The Democratic Message for 2010

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Here's a sneak peak at the Democratic Party's national election message for 2010, courtesy of a party official. It'll be unveiled officially by DNC chairman Tim Kaine at a Christian Science Monitor luncheon later today. The basic point, quite naturally, is that the Democrats want to offer voters a choice, not a referendum, based on a foundation of real accomplishments, including the transition from a recession to a recovery.

"We have more accomplishments to run on than any Party in a long time," Kaine's expected to say.

  ** We've gone from recession to recovery. 
  ** We've made more progress in the war on terror in the last eight months than was made in the preceding eight years.
  ** We've strengthened our relationships with our allies around the world.
  **Two million people or more have jobs today who wouldn't have without the bold action taken by this President and Democrats in Congress.
   ** We have the first Latina and only the third woman ever on the Supreme Court.
   **  We're using science and fact in policy making instead of ideology and politics.
   ** We have the most transparent Administration in modern history, with tough ethics standards, and we are wringing the influence of special interests out of the policy making process.


"And, we've taken health care from crisis to reform.  It was a tough fight largely because of the vitriol and misinformation coming from the other side.  But, it was the right thing to do for this country and I firmly believe it will redound to our benefit in the fall and in elections for years to come.  Americans want results, and that's what we've given them."

Republicans have obstructed the President and worked to defeat his and the Democrats' agenda for one primary reason - political calculation.  They have placed their own politics above progress on our nation's most pressing issues.  Americans expect and appreciate a loyal opposition Party whose opposition is based in principle and genuine policy differences.  But, we know for a fact that the Republicans set out before President Obama was even sworn into office with a plan to obstruct his agenda at all costs, no matter what the details, and notwithstanding that the American public wants to see meaningful cooperation at a time of significant economic crisis.  From saying they wanted the President to fail and to break him politically, to trying to obstruct everything from health reform and the jobs bill, to blocking Administration appointments to sensitive national security posts, Republicans have failed to offer any positive vision for the country and instead just decided to go all in on a strategy of fighting against the President. 

Second, Republicans continue to put the interests of Wall Street above the needs, interests and financial security of Main Street.  From standing with insurance companies against health reform to standing with big banks and Wall Street lobbyists against Wall Street reform, 2009 and 2010 has been like a remake of the movie "Back to the Future."  In both 2006 and 2008, one the Democratic Party's most powerful and successful criticisms of Republicans was that they stood with the special interests and their lobbyists against the interests of families and small businesses on everything from taxes to energy policy.   Clearly, Republicans have already forgotten those lessons.   While Democrats have taken bold action to take on special interests on health care, energy and on Wall Street reform, in virtually every case Republicans have stood with the special interests.  They even cheered when the Supreme Court threw out decades of precedent and overturned laws barring corporations from spending money to directly influence the outcome of elections. 

And of course, if all that is not enough, we've seen just how extreme and divisive the Republican Party has become.  The level of extreme rhetoric emanating from Party leaders, often as part of a cynical strategy to manipulate people hurting in a tough time, is creating internal civil war within the GOP and increasingly striking a negative chord with American voters who are fundamentally optimistic about the nation and our need to work together in a tough time.

The other part of the message: Republicans have been obstructionists, they've been the party of Wall Street, and they're becoming more and more extreme with each passing day, Kaine will say.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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