Will Democratic attacks on President Bush backfire?

The Democrats seem to have decided to go into attack mode – blasing the President on every issue possible. E.g., this article by David Limbaugh (brother of you know who) provides examples of just 3 days worth of headlines.

In the short run, I think these attacks are working. Bush’s poll numbers are falling. A recent poll showed him losing to a generic Democrat.

But, will these attacks work in the long run? The Democrats run a risk of being seen as obstructionists or too negative or as more interested in their party’s success than in the country’s well-being. I expect these to be major themes in next year’s election.

So, what do you think? Is the attack strategy good politics? Or, are the Democrats trading a short-term gain for a long-term loss?

The Democrats plan will surely fail, if:
[li]Bush invades Iraq with few casualties (troops or civilians), Saddam is deposed, and peace in the MidEast results[/li][li]The economy comes out of the dumper[/li][li]Unemployment drops significantly[/li][li]Faith is restored to the integrity of equity markets[/li][li]North Korea’s nuclear threat is subverted[/li][li]OBL’s head is placed on a stake[/li][li]etc[/li][/ul]
Short of accomplishing at least most of that list, the Democrats attacks will be redeemed.

And btw, you still owe me a response here.

First, I don’t believe polls as a general rule, since the phrasing of the questions can radically skew the results. Second, I don’t think there is a democrat who could beat George Bush in an election if it were held tomorrow, much less some generic democrat.

If the war in Iraq goes well, and if Osama Bin Laden is captured or killed, and if the North Korea situation is in check by the time of the election, and if these developments have a positive effect on the economy, I suspect that Bush will win in a landslide comparable to Reagan2. The problem with the democratic attacks on the Bush war plan at this stage in the game are twofold, I think. First, they approved military action last fall, so obviously they saw a problem that they now say is not clear. Second, history is written by winners, but at least in the short term, everyone remembers that the naysayers were wrong. Everyone on the anti-war boat will have to jump ship once the war starts. They will use phrases like “I am against military action, but of course I support the troops” and crap like that. Once the war is over, people will only remember that they opposed the war.

GHW Bush had meteroic poll results during and following the Gulf War, but he raised taxes and lost the election because of the effect that had on the economy. Generally, voters won’t switch horses in the middle of a war, but absent that, most voters cast their ballots based on economics. If Bush succeeds in fixing the economy, then current polls mean little.

I think what is hurting the Dems most right now is not their war stance, but their stance on Estrada. Not because he is latino, but because their filibuster is the very height of partisan politics that they have been denouncing so vociferously. That one will be run up a flagpole and saluted daily once the election season begins in earnest. A filibuster because you feel you need more clarification of the candidate’s judicial opinions is just nonsense, and I don’t think that it will fly.

I’m sorry. The possibility that Saddam might not possess banned weapons is so unlikely that I don’t intend to take the trouble to research cites on particular aspects of this question.

I don’t agree on Estrada. Most people, sadly, don’t probably know too much about Estrada and why that affects their lives.

I think the Democrats are already hurting themselves. When the time comes for elections, people will avoid voting for negative Democrats, and perhaps either not vote or cast votes for a third party candidate.

Bush will have to accomplish a lot in order to win resoundingly a second term, like turn the economy around (the Democrats are probably already working on a variant of, “It’s the economy, stupid”), continue destroying al-Qaeda, take out Saddam, and resolve the N. Korea problem.

I think the economy will be less of an issue in 04 than it might normally have been. 1) I think most people recognize that Bush is not to blame for this economy, that it was going down well before he came to office and that the stock market bubble could not have lasted. 2) Most people will recognize that the impact of 9/11 and its aftermath had a huge effect on the economy, and this isn’t Bush’s fault either. If the Dems attack on the economy I think it will backfire on them.

I wish I could agree with you because it is true, but in my experience many people actually believe that the President controls the economy. :rolleyes:

The President controls many things, but the economy is not one of them.

I agree with you; in general too many people think the President is responsible for the economy, but I think this time it might be different, for the reasons I listed above.

It doesn’t seem that any attributions are made for these “headlines.” Perhaps a review of newspapers might turn up similar headlines, but I have no faith that the author didn’t simply make them up. Let’s grant him that they are, if not true, at least indicative of what someone might title a news story. What is the point? Who should be calling him to task if not the Democrats? Who else could be identified as opposition? Would Green party opposition merit a news story, or any interest?

Consider that Republicans have questioned or opposed Bush on matters of his prescription drug plan, his dividend tax cut plan, and of his plans for the war and for pursuing bin Laden.

So what is the issue? A great number of things are going wrong with our country. Republicans control everything. Who should be questioned about the direction we are going? Who should be responsible? This appears to be a pointless thread about a pointless article. Damn those Democrats for questioning the leadership as we fly into a mountainside.

I am puzzled as to why the same people will not think that Republicans are more interested in their party’s success than the country’s well-being.

Give me a break. Those 12 headlines are different summaries of maybe 4 issues:

  • Foreign policy, 5 headlines (one of them a duplicate!).

  • Domestic policy, 2 headlines

  • Economy, 3 headlines

  • Estrada (this one sounds like the paper is attacking the Dems), 1 headline

  • plus God Only Knows, 1 headline (3 dems rip into bush. On what?)

So all of these “attacks” could be from just 3 press conferences. Or even one. In every case, a paper made up a headline to slant the story thier way. How do we know if these are even different “attacks” ?

Based on Decembers response to AZCowboy, I expect we won’t see cites or backup on any of this. Can’t be bothered.

The democrats really have themselves in a pickle.
They’ve set themselves up so that if anything GOOD occurs, they will look really, really, really bad…And it will probably take them a couple of generations to recover.
I think this is why Hillary is supporting Bush in his efforts in Iraq. She’s probably playing it safe for the 2008 presidential elections. :wink:

I don’t think the democrats have been critical enough. Here’s a few more things they should do.

1.) Appoint a special investigator to look ino all of Junior’s shady past business deals. Think of a cutesy name for the scandal, something with a “gate” at the end. Let’s hypothetically call it “Smirkygate.”

  1. ) invesitigate every friend and associate of Junior’s for the last thirty years. Find tax violations and spend millions of dollars prosecuting them.

3.) After the SI gains convictions, the dems need to constantly assert that the invesigation into Smirkygate have turned up several convictions. It makes no difference if the convictions have anything at all to with the original investigation or with any wrongdoing by the president.

4.) Threaten to send the newly convicted former associates of Junior to prison for twenty or thirty years, then say you will get them probation if they can suddenly remember anything the president ever did wrong. The “investigators” can supply the stories if need be. All the stoolies have to do is point and say “yup.”

5.) If, say, a spouse of one of the stoolies does not want to play ball, throw her in prison for contempt of court. Make sure that the cameras show her being humiliated in shackles. Pretend that she is a dangerous, desperate psychopath akin to Manson or Oliver North.

If none of this works, investigate his sex life. Find an illicit blow job somewhere and set a perjury trap. Ask him if he fucked her. When he tries to skate around the question in a very technical way impeach him.

That’s the way you attack a president. The democrats are pansies.

The Dems are idiots - why would they meddle when Dubya has been doing a good job exposing his own silliness?

I note that December has failed to respond to any of the posts in this thread he started, except to tell AZCowboy that he wasn’t going to respond to a post about another thread. Didn’t you want to talk about this, or did you just post this to get a rise out of people?

Before you say that no legitimate questions have been raised, I would suggest that at least one of mine is perfectly legitimate: In governance, who should oppose if not the opposition party?

Again, that is, if you really wanted a discussion. Otherwise, keep on rollin’.

“Desperate Democrats Attack War on Terrorism”

That headline sounds just a bit slanted to me. Did that come from the Rush Limbaugh Daily News? And does anyone else find it ironic that Republicans are now so disapproving of Democrats who criticize the president? Just what do they think they were doing for the entire eight years of Clinton’s presidency? Oh wait, Clinton got blowjobs and lied about them. Never mind.:rolleyes:

That’s certainly a legitimate question. One might ask, e.g., whether the level of opposition is more good or more bad for the country. For the purpose of this thread, the more precisely relevant question is, Is the amount of Democratic opposition so great that the voting public will react negatively? If so, how negatively?

Clearing away the underbrush. squeegee questioned whether the Democrats really are in “attack mode.” I have provided a cite and some evidence that they are. If anyone wants to argue the contrary, please show some evidence the other way. Otherwise, I will focus on the intended point, which is whether the current level of Democratic opposition will turn out to have been good politics when we come to the 2004 elections.

I am on the fence. I think the Democratic attacks are helping them right now. E.g., my Democratic friends are eager to trot out the canard that Bush is dumb, or even that they hate him. As I said, he is sinking in the polls.

OTOH, as the saying goes, when you point a finger at someone else, you’re pointing three fingers at yourself. ISTM the Republicans haven’t tried much in the way of counter-attacks. Bush’s headlines are pro-war, rather than anti-Democratic opposition. Presumably, when the election is near, Bush and other Republican candidates will try to make a case that Democrats obstructism is bad for the public. The Dems will try to make the case that their opposition was good for the country, because Bush was doing the wrong things. Time will tell which case the public buys, if either.

ISTM that Bush’s success in Afghanistan has already proved wrong some Democrats, who claimed it would be a quagmire. If the war in Iraq goes well, and if large stores of WMDs are found, then Democratic opposition to the war in Iraq will be proved wrong as well. If the public can be convinced that Democratic opposition was interfering with good policies, that would be helpful to the Republicans. If the public is convinced that Bush is pursuing many bad policies, then they would want a divided government, to hold him in check.

*Originally posted by december *
Clearing away the underbrush. squeegee questioned whether the Democrats really are in “attack mode.”/QUOTE]I said no such thing. Read what I wrote.

*Originally posted by squeegee *

Then, what was your point?

That the newspaper headline summary was misleading. They could have been 12 headlines summarizing the same event multiple times. Hell, 2 of the headlines were even duplicates.

Then the article calls this a “relentless attack”.

Let’s try the same thing for the GOP:

“GOP to focus its tax-cutting efforts on Bush’s economic plan”

“Republican Lawmakers Launch Tax Cut Drive”

“GOP Plans to Push Growth Over Tax Cuts”

“GOP Will Give Bush Economic Plan Priority”

There we go, the exact same event in four headlines. Oops, forgot the partisan slant:

“Look At All These Headlines. Over and Over Again! Relentless!!! The Pubbies are relentlessly focusing on the Tax Cuts to the Exclusion of All Else!!! Can they think of nothing else??? Have They Forgotten We’re At War!??!?”

Not misleading, December ?