When it comes to articulating the state of our nation, unfortunately, it’s not a tough task. Pick up any newspaper and you’ll see headlines about rising unemployment, skyrocketing healthcare premiums, and gloomy growth outlooks. The narrative is beyond troubling, but not challenging for anyone to grasp: big government is killing the country. Well, except if you’re running Washington. Or running from it.
This election cycle Democrats aren’t talking about their legislative wins. Not one Democrat has taken out a paid ad touting Obamacare. Unwilling to acknowledge reality, Vice President Biden says they’re agenda is just too complicated to clarify to the public.
“Democrats aren’t running on the administration’s accomplishments like health-care and financial-regulatory overhaul and the stimulus because “it’s just too hard to explain,” Biden said.
But the White House and Democrats spent over a year explaining their health care plan. Obama alone gave over 40 speeches on the subject. As for the stimulus, wasn’t that Biden’s baby? The lone piece of policy that he was tasked with selling during the highly inappropriately named “Recovery Summer?”
The truth is that this White House has spent plenty of time pleading their case. But the facts don’t lie. More Americans oppose than favor Obamacare. And more people than not believe that the stimulus has failed. If the policies are flawed and largely unpopular, no amount of clarification can help.
This is what the left seems to be missing.
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell said they just lost the message war: “They lost the communications battle on both major initiatives, and they lost it early.”
Ah yes. If only they had talked about spending another trillion dollars on the now non-existent shovel ready projects and talked about Obamacare for three years instead of two, they left wouldn’t be facing this backlash.
Peter Baker of the New York Times reports a similar spin: “That’s a refrain heard inside the White House as well: it’s a communication problem.” He goes on to wisely note, “The first refuge of any politician in trouble is that it’s a communication problem, not a policy problem. If only I explained what I was doing better, the people would be more supportive. Which roughly translates to: If only you people paid attention, you wouldn’t be kicking me upside the head.”
And that’s where this divide between 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street America is further deepened. The notion that it’s our fault – the public - that we aren’t paying attention, that we aren’t listening close enough, or that we aren’t capable of picking up what this White House is putting down. In reality, it’s their terminal and stubborn arrogance that cripples their ability to see their flawed and foolish policies. It’s the message and the hubris of its messenger.
There’s a saying in politics: “When you’re explaining, you’re losing.” But in the case of this administration, when you choose not to explain, that’s what we call giving up.
Andrea Tantaros is a conservative commentator and Fox News contributor. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros.