FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Democrats of Unknown Party Affiliation
The similarities to 2006 keep mounting. The latest of these is that Democrats running even in blue or purple territory are running away from their party affiliation. Politico notes this morning the surest sign of impending disaster – Democrats refusing to admit they are Democrats in their television ads:
Faced with a treacherous political environment, many Democrats are trotting out campaign ads that call for balanced budgets, tax cuts and other more traditionally GOP positions. Some of them are running in congressional districts that just two years ago broke sharply for President Barack Obama.
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New Hampshire Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, whose district broke for Obama by a yawning 11-percentage-point margin in 2012, is running an ad that touts her support for small-business tax cuts while showing her touring a local microbrewery. Separately, former Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel, in a district Obama won by 4 percentage points two years ago, underscores her record of fighting overspending in state government, a populist theme often heard from tea party-aligned conservatives.
Like the commercials aired by Romanoff, Kuster and Appel, Barber’s doesn’t mention his Democratic Party affiliation.
A party can weather a lot of things in an off-year election and in fairness to the Democrats all they really need to accomplish this November is to not lose too badly. But one thing recent history has taught the Republicans that can cause lasting, multi-cycle damage is tarnishment to the Party ID brand. And when Democrats are acting like the media reporting on a scandal involving a Democrat (i.e., refusing to mention that they are Democrats), you have the signs of very serious trouble ahead.
Here is a helpful suggestion to Democrats – if you want to avoid the coming backlash against Obama at the ballot box, it might be useful to occasionally or even regularly vote against at least some of the things Obama does. Otherwise, we can tell you from experience that voters will see these opportunistic commercials for exactly what they are. Or, you know, don’t. That works out better for us in the long term anyway.