Many pundits have discussed the ideological and policy decisions that caused the downfall of the Democratic Party in the recent election. However, few have talked about, at length, the political strategies that could have contributed to the severe loses the Democrats suffered on the Federal and State level nationwide. The following are just five examples of how direction and planning hurt the Democrats efforts.
- No Drama Obama.
During the health care debate which raged across every form of media in 2009, the Democrats’ lackluster attempts to provide a clear identity to the bill they wanted allowed the Republican and anti-reformers to define the bill for them, forcing them to spend the rest of the process refuting what the reform wasn’t instead of what it was. This was further compounded with President Obama’s initial preference to let Congress define the bill which, when they failed to do so, forced him into a position to explain and take control of a situation that, while he supported and did campaigned for, he didn’t create.
2. Giving the people what they want.
In 2006, the Democrats were very explicit in what they wanted to do if elected. That tactic allowed them to take complete control of Congress and, sure enough, they played it close to the agenda and were rewarded in 2008. In 2008, Barrack Obama was very explicit in where he stood and what he would do. He, too, was rewarded for this. The downside came as follows: the Congressional Democrats allowed Obama to define the direction but made no overt plans on how they would work with him to get things done. When it came time to do, things got rough as soon as finished issues that played well over a wider spectrum. Obama, promising a more open and less aggressive presidency, over did it by his constant television addresses and his hands off approach to Congress. The hands on approach that the Bush administration had was one of the few things that most people approved of. Between Obama coming on too strong following through and Congress’ soft stepping there game plan, the mixture became a bitter blend that soured too many people to Democratic leadership.
3. The “big tent” tactic.
The Republican party, over the last decade, has had several “litmus tests” to purge the ranks of so-called RINOs. Meantime, the Democrats have continued a “come one, come all” type of party. This worked very well in 2008 when Democrats made in-roads into many conservative districts. However, now that they had achieved control of Congress and the presidency, they found out that just because everyone on that side of the aisle had a “D” affixed to their name that it didn’t mean they would all march too the beat of the same drum. To the utter frustration of the Democratic leadership. staunch conservatives were just as intractable the progressive liberals who finally saw light at the end of the tunnel after over a decade of conservative dominance in Congress. This division was quickly and repeatedly exploited by the Republican party and conservative special interest groups culminating in a party too often paralyzed from within.
.While there are several other tactics which gave rise to the Tea Party and the Republican gains, these are the root three from which most of the others came. The various times Pelosi openly chided Obama, the Democrats inability to articulate and defend their agenda for 2009, and the constant deadlocks within their own party plagued them throughout 2010 and now has cost them dearly.