and the momentum has shifted. It became too late when the Republicans nominated these wingnutty teabaggers for house and senate seats.
…The polls say the American people are having second thoughts about putting the Republican/Tea Party bums in the driver’s seat. You can almost hear what they are thinking. What are these Tea Party folks trying to sell us? Who are these crazy candidates? Why is a more severe version of the same stuff that put us into the economic crisis we are in better than the policies that have stabilized the economy? With those questions, the Republicans are seeing the Senate slip away and their hope of a Republican majority in the House start to appear in jeopardy.

Leser’s analysis makes good sense. and Democratic candidates may be able to draw from some of his framing to good effect.

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