In what may prove a significant development for the 2012 elections, David Brock, a prominent Democratic political operative, says he has amassed $4 million in pledges over the last few weeks and is moving quickly to hire a staff to set up what he hopes will become a permanent liberal counterweight over the airwaves to the Republican-leaning outside groups that spent so heavily on this year’s midterm elections. – Effort for Liberal Balance to G.O.P. Groups Begins
Sen. Jon Kyl holding up the new Start Treaty is a symbol of what Republicans are being allowed to do to Pres. Obama, because he doesn’t have the fortitude to call Kyl or the Republicans out for playing politics with American national security. Obama won’t play political hardball. It’s why Democrats find themselves in the mess they’re in after the midterms.
David Brock represents a contingent of strong action oriented people. There are many on the Left who are sick and tired of Pres. Obama’s lack of leadership and fight, which has hobbled the Democratic Party in a way that could lead to a true disaster in ’12. Republicans taking the Senate and the White House, while holding the House, would be an awful prospect. It’s why Brock is making no apologies for playing the hand that the Robert’s Court has dealt. Via Greg Sargent, Brock’s statement on utilizing undisclosed donors:
Many Americans, including me, were deeply troubled by the new rules of the road given to us by a Republican-controlled Supreme Court in Citizens United. Subsequently, the wave of rightwing money created a right-wing wave. There is no right-wing wave. There was a wave of Republican money that was not in any way matched in the cycle by Democrats. Only by making our elections a fair fight will the people really be heard.
We do not make the rules. We must make 2012 a more equal contest than 2010. We cannot surrender everything — health care, the environment — because of the Citizens United decision.
There are few in politics today who understand the Right better than David Brock. Once part of their pack, he has spent his life for many years drawing and quartering conservative misinformation. That he’s now amassing the finances and a top team to take on the onslaught that Pres. Obama has ignored for his entire first term is good news for Democrats.
Since Barack Obama came into office he has unilaterally disarmed in the name of bipartisanship and “accomplishments,” without taking the time to make the Democratic case for policy prescriptions that matter in people’s lives and has been the foundation of the Democratic Party since Roosevelt. There can be only one reason for this and that is he doesn’t believe in them strongly enough. Pres. Obama even went so far as to voluntarily form a Debt Commission through Executive Order, which he wouldn’t do on DADT, to take on entitlements when they’re not the problem, while also sending signals that he’d protect the upper 2% Bush tax cuts even as Warren Buffet and other wealthy Americans served up protestations to the President’s ridiculous ode to the super rich.
It’s preposterous to prop up the notion that middle class people will one day have the money of millionaires, encouraging these same people to vote against their own interests. Rush Limbaugh has beaten Democrats on this turf for 20 years and Democrats played directly into the Right’s talking points by ducking a debate on middle class tax cuts before the election.
The problem for Democrats is that David Brock’s new group can’t do everything.
One of Obama’s biggest problems is that he’s lost the core Democratic demographics, particularly the working class men and women who no longer relate to him or the Democratic Party. That’s because people have no idea what Obama stands for or what he’ll fight for. Women as well turned away from Democrats in the midterms, because as breadwinners of their families in the 21st century they didn’t hear an economic message from Democrats that resonated. There is also a contingent of women who will never forgive Democrats for compromising their reproductive rights in the health care bill, which was wholly unnecessary.
But the Democrats have large internal problems too, which Howie outlines in this story that will make your head explode.
Democrats are up against it right now, something David Brock knows all too well, as does anyone paying attention. I foreshadowed the coming midterm catastrophe, but have been sending out other warnings for months.
The looming Debt Commission is one signal that awaits Pres. Obama, but he’s got serious foreign policy challenges as well. First, facing up to the fact that Republicans know he’s been weakened and they’re playing for his defeat in ’12. Secondly, that Obama has indeed moved the marker on Afghanistan, which isn’t going down well with many. In fact, Christian Science Monitor has a fascinating tale that leads to a primary challenge for Obama on his waffling on Afghanistan that’s worth a read. The bottom line:
As Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg was leaving a Monitor breakfast last week, he was asked about the possibility that President Obama might face a Democratic primary challenge in 2012.
Mr. Greenberg’s two-word answer: “Watch Afghanistan.” …
But beneath that top line sit dangerous numbers about Democratic opinion. Among Obama’s own party, only 33 percent say the US is doing the right thing in Afghanistan; 62 percent say it’s not. Among independents, a group Obama must woo to win reelection, US involvement in Afghanistan has only 40 percent support; 54 percent oppose. Republicans are the only group favoring the US commitment. They back the war 64-31. …
I don’t happen to believe Afghanistan would be the tipping point, but instead think it would be over Obama sanctioning a move against Social Security, even if challenging Obama is not a prospect anyone relishes. But on principle, depending on his decisions, it could happen.
So, while there is a lot of turmoil on the Right, with the Republican establishment turning themselves inside out over Sarah Palin and how to stop her fan juggernaut from lifting her to the nomination before they can mount a strategy on how to stop it. Mitt Romney quietly making his move, along with Newt Gingrich, because there is no one else with clout on foreign policy.
Among the activists who get out the vote and work to elect Democrats there is little enthusiasm for Pres. Obama right now, with the 2008 voter contingent smashed to smithereens, which is Barack Obama’s own fault.
Axelrod leaving earlier than planned, with David Plouffe soon to set up shop inside the Obama bubble, isn’t just because Axelrod wants to see his family. They know they’re in trouble. The problem is that they don’t realize it’s not just communication or about cosmetic West Wing changes. Pres. Obama’s challenges go much deeper. It’s also about him, his leadership style and the lack of fight against Republicans he’s shown so far, which has left his presidency vulnerable and Democrats in a panic.