Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Talk of filibuster-proof majority hurts Obama

Now that Journalists have named the 44th President, relegating next week's election a formality, the discussion has shifted to concerns (or hopes) of a filibuster-proof 60-40 margin in the Senate.

Ignoring for the moment that voters may find it offensive when journalists skip over the event the voters are supposed to be taking part in, namely voting, we find the GOP in damage control and dealing with massive infighting and finger-pointing. The discussion has turned to shifting dollars away from the McCain campaign to senatorial campaigns, including this advice from conservative David Frum: "Republicans need to give up on the happy talk about how McCain has Obama just where he wants him, take off their game faces." Frum in Sorry, Senator. Let's Salvage What We Can says they need to change the message to accept the fate of a Democratic White House and shift the focus to "balance in Washington."

"Otherwise, you're going to wake up two years from now and find a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House... Divided government is the best precaution you can have."

This message does hit home with people and probably will swing some votes to McCain and Republicans in general.

Today's SF Chronicle has a story with the headline Senate Dems aim for filibuster-proof majority. Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton went to Minnesota to endorse Al Franken to the Senate, saying that he could be that key 60th Democratic senator.

I think this kind of thing will just fire up people to vote against Democrats. People do fear an unconstrained Democratic leadership. They fear that it will lead to unlimited "taxing and spending" (despite the fact that the worst deficits have come under their hero Reagan and the two Bush's).

The message it sends is one of arrogance - it may be taken by many voters as a signal that Obama and Democrats are so cocky about the presidential election that they can now start to focus on this filibuster-proof "dream" - or "nightmare" to many voters. While, like Sarah Palin for the right, it may inspire the base, it will turn off many moderates and independents.

There is still plenty of time to lose this election.

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