I’m pretty damned sick and tired of spineless Democrats refusing to stand up for this President’s policies, most of them policies that the Democratic Party is all about. What they should have been doing is touting the President’s record and educating voters on the current state of the economy. They could have made the point that he did it in spite of six years of obstruction by Republicans. From the Boston Globe:
Since January 2013, the economy has improved significantly. All the dire predictions made by Republicans in 2012 have been refuted. A jobless recovery? The unemployment rate has dropped from 7.9 percent in January 2013 to 6.2 percent today. A health care disaster? The number of uninsured adults has plunged by 25 percent, thanks to Obamacare. Spiraling health-care costs? The years that Obama has been in office have seen the lowest rates of increase in a generation. Out-of-control deficits? A 2014 deficit of $514 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — almost half what it was during the 2012 campaign. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit is about the average of where it’s been the last 40 years.
Instead of spending their super PAC money to take down individual Republican candidates, the national Democrats should be aggressively countering the view that Obama’s policies have left him, and the nation, at a difficult crossroads. The nation’s vital signs are better today than in 2012, and the political climate for the party in power should be, too. If he wants to continue and expand policies that are working, Obama — the most diffident of political crusaders — must first persuade voters to give him some credit.
But they’re not, they’re campaigning with their tails between their legs, doing anything to distance themselves from this President. It’s despicable.
Vote For Me, I Shoot Guns
Case in point, Alison Lundergan Grimes as reported by Politico:
The 35-year-old is shown skeet shooting in Mark Putnam’s newest spot for her campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I’m not Barack Obama,” she says firmly. “I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA.”
The president said he respects gun rights, but he lamented the fact that even a modest bill to expand background checks failed to pass in the Senate last year. That legislation, which would have required universal background checks for all gun purchases, fell victim to a GOP-led filibuster amid intense pressure from the National Rifle Association.
“Most members of Congress are terrified of the NRA,” Obama said. “The only thing that is going to change is public opinion. If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”
Lundergan-Grimes never says exactly what she disagrees with on gun policy. Does she mean expanding background checks, something 92% of voters support, including 92% of gun owners and 86% of Republicans? And the coal thing – according to Industry analysts in a Business Week report:
…let’s go to industry analysts helpfully assembled by Bloomberg News’ Mario Parker in a June 3 dispatch that deserves close attention in Washington and around the nation.
Under the Obama plan, coal still will be used to generate 30 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, down from 39 percent in 2013, according to the EPA. “While it stifles increases in demand,” Parker notes, the Obama plan “isn’t fatal” to the coal industry or to that portion of the utility business that burns coal. In fact, he adds:
Utilities are seen by analysts as boosting consumption of the fuel at their most efficient plants to ensure power-grid reliability. “If anything, it’s a little bit better than expected,” Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Clarkson Capital Markets in New York, said yesterday by phone. “There’s no change to coal burn for at least the next six or seven years and that’s not talking about legislation or any litigation that will come from this.”
Lundergan-Grimes actually sounds like a Republican on her campaign site’s issues page:
Washington’s regulatory barriers and burdensome taxes threaten this critical development in Kentucky.
My God, that’s straight from the GOP playbook. In a bizarre dichotomy, she both promises to protect the coal industry, while claiming she’ll help those suffering from Black Lung:
I would also support the pending Black Lung Health Improvement Act sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller.
Among other provisions, the bill would make it easier for coal miners to apply for and collect black lung benefits, provide more accessible legal representation for coal miners during the black-lung claims process, and create grants for research into black lung.
I can pretty much state, with no research at all, that mining coal causes Black Lung; at least she wants to help miners die easier. How about helping them not get it in the first place? As one coal miner’s grandson wrote:
Black lung disease contributed to 3,007 Kentucky miner deaths from 1972-1994. One in 10 Kentuckians has asthma, which is exacerbated by air pollution and 574,000 acres of Kentucky have been strip-mined.
We must [use] common sense, like EPA’s Clean Power Plan, as well as government incentives for renewable energy like those fossil fuels have always enjoyed. That could provide Kentucky 28,000 renewable energy jobs in 10 years – twice the number of its coal jobs.
Too bad he’s not running.
Here’s Bill Maher’s take on the Democratic cowards via Politicususa:
It didn’t have to be this way. If Democratic candidates would just stop throwing their own people and achievements under the bus and distancing themselves from their own president. That is never a winning strategy. Just ask President Al Gore. Clay Aiken, who’s running in Congress in North Carolina, recently said about the president, “I have nothing to do with him, and I can find several areas where I disagree.” Okay, but come Wednesday, Obama will still have a job whereas I don’t know what Clay will be doing, but I assume it involves a cruise ship and a cover of Copacabana.
But the one I feel bad for is Obama. Sixty-three straight months of economic expansion. A depression averted. A deficit reduced by two thirds. A health care law that’s working and lowering costs. Two women on the Supreme Court. Bin Laden’s dead. The stock market at record heights. An unemployment rate that dropped from 10.2 to 5.9. If you’re a Fox News viewer trying to do the math, that’s less. Gas prices are down.
Is it really that hard of a record to get behind?… The Democrats have three Senate candidates who won’t even admit to having voted for Obama.
Kentucky’s Alison Grimes was an Obama delegate. How do you explain that? Uh, hey, that’s why they call it a convention. I was drunk. It’s like if someone asks do you have sex with your husband? And you replied, I’d rather not say. But I will say that when my husband does want to have sex, I often disagree. I mean, c’mon Democrats. You gave people healthcare, not herpes. Own it. Instead of chasing polls, move them.
The biggest turncoats are those campaigning in southern Red States who, if they had any brains, would have made an issue of how the conservative legislatures in those states have failed the working class voter. As I pointed out in a post for All Things Democrat, southern states are failing in practically every measurable category, except of course, tax breaks for the wealthy.
Instead we have spineless Democrats like Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu. These candidates have campaigned with Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, but distanced themselves from the President. They could have made the case that his policies are actually working, that historically, Democratic policies have been far more successful than Republicans’; instead, they threw the President under the bus.
I don’t expect these candidates to agree with every Obama policy, the Democratic Party is not a mindless goose-stepping party like the Republicans. I do expect them to give him credit where it’s due. Cowardly Democrats disgust me.