Time for Democrats to Update Their Game Plan

By Josh Feit August 3, 2010

A few weeks ago, I editorialized that the Democratic tactic of running against Bush was soooo 2008, and wouldn't work this year.

A Democratic think tank, Third Way, polled and evaluated the Democratic strategy and came up with some discouraging findings for the Democrats. The National Journal reports on the findings today:
"Just eighteen months after President Bush left office with the nation's economy in historic free fall, two-thirds of Americans now see congressional Republicans and their economic ideas as new and completely separate from those of the former president," the group wrote in a strategy memo sent to Dem leaders last month...

just 25% of Americans say that the GOP's return to power in Congress will mean a return to those unpopular Bush policies. Fully 65% believe a GOP Congress would promote "a new economic agenda that is different from George W. Bush's policies."

However, there was some hope for the strategy. The Journal added:
That's worked before. In '82, the country was still mired in the Carter Recession, nearly 2 years after Jimmy Carter left office. Ronald Reagan "managed to maintain command and responsibility for the recovery and deflect blame for the recession. Opponents of his supply-side philosophy were branded as Carter liberals who supported the same failed ideas that brought America to its knees."

Hmmm. In 1982, the Democrats gained 26 House seats, but gained zero in the Senate, which remained in GOP hands.
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