Marsha Mercer, writing in the Richmond Times Dispatch analyzes the bizarre campaign message the Congressional Democrats are sending. It boils down to. "we're failures, so send us back to Capitol Hill".
There's more. Incumbents inevitably run on their records. The current Congress hasn't passed one piece of "meaningful legislation," Ms. Berkley said.
"They have been putting on a lot of shows over the past few weeks, trying to convince the American people they are actually accomplishing something," she said. "Don't believe them."
They? Them? Ms. Berkley is finishing her fourth term in the House. You'd think she never stepped foot in the Capitol.
Insiders running as outsiders is not new in politics, but this year it's an art form. And it's a gamble. To regain control of Congress, Democrats need to persuade voters to throw the rascals out — but only those who run the joint, only the Republicans. It's true that Democrats have no power in this Congress, but will that be the message that gets through to voters?
First-term Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, got a call the other day from his brother-in-law in St. Louis who said, "I sure hope you will do something for America this week."
"AND ALL I could think about was, 'I do too,'" Cleaver said on the House floor. "Because unfortunately, we are not doing much for America."
There's a campaign slogan: Re-elect me. I'm not doing much for America. But it's not my fault.
I've said all along that a "throw the bums out" strategy was very, very dangerous for the Democrats, since they risked being lumped in with the bums. It boggles the mind that this is the campaign message the Democrats want to send right now.
"I'm pleased to be here," said Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland, "but not pleased to be in this Congress, not pleased to be in this . . . do-nothing Congress. I refer to it as the do-less-than-the-do-nothing Congress of 1948."
Got that? He's not pleased to be in this Congress but he wants to be re-elected anyway.
It all goes back to Truman, who blasted the "do-nothing" Congress for 31,000 miles on a cross-country campaign train trip in 1948. He was a frustrated Democratic president with a populist agenda.
But the problem for the Democrats using this Trumanesque strategy is simple. As Mercer points out, Truman wasn't in Congress when he used it.