Name one Thing
                               from The Daily Brew

                            For months, Democrats running for office this fall, their
                            campaign consultants and pollsters, have all trembled
                            in the face of Bush's 70 plus approval ratings. This has
                            led to a rather odd dynamic in their campaign strategies.
                            In places like Montana and South Dakota, incumbent
                            democratic Senators are actually running ads touting their
                            closeness to the President. Call me crazy, but I see this
                            strategy as a disaster in the making.

                            I happen to believe Bush's popularity is a mile wide
                            and an inch deep, because it is purely a function of the
                            American patriotism stirred by the 9-11 attacks. But
                            even if I'm wrong and it isn't, none of it is likely to rub
                            off on any Democrat running for office, no matter how
                            hard they grovel at Bush's feet. So the only thing
                            running as a not-so-in-the-closet Republican is going
                            to do is to dishearten their Democratic base.

                            Instead of this contrarian insanity, I would recommend
                            a conventional campaign. For Democratic challengers
                            willing to buck the "wisdom" Democratic campaign
                            gurus are apparently preaching, I offer a bold strategy
                            sure to get them into office:

                            Point out that the "GOP government" is a failure.

                            Instead of tripping all over yourself trying to prove
                            your patriotism by promising your undying loyalty to
                            Bush's war on terror, take that as a given. Then point
                            out that for the average taxpaying American, no matter
                            how good they may sound on paper, when you look at
                            the data, the policies of the GOP controlled government
                            have made things worse. All you have to do is point out
                            the facts, and suggest that it is time for a change. By virtually
                            every measure available, ever since Bush moved into the
                            White House, things have deteriorated. OK, you might
                            have to admit that for the millionaires in the audience,
                            taxes are lower. But other than that, the facts are on your side.

                            The stock market? Down. Job growth? Down. Income growth? Down.
                            Crime? Up. Unemployment? Up. The deficit and national debt? Up.

                            Sure, the GOP will squeal that none of it is there fault,
                            but come November, when the swing voters get in that
                            booth, the buck is going to stop somewhere.

                            Ronald Reagan persuaded millions of blue collar union
                            members to vote for him when he asked Americans
                            "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" I
                            would suggest a variation on that theme. I would ask,
                            since the Republicans took over complete control of
                            our government two years ago, can you name one
                            thing that has gotten better? Whether we are talking
                            about jobs, the environment, the health care system,
                            the capital markets, or the even the social fabric, can
                            you name one thing? The answer for a vast, vast
                            majority of Americans is no.

                            You don't have to take on Bush personally. You don't
                            have to educate the public about the rampant corruption
                            and incompetence of the Bush administration. You can
                            ignore the myriad of ways the Bush administration has
                            used the war on terror to shred the Constitution, Cheney's
                            secret energy policy, the failures that led to 9-11, and all
                            of the cover-ups that continue to this day. You don't have
                            to point out that the anthrax mailer, Osama bin Laden, and
                            most of al Qaeda, are all still at large. You can give Bush a
                            complete pass on all of this and still win.

                            You don't need to convince people not to like Bush.
                            You don't even have to convince anyone that the
                            across the board downturn in every economic, social
                            and health indicator is Bush's fault. All you need to do
                            is point out that the rise in unemployment and crime,
                            the drop in consumer confidence and the US dollar,
                            the return of deficit spending, the implosion of investor
                            confidence, and the Enron, Arthur Anderson, and
                            Merrill Lynch scandals, are symptoms of real problems
                            in budget priorities and regulatory philosophy, and that
                            the Democrats will fix them, and the Republicans won't.

                            The operatives in the White House have adopted a
                            strategy of continually stoking the war on terror in a
                            ploy to create fear they believe will keep Bush on top.
                            All those terrorist warnings about dirty bombers make
                            people edgy and uncomfortable. Karl Rove's plan is to
                            steer the frightened herd toward the GOP, by promoting
                            Bush as their protector. But Bush won't be on the ballot,
                            and people blame al Qaeda for their anxiety, not the
                            Democrats. A frightened herd is an unpredictable quantity,
                            which creates a potential flip side to Karl Rove's "scare the
                            daylights out of them" plan.

                            Fear is fungible. Given the right information, the anxiety
                            of swing voters is just as likely to turn people against
                            the GOP as toward them. All a cagey candidate has to
                            do is to blur the line between the anxiety created by
                            the war on terror with anxiety about the domestic
                            policies of the Republicans, and the whole thing could
                            blow up in Rove's face.

                            High levels of tension create a desire for change, and
                            the Bush administration has turned up the tension to
                            obnoxious proportions. To win, Democrats have to
                            turn that tension against Republicans. Don't point
                            fingers, don't cast blame. Simply point out the facts.
                            The Republicans have been running the show, and
                            things have gotten worse. Be a sunny optimist. Offer
                            the can-do spirit that we can make things better. Offer
                            America a new direction, and they will take it.

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