Everybody already knows that the Democrats got hammered yesterday in the midterm elections. From what I could see from the predictions going into the balloting yesterday, few people on either side thought that it would go so well for the Republicans. Today, the bulk of the postgame analysis seems to be saying that the Democrats got clobbered because they didn’t have a cohesive story to tell the American people about how they would make things better, and I have to say, that makes sense to me.
What is the Democratic policy message? That they’re against privatization of Social Security, that they’re against vouchers, that they can’t decide whether they’re for or against war in Iraq. Whether or not President Bush is responsible for it, the economy has really fallen apart since he took office, and the only thing he’s done to stop the bleeding is make some lousy protectionist trade policy and cut taxes. So what alternatives do the Democrats offer? Beats me.
What yesterday’s election teaches us is that there aren’t enough people around who are offended by the many failings of the Republicans to elect Democrats. It also teaches us that the Republicans aren’t offensive enough to bring out the Democratic voters in high enough numbers to win elections. What remains to be seen is how the Democrats can pick themselves up off the mat and do some good over the next two years, and more importantly, put together a winning ticket in 2004. Hopefully one that can regain the Senate, if not the House, as well.