Maybe I should apologize. But would Bob Rucho apologize? No sir! So I’ll double down, as they say.
My blog yesterday – warning that the next Congress might be run by people who think like Rucho – apparently ruined the Christmas spirit for some Democrats.
My friend Jerry Wayne Williamson of Boone (follow him at @JerryWilliamso1) wrote, “Well, Merry Christmas to you too! That’s the most depressing thing I’ve read all morning!” Long-time colleague June Milby said, “Gary, It’s the Christmas season, even Scrooge was redeemed right there at the end. Don’t hit us too hard with the ghosts of Christmas past. There’s plenty of time in January for that!”
I can’t help it. And here I go again. Spoiler alert: This could really ruin your Christmas.
Here it is: Think about the chances that the 2014 elections could be even worse for Democrats than 2010 was.
Historically, second mid-term elections are disastrous for Presidents. See LBJ in 1968, Nixon/Ford in 1974 and Reagan in 1986. There are exceptions, like Clinton in 1998.
But here’s a disturbing poll finding from this week, a nugget that the Washington Post called “one very bad number for Obama”: The Post-ABC poll asked whether people trust Obama or the Republicans in Congress to do a better job “coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years.” Forty-one percent said they trusted Obama. Forty-one percent said they trusted Republicans in Congress.
Let that sink in. Think about how the Republicans in Congress have done their jobs in recent years: the shutdowns, the shakedowns and the sheer nuttiness. Then tell yourself: Americans trust that crowd just as much as they trust the President.
This reflects, of course, the disastrous debut of Obamacare. Maybe, as some pundits predict, that will be gone and forgotten next November. Maybe not.
Thus far, experience tells us that when Obama is on the ballot, all goes well. Maybe it’s that people just feel good voting for him. But when he’s not on the ballot, look out.
And make no mistake: For better or for worse, the 2014 election will be a referendum on Obama. There is no escaping it. Even worse, there is not a lot that down-ballot candidates, from Senator Kay Hagan down, can do about it.
So, as Democrats enjoy Christmas and prepare for a new year, they need to plan for the worst, hope for the best and work like hell.