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August 27, 2010

Old Dem Strategy: Boooosh!
New Dem Strategy: Racists!
Okay, Okay, That's Kinda the Old Dem Strategy Too

It's almost like they have no plan at all to fish the economy out of the toilet. Instead, the story will be the Tea Party, which...racist!

The DCCC Chairman leads:

In a speech this morning in Washington, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) will offer a rebuttal to House Minority Leader John Boehner's remarks earlier this week in Ohio -- making the case that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who would move the country backwards economically (and otherwise) if put back into power.

The speech will hit Republican for pursuing a "destructive agenda" and call out the tea party for moving the GOP to the "extreme right", according to a committee official briefed on the remarks.

Van Hollen's speech, which is set for 10 a.m. at the National Press Club, is part of a broader push by national Democrats to suggest the tea party has taken over the GOP -- and set the stakes for midterm voters.

That "broader push" is already on. Here's civil rights activist and former Democratic congressman Walter Fauntroy:

"We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux -- I meant to say the Tea Party," Fauntroy told a news conference today at the National Press Club. "You all forgive me, but I -- you have to use them interchangeably."

Fauntroy attempted to explain the comparison to white supremacists by saying that organizers behind the "Restoring Honor" rally are the same people who cut audio cables from a sound system the night before the historic March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

According to Democratic thinking, the new strategy is supposed to rouse a few more apathetic Democrats and mitigate the losses in November. I say supposed to, but this one's not even going to make it out of the gate. The Tea Party polls quite well with voters. Making it the enemy isn't going to move many.

More than that, calls of racism aren't the motivator they once were. That card has been played...and played and played. If a Democrat is thundering about racism, you can bet there's a buncha people rolling their eyes and saying "yeah, whatever."

The new strategy also forgets some rather smart campaign advice: "it's the economy, stupid." If Democrats want to stand in their empty campaign headquarters and bleat about how skeery the Tea Party is, that's fine. The Republican candidates can continue to campaign on substantive proposals to get us out of the mess that Obama's just wallowing in.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:10 AM

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