Despite all President Barack Obama's talk in the State of the Union address about the middle class, those genuinely in that category are rapidly losing faith with the Democrats, making it likely the party will go down to defeat in 2016, writes senior Republican strategist Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal
The white working class — college-educated Americans earning in the $50,000 to $100,000 range annually — are drifting away from the Democrats, he says.
Rove cites a John Judis essay in the National Journal
that argues that Democrats have lost the electoral advantages they had not long ago. Reagan Republicanism, writes the left-leaning Judis, now appears to be the default position of many Americans.
The party's prospects are also stymied by the demoralized ranks of Senate Democrats. Minority Leader Harry Reid has returned to work
after an accident, but his leadership team — comprised of Sens. Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and Patty Murray — is divided.
Guided by Obama, Democrats have chosen "confrontation over conciliation and posturing over legislating," writes Rove.
Senate Democrats can do little more than vote no as "the upper chamber is again a functioning legislative body" under the new Republican majority. They may be able to obstruct Republicans from using a Homeland Security funding bill to stop Obama's immigration policies. But their agenda is not taken seriously, leaving them with "little to stand for," writes Rove.
It will not be easy to run in 2016 as a Democrat in a swing state. The president's proposal to hike "taxes on the top 20 percent to provide more refundable tax credits to the bottom 20 percent" is not a winning strategy, Rove says.
Nor are Obama's budget proposals that would increase discretionary spending, thereby raising the national debt another $7 trillion by 2025. A solid majority of Americans think reducing the yearly deficit should be an "absolute priority," according to the latest WSJ/NBC News poll
cited by Rove.
"The year's arc is set: Led by their stubborn and ideologically rigid president, Democrats will obstruct popular Republican proposals in Congress."
And that could well set the stage for the GOP to capture the White House next year.
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