Friday, June 08, 2012

Wisconsin Flop Is A Democratic Strategy Fail

Divide and conquer has been the Obama M.O. since the run-up to the 2010 midterms ("punish your enemies!", shrieked The One).  How'd that work out in the most important election in the run-up to the 2012 general election?

President Obama is convinced that he will be reelected by dividing the country and cherry picking the discontented. He sets poor against rich, women against Republicans, Catholics against Planned Parenthood, lenders against borrowers, environmentalists against oil drillers – every issue becomes a conflict...Democrats tried to divide Wisconsin into people who were for or against public unions. At the end, the strategy crumbled, because voters saw only one state, one budget, one common good.

Or maybe because there is more of "them" than Obama's "us":

Maybe average Wisconsin voters didn’t consciously know each household must pay $1,563 in extra taxes every year for the next 30 years just to fund public pension shortfalls. But they probably realized they don’t have a pension anymore, even if they have jobs. And any lucky enough to have jobs know that before Scott Walker became governor, they were paying higher taxes while working harder and longer at lower pay with slashed benefits.

 Hey politicians, wake up: This is not just about jobs; it’s about which jobs.

Any politicians who think voters who lost jobs, took pay cuts, gave up benefits, and surrendered any hope of retirement will quietly pay more for those who shared no sacrifice are going to be in for a shock on election day. Reality always wins.

Or so you would think.  But in California, Jerry Brown hunkers down on the ranch, closing his eyes and just knowing that when he opens them up the flying saucer will be there, ready to take him and the true believers to Blisstonia:

In what must be seen as the last piece of bad news for liberals from Tuesday’s election results, California Governor Jerry Brown conceded late yesterday that his attempt to impose an extra $1 tax on cigarettes was turned down by the state’s voters by a narrow margin. But Brown is undaunted by the 51-49 percent defeat for the special tax. He is still planning to put even more wide-ranging tax increases on the ballot in November in an effort to force the most populous state’s citizens to dig deeper to fund the government’s growing deficit. Brown plans to force a vote on sales tax increases as well as imposing higher rates on the wealthy to get closer to balancing a state budget that is projected to be $15.7 billion in the red. He seems sure it will pass.

Advocates of the cigarette tax hike were shocked by its defeat....But even that altruistic-sounding premise (backed by the endorsement of people like cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong) couldn’t outweigh the general disgust of the public with government pocketing more of the people’s money.

There is also the possibility that even Californians are getting sick of the way the nanny state that Brown supports is not just legislating morality but attempting to impose new restrictions on individual liberty.

This week’s defeat for higher taxes in California as well as support for restrictions on union power there and elsewhere is a wake-up call for politicians to realize that the ideas of Scott Walker and not those of Jerry Brown are the wave of the future.

So divide and conquer failed. Trying to convince the voters that public sector union employees deserve more of your money failed.  Trying to con voters out of cash in California by telling them it was for their own good failed.  "Redistribution" failed.  There seems to be not one policy platform or campaign technique that the Democrats are running on/with that has any favor with the American people whatsoever.

Will they "wake up", as many now seem to implore?

Just ask Jerry Brown...

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