It’s very clear what Obama and the Democrats’ 2012 strategy will be: “The people versus the powerful.”
They will paint the “do-nothing” Republican Congress, and the Republican presidential nominee, as puppets of big business and evil corporations. Mitt Romney is a perfect target for this, because of his work at Bain. The #Occcupiers have laid the foundation, and can continue to help Democrats in 2012.
The problem with this: They’re trying it at the wrong time, in the wrong country.
This is 2012, not 1932 or 1948.
Several decades ago, the world was more accepting of statist solutions. Communism and socialism were on the rise everywhere, and even Americans were much more left-leaning.
Today’s world is very different. Free enterprise has proved to be the only viable economic system, and people all over the world are much more suspicious of statist solutions. Even the Communists in countries like China are Communists in Name Only.
This is the United States of America.
Not Latin America, or other countries where catchy populism holds sway. Americans are much more economically sophisticated than Democrats give them credit for. Suburban soccer moms and office park dads, who decide elections, depend on corporations for their livelihoods. They think of themselves as value creators who would do much better if only government could get out of their way. They only vote Democrat when circumstances are unique, or when Republicans scare them off with social conservatism. An economic-populist message has very little appeal to them, and will scare them right into the arms of the GOP.
Obama’s strategy will get him to about 45 percent of the vote by revitalizing his base. But it’ll be hard for him to get beyond that. And it’ll cost Democrats seats all the way down-ballot.
It’s a losing strategy, but he doesn’t have much choice. He can lose big gracefully, or he can lose small in an ugly way. He’s chosen the latter.