|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
According to polls, Americans are in a mood to hold their breath until they turn blue. Voters appear to be so fed up with the Democrats that they're ready to toss them out in favor of the Republicans -- for whom, according to those same polls, the nation has even greater contempt. This isn't an "electoral wave," it's a temper tantrum.
It's bad enough that the Democratic Party's "favorable" rating has fallen to an abysmal 33 percent, according to a recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll. It's worse that the Republican Party's favorability has plunged to just 24 percent. But incredibly, according to Gallup, registered voters say they intend to vote for Republicans over Democrats by an astounding 10-point margin. Respected analysts reckon that the GOP has a chance of gaining 45 to 60 seats in the House, which would bring Minority Leader John Boehner into the speaker's office.
My guess is that with a decided advantage in campaign funds, along with the other advantages of incumbency, Democrats will be able to mitigate these prospective losses -- perhaps even relieving Nancy Pelosi of the hassles of moving. But there's no mistaking the public mood, and the truth is that it makes no sense.
The nation demands the impossible: quick, painless solutions to long-term, structural problems. While they're running for office, politicians of both parties encourage this kind of magical thinking. When they get into office, they're forced to try to explain that things aren't quite so simple -- that restructuring our economy, renewing the nation's increasingly rickety infrastructure, reforming an unsustainable system of entitlements, redefining America's position in the world and all the other massive challenges that face the country are going to require years of effort. But the American people don't want to hear any of this. They want somebody to make it all better. Now.
One last word to those who voted for Mr. Reagan.
I know what you were saying. But I also know what you were not saying.
You did not vote for a $200 billion deficit.
You did not vote for an arms race.
You did not vote to turn the heavens into a battleground.
You did not vote to savage Social Security and Medicare.
You did not vote to destroy family farming.
You did not vote to trash the civil rights laws.
You did not vote to poison the environment.
You did not vote to assault the poor, the sick, and the disabled.
And you did not vote to pay fifty bucks for a fifty-cent light bulb.
Four years ago, many of you voted for Mr. Reagan because he promised you'd be better off. And today, the rich are better off. But working Americans are worse off, and the middle class is standing on a trap door.
Lincoln once said that ours is to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. What we have today is a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. And we're going to make a change in November. Look at the record.
First, there was Mr. Reagan's tax program. What happened was, he gave each of his rich friends enough tax relief to buy a Rolls Royce - and then he asked your family to pay for the hub caps.
Then they looked the other way at the rip-offs, soaring utility bills, phone bills, medical bills.
Then they crimped our future. They let us be routed in international competition, and now the help-wanted ads are full of listings for executives, and for dishwashers - but not much in between.
Then they socked it to workers. They encouraged executives to vote themselves huge bonuses - while using King Kong tactics to make workers take Hong Kong wages.
Mr. Reagan believes that the genius of America is in the boardrooms and exclusive country clubs. I believe that the greatness can be found in the men and women who built our nation; do its work; and defend our freedom.
If this administration has a plan for a better future, they're keeping it a secret.
Here is the truth about the future: We are living on borrowed money and borrowed time. These deficits hike interest rates, clobber exports, stunt investment, kill jobs, undermine growth, cheat our kids, and shrink our future.
Whoever is inaugurated in January, the American people will have to pay Mr. Reagan's bills. The budget will be squeezed. Taxes will go up. And anyone who says they won't is not telling the truth to the American people.
I mean business. By the end of my first term, I will reduce the Reagan budget deficit by two-thirds.
Let's tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you. I just did.
There's another difference. When he raises taxes, it won't be done fairly. He will sock it to average-income families again, and leave his rich friends alone. And I won't stand for it. And neither will you and neither will the American people.
To the corporations and freeloaders who play the loopholes or pay no taxes, my message is: Your free ride is over.
To the Congress, my message is: We must cut spending and pay as we go. If you don't hold the line, I will: That's what the veto is for.
Now that's my plan to cut the deficit. Mr. Reagan is keeping his plan secret until after the election. That's not leadership; that's salesmanship. And I think the American people know the difference.
Atwater's aggressive tactics were first demonstrated during the 1980 congressional campaigns. He was a campaign consultant to Republican candidate Floyd Spence in his campaign for Congress against Democrat Tom Turnipseed.
Atwater's tactics in that campaign included push polling in the form of fake surveys by "independent pollsters" to "inform" white suburbanites that Turnipseed was a member of the NAACP. He also sent out last-minute letters from Sen. Strom Thurmond telling voters that Turnipseed would disarm America and turn it over to liberals and Communists. At a press briefing, Atwater planted a "reporter" who rose and said, "We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment." Atwater later told the reporters off the record that Turnipseed "got hooked up to jumper cables" - a reference to electroconvulsive therapy that Turnipseed underwent as a teenager.
Labels: American Idiots