When the GOP’s rants make their way into the mainstream media the Democrats have a problem. This has been the case throughout the second Obama term. They have controlled the narrative as they block progress in a multitude of areas. While they blame the President for a slow increase in job growth, they refuse to act on any jobs bill. While they talk about people losing health coverage as a result of the ACA, they refuse to expand Medicaid or create ACA exchanges in their own states which would make healthcare more readily available. The problem is that during this time the Democrats have been back on their heels, unable to garner the willingness or energy to fight back with the necessary strength.
The President has tried to lead through his focused and decisive speeches on a multitude of issues. He has acted through the use of Executive Orders. Yet Democratic members of both the Senate and the House have been so afraid of electoral defeat that they have refused to act decisively. They fear that any action they take will provide their opponent with ammunition with which to challenge them in the fall election. They obviously feel that taking no position is better than being labeled with a position. What has happened to the Democratic Party? Does it feel so embattled that it is afraid to come out of the bunker? Has the narrative of the GOP taken such a hold as to create paralysis among Democrats? What is particularly troubling about this situation is that the chasms that exist in the GOP are major and deep. The Democrats, however, seem unable to take advantage of this fragmentation and in-fighting. Where is the necessary Democratic Party leadership?
While it is true that the GOP has used its majority in the House and the rules of the Senate to block action and investigate phony scandals, it is also true that the Democrats have not challenged this behavior with vigor. It is as if they all learned the lesson, “all you need to do is at least try”, too well. It’s as if they are saying, “Gee, we tried and the big bad GOP beat us, what else can we do?” We are not interested in how the Democrats were outmaneuvered with some cute GOP parliamentary trick. We want to know that you are angry and you will call them out and that you will continue to do battle on our behalf. Don’t tell us your problems or how hard it is, tell us your solutions and how you’re going to implement them
It is time for the Democrats to find their voice! They need to create a strategic plan and infrastructure that will enable a response and action on every issue. What is amazing is that the polls show that the majority of Americans agree with them on many of the issues that the GOP seems to be controlling. Whether it is the equal pay issue, or the marriage equality issue the Democrats represent the majority opinion. That is the case with the issues of minimum wage and immigration as well as women’s health and voting rights. However, based on the GOP narrative, you would think that “they” represent the majority opinion.
It is clear that the Democrats depended on the voice of Barack Obama in 2012 to bring them to electoral victory. Now they seem to be abandoning him in 2014 because they are afraid. It is time for the Democrats to stand by their convictions and truly represent the voters who placed them there. In 2014 each Democratic member of the House and the Senate must find his voice. Success in the midterm election is dependent on it.