There’s always a danger that engaging in campaign activities so hard on the heels of a national election can backfire, but the Democrats have positioned themselves brilliantly in their new fiscal cliff robo-campaign. It also helps that they’re getting an assist from The Hill.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is continuing its offense on tax cuts for the middle class with robocalls in the districts of 35 House Republicans it believes are vulnerable on the issue.
The robocalls charge that the lawmaker at issue “could make sure Congress votes to extend tax cuts for the middle class and avoids the fiscal cliff, but he refuses.”
It’s a reference to the discharge petition introduced by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week to extend the Bush-era tax levels for the middle class but allow rates to rise for the wealthy. The petition will need 218 signatures to get to the House floor for a vote, and Democrats will be unable to achieve that majority without help from a few dozen Republicans.
The Democrats are campaigning against the very same tax cuts that they have spent the past several years deriding as irresponsible, but the media will not point that out. Democrats have fought against extending those tax cuts. But now they’re embracing them, purely for political reasons so they can cast Republicans as “standing in the way” of tax cuts on the middle class. Seriously.
The call goes on to charge that the targeted lawmaker is “holding the middle class hostage to get more reckless, budget-busting tax cuts for millionaires.”
That is not what is happening at all. The truth is, the Democrats are holding the middle class tax rates hostage in order to obtain their punitive tax hikes on the nation’s top earners and job creators, for as Obama has so eloquently phrased it, “reasons of fairness.” The Democrat hikes do next to nothing to solve the nation’s debt problem, and the Democrats are doing everything they can to take entitlement reform off the table.
The DCCC’s callscalls are going into Republican House districts in mostly blue or swing states (none in Texas, for instance, and only one in Oklahoma — and that one targets Rep. Tom Cole, who has said that he would go along with tax hikes!) where shifting a few low information voters can soften the Republican up for a challenge in 2014.
This DCCC campaign confirms the suspicion that the Democrats are using the fiscal cliff standoff not to negotiate in good faith, but to position the GOP into having to vote for tax hikes — killing what’s left of the Republican anti-spending, anti-tax brand — and position the Democrats as the saviors of the middle class ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections.
The probability that millions of Americans will lose their jobs when we go over the cliff is evidently not a problem to the Democrats. In fact, in the mid-term election window, more dependence may mean more Democratic voters. Unemployment benefits now extend up to 99 weeks now, right? The time from January 2013 to November 2014 is less 96 weeks. If you lose your job in early 2013 as a result of the fiscal cliff meltdown, and the media is blaming the Republicans incessantly, how will most low information voters vote when the Democrats are promising to extend those unemployment benefits up to and past the 2014 elections?
The Republicans, House and Senate, so far are not matching the DCCC’s robocall campaign, leaving the field to the Democrats’ message uncontested. Republicans may therefore already be losing not only the fiscal cliff battle, but the war that follows in 2014, right now.