Pride Goes Before A Fall

It seems as though the Democratic Party has been shooting itself in the foot several times over the past few days. First is Daschle’s shrill attack on the President over tax cuts. If tax cuts are the problem, then its clear that raising taxes is the only solution. But Daschle would be committing political suicide if he campaigned on a platform of raising taxes, so he can’t go out and say that’s what he wants done. Instead he’s forced to spout off more half-measures and spending programs. Immediately Bush called his bluff and set the issue on the table – when the American people are going through tough times, Daschle’s Dems want to raise your taxes, they’d rather see you on welfare and beholden to them rather than on your feet and able to spend your money where you like. All Bush has to do is put the issue in plain speech on the table and let the American people decide which philosophy they want to choose. It’s clear that the Democrats are on the losing side of the tax issue.

Then there’s Enron. It’s clear that something fishy went on in the bankruptcy of what was one of the largest and most successful energy companies in the United States. However, the strategy of trying to produce a Republican scandal out of this is absurd. Yes, Enron gave heavily to the Republican Party – they also gave heavily to the Democratic Party. If the Democrats wanted to show that Enron was buying influence, they have to answer the basic question – "why didn’t the Bush administration intervene?" They have to prove that something out of the ordinary occurred in the meetings between Bush administration officials and Enron officials. So far, all that they’ve been able to prove is that there were meetings. Considering that Bush was trying to craft a national energy policy, there’s good reason for these meetings. Are the Democrats so wrapped up in illogical anti-corporate populism that they’d argue that energy companies should have no say whatsoever in public policy decisions? They can’t prove anything happened, so they’re trying to create a witch hunt atmosphere. No wonder many Democrats are trying to get the leadership to back off. In the end, attacking a President with high approval ratings over a scandal that no one can understand and is based on flimsy evidence is politically stupid – if you don’t believe me, just ask Newt Gingrich.

My advice to Sen. Daschle and the Democrats is this – keep it up. At this rate, 2002 will be far easier for the Republicans if the Democrats keep up this kind of shrill political attack strategy.