The Democratic Party is facing a crisis.
With President Obama’s approval rating reaching an all-time low at 42%, the Republicans with a six-point lead in Real Clear Politics’ Generic Congressional Ballot, and the general increase in dissatisfaction with those in charge, the upcoming midterm elections will almost certainly swing Republican. Further, there is a very good chance that the Democrats will lose control of the House and the Senate.
What then, can the Democrats do to at least blunt the move to the right in the fall elections?
The Democrats must abandon their failed policies and adopt a bold, assertive, post-partisan, centrist agenda that focuses on fiscal discipline and fiscal stimulus initiatives that target the private sector and encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.
President Obama and his family began their vacation on Martha's Vineyard on Thursday. While the president is away here are some ideas and initiatives he should contemplate, which may help prevent some Congressional losses this fall.
• As a primary part of his centrist, bipartisan agenda, Obama needs to talk about how he is going to continue to commit himself to ending the partisan divide. Specifically, he should organize a national conference of CEOs and union leaders this September to talk about national priorities going forward. To get national consensus, he needs to return to the approach that got him elected and that the American people overwhelmingly want.
• Start working on partnership at the state level. By forging bipartisan consensus with Republican governors on economic development, welfare reform and education initiatives, Obama will demonstrate what Washington can achieve in partnerships with the states.
• Do not repeal the Bush tax cuts. At a time when our economy continues to struggle and unemployment is at 9.5%, Americans do not want to see an increase in their taxes.
• Advocate spending cuts. Americans want a government that is leaner and more efficient. By endorsing such cuts, Democrats will blunt the Tea Party’s appeal, which predominately focuses on the need for less government spending.
• Support fiscally conservative policies aimed at balancing the budget and reducing the deficit.
• Outline a clear foreign policy that shows our strength and commitment to fighting terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to standing up to North Korea and to Iran. An assertive position around the world. Reiterating the purpose of our troops in Afghanistan, what we got out of Iraq so that the world and the American people know what our values are and what the broad goals are of our foreign policy.
• Extend the Small Business Innovation Research program, and expand lending through the Small Business Administration’s loan program to encourage more start-ups and enable small businesses to hire and train more workers
• Declare a payroll tax holiday for new businesses so they can invest in new jobs.
• Jumpstart the economy by investing in green technology and create new jobs and make the United States a leader in clean energy manufacturing, especially solar, and expand the innovation and development of renewable energy.
• Expand the federal research and development tax credit to businesses that invest in research and development, and increase research grants to small businesses that are developing new technologies.
The Obama administration and the Democratic leadership must acknowledge that private enterprise creates jobs and we should invest our resources accordingly. More stimulus money in government programs is not the answer.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist, Fox News contributor and author of the upcoming book "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System" to be published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins on September 14.
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