Our Message In 2006: Republicans Control Congress

bumped again for old times' sake - Matt

Update: If you think this is an important idea, please email it to anyone you know in politics.

Last week, I put up a post entitled Voter Knowledge and the House of Representatives. Referencing long-term National Election Survey data, I noticed that whoever the electorate thought was in charge of the House of Representatives tended to lose seats in the House of Representatives. Since 1970, there have been eight congressional elections where 64% or more of the voting public held the same opinion on which party controlled the House of Representatives. Here were the results in those elections:

  • In 1972, 64% of the electorate believed that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Democrats lost 13 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 1980, 71% of the electorate believed that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Democrats lost 25 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 1982, 68% of the electorate believed that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Republicans lost 27 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 1986, 67% of the electorate believed that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Republicans lost 5 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 1994, 70% of the electorate believed that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Democrats lost 54 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 1996, 73% of the electorate believed that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Republicans lost 5 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 1998, 66% of the electorate believed that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Republicans lost 4 seats in the House of Representatives.

  • In 2002, 72% of the electorate believed that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. That year, Democrats lost 6 seats in the House of Representatives.
In the years that I did not list, voters were much more split over who controlled the House of Representatives. It would appear that if roughly two-thirds or more of the electorate is convinced Party X controls the House, then Party X loses seats in the House. In fact, in every election since 1970 where there was a large swing in seats--1980, 1982, and 1994--there was unusually broad agreement among voters over who controlled the House of Representatives.

As I explain on the flip, I think this finding has important ramifications for our message in 2006.
With the 2006 elections coming up, I think this is a really important finding. As long as voters know that Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives, a fact which they have most definitely not known since at least 1998, Democrats should be able to make real gains, or even take control of the chamber. This is especially the case with congressional job approval at historic lows. And don't be fooled / worried about polls that show Democratic leaders in congress with approval ratings equally as low as Republican approval ratings. That is a phenomenon caused by massive Democratic disapproval of Democratic leaders. Independents actually rate Democrats in congress much higher than they rate Republicans. Republicans even rate Democrats in congress higher than Democrats rate Republicans in congress. And those same Democrats who disapprove of their congressional leaders are all indicating that they will vote Democrat in 2006 anyway. That is why Democrats hold large leads in generic congressional ballots despite equally low job approval ratings.

Given all of this, my proposal for the 2006 Democratic message is almost disturbingly simple. Rather than getting too much into the weeds over message, slogans, and policy proposals, in 2006 we something far more basic--something that the established news media cannot filter out and something that even Republicans are forced to agree with. Maybe one of our biggest messages in 2006, if not our primary message, needs to simply be to point out to the American public the simple fact that Republicans control congress. Run a voter education campaign with a very simple lesson: Republicans control congress.

Here is one possible script for a 30-second spot in such a campaign: Script
Do you disapprove of the way the congress is doing its job?

Republicans control congress.

In Washington, DC, Republicans have a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Tom DeLay was the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives for three years. Last year, he was forced to resign because he is under indictment for money laundering charges.

Do you disapprove of the way congress is doing its job?

Republicans control congress.

Paid for by the Democratic National Committee. Of course, the ad could also be "paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee" as well. It doesn't really matter--as long as the message gets out there.

I beg any Democratic pollster working with the Democratic congressional leadership to at least test this message out. Pose a generic ballot test. Then, ask people if they know who controls congress. Compare cross-tabs by knowledge and party to the first question. Then, tell the people surveyed who controls congress. Tell them several times. Finally, retake the generic ballot and see if there is any movement within the cross-tabs.

These ads, or something similar to them, would work. Please, at least try them in a focus group. I swear, if you put five million behind these ads, national IQ on who controls Congress would soar. When that happens, we will win. Further, these ads are almost so dumb that they would be guaranteed to get some free press. And how would anyone filter out the message of these ads? There is simply no way to argue with them. How do you Swift Boat a message like that? This is an Occum's Razor type campaign--the most effective solution is the easiest one.

Maybe two years of blogging about elections have made me much more cynical than a man of my age should be. I write this because I am starting to become convinced that all this talk about what issues Democrats should focus on in 2006, all this talk about the quality of various Democratic policy proposals in 2006, all of the talk about the Democratic slogan for 2006, and even the talk of the soon to be released Democratic platform for 2006 is just way too much putting the cart before the horse. Sure, Americans are concerned as hell about Iraq, gas prices and, um--well, I'm sure there is something they care about besides Iraq and gas prices, even if I can't name it right now--but I am doubtful that any Democratic policy message / proposal has any chance of getting through the established news media right now. I mean, we have seen it time and time again: the established news media just filters out our messages and our narratives, and replaces them with Republican narratives, talking points, and memes. Peter Daou describes this as well as anyone.

Why are we talking about what message to bring to the American public when the primary mechanism for delivering our message is so utterly hellbent on not delivering that message? Even if we did develop an incredibly strong message and excellent policy proposals, and even if the established news media for some reason did not filter them out, would the nine weeks from Labor Day until Election Day be long enough for it to sink in to the American electorate? I am doubtful.

Let's get more basic than all of that. When voters agree on who controls the House, whoever they think controls the House takes a beating at the polls. Let's run with that fact and make it a prominent aspect of our 2006 campaign. As long as voters both disapprove of the way congress is doing its job and do not know that Republicans have control of congress, we are never going to retake control back.

Tags: 2006, Congress, Democrats, Media (all tags)



How do we get them to pay attention?

I'm convinced.  How do I, average Democrat, get our leaders to pay attention to this simple, yet brilliant idea?

by One Hand Clapping 2006-02-07 02:16PM | 0 recs
Democrats lost 54 seats in 1994

It's very sobering when I read that. If we work extremely hard, we may gain 15 or more seats this year.

by sircharles 2006-02-07 02:16PM | 0 recs
Good point

Get every Dem talking head to use it. But that's easier said than done :)

Maybe Chris would need to go and visit every DC senator, congressman and talking head and beat it into them.

by ab initio 2006-02-07 02:18PM | 0 recs
Simplicity is Genius

This is brilliant.

Maybe I'm off base here.  But can we perhaps break new ground again at MyDD by hiring an agency to test the script/message for us?

Hundreds of great messaging and framing ideas come and go on the blogs, with little impact on the Democratic machinery.  What you have outlined above is one of the best of all.  Is it worth:

(1) deciding amongst ourselves what the best
      possible Dem ad for 2006 should be (and
      your may well be it);
 (2) raising money to trial test it;
 (3) then going to the DNC etc. with actual
      test results
in our hands, rather than
      "just another good abstract idea posted on
      a blog"?

It seems to me that the natural progeny of the MyDD poll project is a "MyDD Message Project".

What do you think?

by Winger 2006-02-07 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Simplicity is Genius

I'm listening. This is an interesting idea. We could... I'll keep thinking about it.

by Chris Bowers 2006-02-07 02:39PM | 0 recs
Left field

Perhaps a bit out of the left field.  And perhaps a bit before its time.  But maybe a couple of years from now the blogosphere will be at the point where this kind of thing is viable.  And I think MyDD will be the place to start the ball rolling (as usual!).

by Winger 2006-02-07 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Simplicity is Genius

I've been saying exactly this !!!! Start testing some slogans. This would be a good blog all by itself....

by bernardpliers 2006-02-20 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006: Republicans Control Congr

Do we know what the numbers are for this year?

by Jefe Le Gran 2006-02-07 02:37PM | 0 recs
Move On


Good stuff. This actually looks like a role for Move On or an outfit like that.  That way, the Dems could still roll out Party themes and policy proposals and avoid the charge that "lack ideas."  That seems like a good one-two punch.  

by danielj 2006-02-07 02:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Move On

I think you are probably right. This could very well be MoveOn / 527 territory.

by Chris Bowers 2006-02-07 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Move On

How do we get the word out?

by danielj 2006-02-07 02:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Move On

I e-mailed Democracy Corps about this, as they like to note that the Dems seem unable to sufficiently benefit from the public's apparent thirst for change.  They support bold policy ideas to differentiate us from the Reps.  

However, the real reason may be that the public simply doesn't know who to take their frustrations out on.  

by danielj 2006-02-07 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Move On

They don't know who controls Congress. Fact.

by dereau 2006-02-07 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Move On

I believe our message should be something along the lines of:

"For 12 years, the Republicans have controlled Congress..."

And then list all of their screw ups. All of the times they put the special interests ahead of the nation. All the times they cut funding for this and that. All the special interest contributions they recieved, etc.

"Congressman so-and-so, voted to cut medicare 135 times...yet, he supported giving tax breaks to oil companies." etc.

by JackBourassa 2006-02-08 02:10AM | 0 recs
Repitition and Simplicity

This a great and powerful idea, and it would work perfectly. Simplicity and constant repitition is what the Democratic Party message has sorely lacked.

Chris, why not pass this idea directly to the folks over at the DCCC, DNC, and the DSCC? Tim at the DNC is blog-friendly so maybe he can pass this on to the higher ups?

Too many great ideas on progressive blogs just wither away. I hope this doesn't.

by rosebowl 2006-02-07 02:47PM | 0 recs
I've said it before

Every Democrat who goes on the Sunday talking shows and the cable "news" shows needs to slip the phrase "Republican-controlled Congress" in every sentence, along with phrases like "indicted Republican leader Tom DeLay."

Also, this campaign to educate people on who controls Congress could be part of a campaign about checks and balances (abuse of power) and how it's bad the Republicans control everything.

by Fran for Dean 2006-02-07 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: I've said it before

Given the tendency of news outlets to always constantly book the same guests, the ones who mainly need to get this message are Joe Biden and Joe Lieberman.

by kenfair 2006-02-20 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006

There must be footage somewhere of Tom Delay celebrating the political triumph of the Republican Party.

The message might be even more effective if the most corrupt man in congress is saying it.

by theodicey 2006-02-07 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006: Republicans Control Congr

Could you and Kos get together and do a big push for this on the blogosphere? That would inevitably get the attention of someone at the DNC or DCCC. If we make a big enough fuss about this, they will have no choice but to listen.

by Covin 2006-02-07 03:59PM | 0 recs

According to this, in 1982, 1986 and 2002, more than two-thirds of the population did not know who controlled Congress. These were all years in which opposite parties controlled the House and Senate, so that may be the source of the confusion, especially if the question was asked poorly (as in not clearly differentiating the two).

It should be noted that the link combines incorrect answers and those who did not know, so it is hard to tell if a large portion of the population specifically chose the wrong answer, as implied above. It should also be noted that a lot of the population doesn't vote, so it could be that the same people who don't vote don't follow politics enough to know which party controls Congress. At least, that is what I hope. Frankly, I don't think our country would be better off if more of those who don't know much about politics voted anyway. At some level of ignorance, the whole concept of the will of the people begins to lose meaning.

by liberal atheist 2006-02-07 04:36PM | 0 recs
How will Repubs. counter?

"And how would anyone filter out the message of these ads? There is simply no way to argue with them."

--We now return to Meet the Press for September 17, 2006, already in progress--

Dean: "...Republicans control congress"
Mehlman: "No they don't"
Dean: "Excuse, me? Republicans have a majority in both..."
Russert: "Ken, it's true that..."
Mehlman: "Look, Tim, I don't want to get into parsing numbers. The fact is that we have the highest deficit ever, we have exploding levels of discretionary spending because big government Democrats keep preventing Republican attempts to rein in this kind of excessive..."
Dean: "Tim, this is ridiculous! Republicans have had a majority in both houses for..."
Mehlman: "Have not"
Russert: "Uh, Ken, Republicans do have more..."
Mehlman: "Do not"
Mehlman: "Oh, come on, Howard. We have not. Tim, this is just another example of how out of touch with mainstream American values, and frankly too volatile to lead Mr. Dean and the Democrats are."

by Jilliker 2006-02-07 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: How will Repubs. counter?

"And another example of how the media is against Republicans."

by davej 2006-02-07 06:19PM | 0 recs

I see you have Dean speaking in caps at the end there. He must be ANGRY, as Republicans would say...

by mikeinflorida 2006-02-20 05:32AM | 0 recs

Flipping through channels, I stopped long enough to hear Katrina vanden Heuvel of "The Nation" on one of the pundit shows (can't remember which one, but that's not the point), and when the host tried to tell her she was angry she immediately responded:

"No, I am not angry, what I am is PASSIONATE!"

Gotta love Katrina.  Don't mess with her, she always holds her own.

by notime4lies 2006-02-20 05:59AM | 0 recs
interesting that 2002 figure

Why do you think 72% thought Dems controlled the House? All I can think of is that all that rubber stamping didn't put any Rs in the news except the Exec branch and minions.

by musicsleuth 2006-02-07 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: interesting that 2002 figure

How? They stuck to the talking point that Democrat equals DC insider.

Then they expanded the definition of Democrat to include "East Coast Elite" "Hollywood" "Gay" "Weak" "Obstructionist". Those key words evoked the enemy - Democrats. These key words and their usage were a substitution for actual thought.

Read Orwell's essay on Politics and the English Language. The thought process behind an attack frame like the "Liberal Elite" does the thinking for the voter.

It doesn't matter that it's illogical. The whole point of a talking point is to keep people from thinking. The GOP talking points keep logic away from voters. The Dem talking points do the opposite.

Sadly, in so many ways, Americans don't have the ability to infer or reason anymore. That's why our talking points, like our white papers, like our symposiums on HUD and the Cincinnati variation of Roberts Rules of Parlimentary Procedure excite voters the way they do.

by dereau 2006-02-07 08:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006

this is so brilliant, i signed up for an account to thank you - for the first time I can imagine a successful campaign.  Who needs to explain anymore?  Just tell 'em who's been in charge for the past 5 years (throw in some of those employment/net worth/reinvestment-of-profits stats showing what pretty much EVERYONE has lost to THEM since Jan. 21, 2001), and what's left to say but... throw the bastards out!


by DeeLuzon 2006-02-07 06:59PM | 0 recs
Run before walking

Absolutely.  It would be silly to try and run before we can walk.  Which is why a pinpoint focus (such as  a well-honed message) is perfect.  As for the senate seats you mentioned... the whole point of optimizing our message is to help win the seats.  The current DC consultant crowd seem to be locked into some kind of inappropriate groupthink.

I don't think anyone around here is asking that we take over the entire party in one fell swoop!

by Winger 2006-02-07 07:43PM | 0 recs
Gulf Region spin-off?

I think that this is a brilliant idea, and it kind of ties into something that I was thinking about in terms of Louisiana.

2006 is a good chance to put some blue back in Louisiana. People there are pissed off, and I mean Grade-A pissed off, about the way that they've been treated post-Katrina and Rita. They feel that they've been abandoned by their country, that Iraq is more important than New Orleans, and Mississippi and Alabama are more important than Louisiana.

Here's the ad that I've been wanting:

Republicans control the White House. George W. Bush made promises and now he's broken them.

Republicans control Congress. Bush can promise aid, but Congress has to find the money. The Republican Congress hasn't given you the money you need.

Republicans control Congress. Six of the nine Louisiana Congressional Delegates in Washington are Republicans. The Republican Congress has abandoned its own party members.

Republicans control Congress and the White House. They've done a heckuva job.

It's time to put the Democrats in charge of the Louisiana recovery effort.
It's time for results.

Paid for by the Democratic National Committee.


Oh, and before anybody freaks out about me trying to play politics with tragedy - I'm from New Orleans. I've spent the last three months going back and forth between Texas and Louisiana helping my family rebuild. A number of my friends have lost everything. And people there feel betrayed. They voted for Bush in 2004 to keep them safe, and now they're seeing that they were wrong.

by paulrobeson 2006-02-07 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006: Republicans Control Congr

To those who say, what do we do when we're in power, can they just use this back on us?

I say probably not.

An attack frame, which is what this is, is like a magnetically charged piece of metal. Reverse it's charge a few times quickly and it becomes neutral.

But we can change it once or twice.  We need to run as balanced-budget hawks. That's one that we can sucessfully flip.

Run as a Restoration of Healthy Government (Checks & Balances)

Run on MLK.

Hell, run as an Anti-Tyranny candidate.

by dereau 2006-02-07 09:02PM | 0 recs
Excellent, excellent idea, but one suggestion:
Just a thought, but I would propose the message be:

Conservative Republicans control congress.

We need to tarnish their ideological brand at every turn. They've been doing it to us since Reagan, at least.

And if this works, and we regain congress, it could be seen as a rebuke to conservatism as a whole.
by allpaintedcold 2006-02-08 03:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent, excellent idea, but one suggestion:

Two things about that:

1) "Conservative" is generally considered a good word, in much the same way that "liberal" is considered a dirty word.  I realize your point is to make that not the case any more, but I think it may hinder our efforts of making the case against the Republicans.  Perhaps after we win the majority we can talk about how the right-wing of the Republican party took over and screwed up everything.
2) I would argue that the people in charge of the Republican Party are not in any sense "conservative."  Taking away people's rights, circumventing checks and balances, ignoring the Constitution, putting yourself above the law, and racking up half-trillion dollar deficits are not "conservative" ideas.  These guys are just insane and incompetent.

by Fran for Dean 2006-02-20 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent, excellent idea, but one suggestion:

As long as people associate [i]Republicans[/i] with police state measures, idioric wars, and growing deficits, who cares if they associate [i]conservatives[/i] with such things as well?

by Left for the Left 2006-02-20 11:05AM | 0 recs
Here's a script

Open on a close up of a telephone.  A hand picks up the reciever and starts dialing.

Voiceover:  For over 4 years, the National Security Agency has secretly tapped the phone calls of thousands of Americans without seeking a warrant from a court.

Audio cut to clip of Bush:  "This would be a lot easier if it were a dictatorship--so long as I'm the dictator."

The phone receiver is held up to th camera.  Fade to black as the voiceover says:

Voiceover:  Do you know exactly who is on the other end of the line?  The Republican controlled House of Representatives can't stand up to President Bush.  Vote Democratic.

by Reece 2006-02-08 07:00AM | 0 recs
Confliction in your rationale

It doesn't always go like that.  In 2004, the GOP in power had a net disapproval rating, by the fact the country believed it was on the wrong track and most of the country believed the GOP controlled the House and they gained 6 seats.  I believe that the Senate races correspond to the House races more so than your rationale. In 1986 and 1994, the party out of power had a net disapproval rating and the party out of power picked up Senate seats in large numbers and captured large amounts of House seats.  In 1996 and 1998, the GOP had net disapproval ratings, but the Dems didn't gain a lot of seats because the Dems picked up nothing in the Senate such as: losing 2 seats in 1996 and no pick up for either party.  Similarily, the GOP had a net disapproval rating in 2004 and they controlled the House, but the Dems lost 5 senate seats, so there was no gain in the House.  Right now we are predicted to take 2 senate seats in MO and PA but it isn't enough to capture the House, the current prediction is 5-10 seat pickup.  We need to win about 4 senate seats to get the House.  Until then, we destined to stay in the min, we have to try to get RI and OH which we are still behind in.

by mleflo2 2006-02-20 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Confliction in your rationale

I think if you're using data from presidential election years as opposed to mid-term elections, you're going to have skewed analyses.  Especially since we are considering a mid-term election right now.

Presidential elections, especially the one in 2004, generate immense field operations that are unheard-of in mid-terms.  Field operations have a big impact on subverting "polling" results and making those polls look foolish.  That was definitely the case in 2004.  No matter if 68% of those polled disapprove of what Congress is doing, or if 68% think Congress is controlled by Republicans, if the GOP can turn out numbers of voters, which essentially makes the previous poll a not statistically significant sample size in hindsight, they'll overcome that.  

But in the larger point of the main post and some responses.  I think it's great.  It is gaining traction among political types here in Wisconsin, where the state legislature is controlled in both houses by the GOP.  They're doing all sorts of crazy things, including introducing three different constitutional amendments in the past two years, none of which went anywhere but certainly got debated (heavily) a lot.  And they just re-introduced one of them again and got a gay marriage amendment on a referendum.  People here are fed up with their stuff, and lots of people in the editorial pages and elsewhere are saying "Republicans control the legislature, Republicans control the legislature."  And the thing that is working is something similar to what was pointed out above: repeat the same core message, but with variations on the different instantiations.

Republicans control Congress and they can't balance a budget without slashing important and vital programs because they're busy stuffing the pockets of the special interests that keep lining theirs.  Republicans control Congress and can't do the job right.  Democrats can.

Republicans control Congress and they can't adequately ensure that our nation is secure because the money and attention that we need to have securing ports, utility plants, airports, and major cities is being directed to defense contractors, private companies, and a debacle of misusing the military over in Iraq.  Republicans control Congress and can't do the job right.  Democrats can.

Republicans control Congress and they can't bring America energy independence and security because they lack the foresight to see that renewable energy is an American industry that can bring us our energy from right here at home, creating jobs, making our economy more secure and get that economy running better.  Republicans control Congress and they can't bring America energy independence and security because they are too busy with energy policies that give away billions to highly-profitable energy companies that keep nailing our wallets at the pump and the monthly bill, and these companies get away with it because they've bought off the Republicans who control Congress.  Republicans control Congress and can't do the job right.  Democrats can.

The message in these rough examples is that there is a consistent thread of Republican inability and lack of will to do right by the American people and "get the job done," something that Americans look to as a very important quality in our elected officials; the specific examples highlight this and focus on what Republicans didn't do and why; finally, they say Democrats will do the job better by laying out the terms of Republican failure so bare that the other option would definitely do it better.  All in all, the message is simply that Republicans control Congress and their failures are many and large, while Democrats won't make those mistakes.

by rickman 2006-02-20 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Confliction in your rationale

I still think that based on 2004 results we need to gain at least 4 senate seats to take back the house.  The elections of 1986, 1994, and 1998 shows you need a substancial Senate pickup to gain a significant amount of seats: 5-6 seats in the Senate in 1986, Dems gain significant seats, 1994: Republicans gain more than 6 take 50 seats in the House.

by mleflo2 2006-02-20 10:10AM | 0 recs
Brilliant--Email DNC, DCCC, DSCCSen Reid, Pelosi

It should be inserted in all interviews by Dems in media and repeated ad nuseum.

by jasmine 2006-02-20 06:25AM | 0 recs
Train the parrots at Fox....

The press is so used to parroting rather than writing new material that they WILL start repeating Democrat's slogans out of pure laziness and bad habits. One day I listened to Fox News ridicule the idea that "Bush Lied" for about 2 minutes. But what made it so funny was that SAID "Bush Lied" about 50 times. It was like
"Well people say Bush lied, and that's just silly"
"I know, it hurts our country when people say Bush  lied, but they just keep saying Bush lied, and I don't think any responsible person thinks Bush lied, but people keep saying Bush Lied."
"Yes, but no matter how much people say Bush lied, the public does not believe Bush lied."

I was just laughing at how inept it was. They are simply parrots, and they could not stop themselves from regurgitating Democrat points as if they we possessed.

by bernardpliers 2006-02-20 07:01AM | 0 recs
Start warming up on the deficit

Also, this is the time to start pushing the message that this is the GOP'S DEFICIT. Get some slogans and talking points out there, because the Dems are simply gun-shy about this so they need to be scripted

On an unrelated topic....Get Jesse on this one

"The were warned that Al Queda was going to hijack airplanes, they were warned we did not have the men or armor for Iraq,they were that an insurgency would develop in Iraq that would take years to defeat, they were warned about Katrina, they were warned the levees would break, and they have have been warned about the deficit ruining this country. Tine and agian they have been warned BY THEIR OWN PEOPLE...."

by bernardpliers 2006-02-20 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006: Republicans Control Congr

Interesting. But what I think is even more interesting is this question:

How the !@#$ is it possible that thrice in the last quarter-century, the public has been so totally ignorant about which party controls the House? WTF is the matter with this country!?

OK, I can understand - sort of. The other party controlled the Senate, not the House, in 1982, 1986, and 2002 - the very years the public got it wrong.

But still, the fact that most of my countrymen don't know the difference between the Senate and the House - let alone that there's ever been a "split" among the public about who controls what - makes me feel like we're all just banging our heads against the wall.

Of course, I don't blame the people, I blame the media. So this really goes to show that the media has been almost as terrible as it is today for the last quarter century. Nevertheless, I can't help but despair about Democrats getting their message out when the media has managed to keep this country in the dark about something as basic as who controls Congress!

by Mathwiz 2006-02-20 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Our Message In 2006

Just posted this comment on Something Old, Nothing New, where I originally saw the post:

Actually, these are some of the most depressing statistics I've ever seen. This mindless bouncing back and forth by the electorate ("Ins...bad. Outs...GOOOOD!!") only validates the old elitist battle-cry, "The masses are asses."

So what if the Democrats use a strategy based on these stats to regain control of Congress? Doesn't it mean they'll only be laying the groundwork for their defeat in the next election cycle??

If the majority of American voters are so wedded to the notion that all incumbents are bums they refuse to distinguish between the Democrats (who, no matter how feebly, make at least some small effort to improve the little guy's lot) and the Republicans (who want to grind up the middle class to feed their lhasa apsos)...well then, Kent Brockman's right: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- democracy just doesn't work!"

by hipdadiddy 2006-02-23 08:37AM | 0 recs


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