Democrats hear only one thing when Republicans talk about fighting President Barack Obama’s immigration agenda or GOP plans for controlling Congress: government shutdown.
In fundraising requests, media appearances and conference calls, Democrats are painting Republicans as the “shutdown party” just in time for the midterm elections that coincidentally hit right after the one-year anniversary of last year’s October shutdown.
Democrats hope this emerging strategy persuades voters that if Republicans win both the House and Senate in November, there will be more unpopular shutdowns and Obama will have to fight hard against the GOP to simply preserve the policy legacy of his first six years in office.
Because most of their policy ideas can’t be discussed honestly, Democrats forever resort to the “THIS IS WHAT THE SCARY REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO DO IF YOU VOTE FOR THEM!” strategy that has worked so well for them ever since they started saying the GOP wanted to “cut Medicare” way back when. There were never any cuts on the table, just reductions in the rate of increase but, hey, it stuck.
One of the reasons these things stick is because the average establishment Republican in Congress is too weak and/or stupid to refute the lies. In the case of the shutdown, the McCains and Boehners of the world have spent so much time whining about it in the last year that they have practically written this script for the Democrats.
It is more than understandable that the Democrats are going back to last fall for a talking point, what can they point to in 2014 that’s gone well for them? Obamacare? Foreign policy? The president’s approval ratings? This Halloween shutdown straw man is their best desperate shot.
Don’t be surprised if it works.