There are several ways to campaign.
One is to let voters know who caused the problems they are complaining about. A second way is letting voters know how you plan to resolve those problems.
(The trick here is coming up with solutions that at least sound rational. After all, "We can save Social Security by privatizing it like a murderous South American dictator did" may not appeal to all voters.)
And then there's letting voters know what your opponents will do. And here, Republicans, salivating rashly at visions of returning to power one-day, have inexplicably handed Democrats on-the-record opportunities.
Before the 2006 off-year elections, Democratic leaders fell over themselves calming voters (rightly or wrongly) that impeachment proceedings against President Bush was not on the table should the party take Congressional control, nor that they would use subpoena power to spend every day investigating crimes, even though so many Republicans had already gone to prison. Democrats swept back into power. And two years later won the White House.
Contrast that with the present, when Republicans are doing everything they can to bring out the crazy.
Not every Republican has proposed the same things, but if we've learned anything from recent history, it's unanimity of Republican thought. There is a recurring theme across the board from GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham and others; from Republican mouthpieces who attach to the nearest camera like Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and the half-term former governor Sarah Palin; from the "new generation" of Republican/Tea Party candidates Sharron Angle, Rand Paul and more, all of whom are trying their best to set the table about what a Republican-controlled Congress would be like. Without prompting from anyone, almost begging for microphones to explain their agenda.
For starters, Republicans have been upfront that they hate and want to repeal the health care reforms. So, all those new protections that American citizens have already taken into their lives -- like adding one's adult children onto a parent's policy when that child would otherwise lose their coverage -- to all those protections to come that won't become active until 2014 (thanks to Republican insistence on delay) -- including not being refused coverage for pre-existing conditions -- Republicans want to get rid of that.
Republicans also have stated that they want to repeal the new banking reform laws against Wall Street. So, in the midst of America's worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a recession brought on by Wall Street abuse, Republicans think it's a really wonderful idea to get rid of all the new national protections that Congress enacted.
Amazingly, Republicans have also gotten so giddy on the fumes of hoped-for power that many are increasingly bringing up the eternal GOP bugaboo, Social Security. When you hear the words, "privatize," just know it's code for the 75-year Republican dream to actually dismantle the protection supported by 88% of Americans.
Republicans in growing numbers have begun talking about repealing the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, the core right that any person born in the United States is an American citizen. You know, that whole "Give me your tired, your poor" thing.
There even have been Republicans sending up "trial balloons" about actually repealing the 17th Amendment -- your right to directly elect their senator by popular vote, rather than have members appointed by state legislatures.
And remarkable, too, is the anxious desire of Republicans to stop government in its tracks, phrased most emphatically by Ms. Bachmann (R-MN) "I think that all we should do is issue subpoenas," she told a GOP Youth Convention. Never mind the economy, unemployment and wars. "I think that's all we should do."
That's what America has in store if the Republican Party regains control in Congress, and not just in the coming election. Repealing healthcare. Repealing Wall Street banking reform. Repealing Social Security. Repealing unemployment insurance for those slackers who dared get fired during a recession. Repealing the 14th Amendment. Repealing the 17th Amendment. And issuing subpoena after subpoena, because "that's all we should do."
Forget what problems from the past the Republican Party created -- and that's a lot to forget: the economic crash, unemployment, doubling the national debt, the Iraq War, the Afghan War and more. Forget, too, that they want you to let them fix the mess they created. Forget even whether you think the Democratic Party can build strong enough solutions.
Just know that this is what will face America if a Republican Party is back in control. Repeal and subpoena. It's not opinion or guess: Republicans have themselves been excitedly telling you it's what they want. On the record. Imagine what they're saying out of the reach of microphones.
This isn't just the Party of No. This is the Party of Nowhere. No Way. No How.
America doesn't go backwards. America is a nation that has always gone forward. But the Republican Party is telling you it wants to drag the country in reverse. Into the past. Repeal! "I want my country back," they cry. When blacks knew their place. The poor and elderly were on their own. Women couldn't vote. Only Europeans immigrated. And the rich didn't have to worry about anybody getting in their way.
A "happier" time.
How will Trump’s administration impact you? Learn more