Ed Driscoll

Give 'em Hell, Barry!

Paraphrasing his rallying cry as “We can still win this, Democrats!,” Hot Air spots a Philadelphia Inquirer columnist claiming that one way for the left to salvage the mid-terms would be “Obama in Truman mode:”

Yeah, the president’s general popularity has plummeted since the inauguration, but he’s still the party’s best hope for juicing the liberal base. If the base stays home on Election Day (apparently demoralized by all that Obama has thus far failed to achieve), the voting will be dominated by angry conservatives (who think that Obama has been too liberal, or “socialist,” or whatever). That’s what happened in 1994: Newt’s army showed up; Clinton’s base did not.

Twice in the last week, Obama was feisty on the stump: “Do we return to the same failed policies that ran our economy into a ditch, or do we keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out? . . . It’s still fear vs. hope, the past vs. the future. It’s still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward. That’s what this election is about.”

It’s easy to poke holes in that kind of rhetoric (note the caveat about how his policies are “slowly” pulling us out of recession), but it’s solely aimed at persuading grassroots Democrats to shake off their torpor. They just might, if Obama can shelve his cerebral vibe and sustain a give-’em-hell spirit for the next 51 days. (Big if.)

Well, so much for that idea.

As The Hill notes, “Big party week for the Obamas.” So Barry’s clearly shaken off that whole cerebral vibe; but it sounds like the sustained “give-’em-hell spirit” by the world’s oldest perpetual undergrad isn’t exactly being applied towards his party’s opponents just yet.

But hey, worse comes to worst, Barry can always do what Harry did in the last week of his election in ’48, and smear the opposition as Nazis. But then, hasn’t that trick gotten a little too played out in the last eight years?

Related: As John notes in the comments, Truman ran in 1948 against the so-called “Do Nothing” Republican Congress — but as Michael Barone wrote in April, in reality, that supposedly “do nothing” Congress arguably helped to pave the way for the economic growth of the 1950s by rolling back a fair chunk of the New Deal’s more egregious legislation.

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