The first one is pretty easy to do, everyone who follows and believes polling like the voice of God is convinced that unless things change, the GOP will win big in November 2010. I think the Republicans will win many seats, but fail to gain a majority, but we'll see. That simple knowledge will prompt the legacy media to tend to try to help their guys win - the Democrats. Although reporting juicy stories that people want to hear and big scandals that sell lots of advertising is difficult to resist, we've seen for years now that the legacy media would rather die than hurt Democrats win political power, in the end. All the Democrat leadership has to do is remind them of the perceived danger of GOP victory and demand that the press stop covering things that hurt them, and the press will.
They've done it before.
There's another aspect to this though. Most of the legacy media can be relied on to toe the line and follow like good obedient sheep. The problem is that the new media - blogs, talk radio, etc - won't. And Fox News, the biggest cable news provider in America, will tend not to although they're heavily poll driven. So next year is a critical time to watch out. Will the Obama administration set up new FCC rules to control their political foes? I've written about
how this could be done, and it wouldn't involve the fairness doctrine at all. Time will tell, but this administration has demonstrated it is more than willing to help its friends and hurt its foes with the power of the executive department - even if sometimes it is legally questionable.2
The second is a bit more challenging, because while depressing people into believing that things are worse than they really are is merely a matter of showing folks on TV who have it worse, no matter how many happy shiny people you see on TV, that doesn't make you able to pay your bills or get a job. While the "accidental" misstatements about economic factors can help (and few read the corrections), in the end, the facts weigh heavy on the minds of voters. And given the hapless incompetence the Democrats display every time doing something about the economy comes up, I'm not confident they can pull this off. On the other hand, maybe the economy really will
be doing well, and that would only help the Democrats.3
The third bit, bread and circuses or selling the plan, is probably the easiest. While people are enraged about being force fed a crap sandwich by radicals in office who laugh at or even insult their constituents, that will fade when the next celebrity trial or missing little girl or big scandal erupts. Just have another Michael Jackson death, or another terrorist attack, or another major news story and the polling will shift away if for no other reason than distraction. And again the legacy media can easily be counted on to help with this, even if they aren't asked to. They all want to pile on the same big story to cover it.4
Next we come to the Obama rehabilitation program. This I think is a lost cause. President Obama's three big attractions were the perception that he's black, the perception that he's post-partisan and represented a new political way by an outsider, and the perception that he was centrist, or at least supported in what individuals did. His speech making was sufficiently vague and uncertain that undiscerning people or those who didn't pay much attention could think he meant whatever they wanted him to make. That's easy enough to do.
The hard part is when it comes down to actually taking action. The few times President Obama actually has
taken action, he's tended to annoy large groups of people. Nobody
likes the health insurance takeover plan that was passed. Some people like some parts of it, but it is not just disliked but hated by most people who follow politics closely, both left and right. And that's a big millstone hung around Obama's neck. He's not the post partisan guy he lied about being. He's not the centrist he lied about being. He's not the guy who likes what you like, despite vague speeches which could be taken that way. He's not really even black - he's just as white as he is black. You can't get any of that back, not a bit of it. All that can be done is to make his opponents seem worse.5
And finally, the GOP smear plan has to work. This can, easily. Once the legacy media managed to lie, distort, and misrepresent President Bush enough about Hurricane Katrina, they had the momentum to make Republicans look bad for months. With carefully timed releases of scandals which conspicuously left out coverage of Democrats also
involved in them, and sex scandals involving Republicans while ignoring those with Democrats, the public was shoved away from the Republicans - and let's face it, the GOP didn't help any with their attitude and spending.
Making Republicans look bad is pretty easy, they're politicians and politicians are generally unlikeable, unworthy of support, and sleazy. Readers here know I have no particularl love
for Republicans. The hard part for the Democrats and the legacy media is that Republicans aren't in power any longer. They can't make anything happen for good or ill. They can't be caught doing nasty things not because they wouldn't but because they can't. Bills can't be spun as unpopular to hurt Republicans because they have no power to even get them out of committee. Every earmark a Republican manages to squeak through is matched by ten a Democrat did. And every time the Democrats push through another gargantuan leftist scheme, that enrages people even more against the donkey. So this will be a tough sell. In the end, all Republicans have to do is seem less obnoxious than Democrats and that's a pretty low bar to hop over.
So will this all work? I can't predict that, but I would say probably not as well as they hope. I don't see a huge turnover in congress as I said before. The Democrats will lose their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and lose a lot of seats in the House, I expect, but not their majorities. And a lot could go wrong.
First, the economy, I fear and strongly expect, will seem to be getting better, then crash. I see things getting significantly worse than they were this year, not better. By November we could see double digit inflation and unemployment close to 20%. Let's pray not, but if that happens, the Democrats could lose even more than I expect.
Second, the Democratic Party is being run by leftist radical dinosaurs who love Mao and think Che was a great fellow, who admire Fidel Castro and think that communism failed because of corruption and poor management rather than innate impossibility of success. They're the guys who wept when the Soviets failed. These guys are really hardcore leftists. They can't seem to help themselves, now that they have power. I expect that, despite all political capital being used up and vast debt, they'll keep trying to ram through one leftist scheme after another.
I see "immigration reform" on the horizon, the kind which means "amnesty and lets get Hispanics to vote Democrat." I see "election reform" coming up, the kind which means "lets get felons and make it easier for non citizens to vote." I see legislation to diminish the impact of internet and talk radio politics that the left doesn't care for. I see Cap and Trade coming back, despite Warmaquiddick and the miserable fraud involved in climate science. I see lots of hard left plans, the things that these guys have sat around talking about doing when they finally had the power - and they think they've got it now. And every one of these that is shoved in the faces of Americans means more people outraged and frustrated and determined to make them pay.
In fact, the only real bright spot I can see for Democrats, beyond the willing and sycophantic legacy media, is Republican incompetence. Republicans are stupid and fearful, they don't strike when they ought and fail to follow through when they could. They do idiotic things to try to get votes, and the entire GOP leadership seems to think that the reason they lost power in 2006 and 2008 was that they weren't enough like Democrats
. That only helps the Democratic Party out.
So this next year should be interesting because the Tea Party is only gaining momentum and Sarah Palin has turned herself into a powerful force for conservative voice, one that cannot be ignored and will not be silenced. It should be interesting... in the bad way the Chinese Curse intends.