The Democrats’ Confidence Game
In a survey conducted in early June, Rasmussen found that Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats on six out of eleven top issues.
It’s no surprise that Republicans lead on national security: after
9/11, when Bush implemented policies to fight terrorism, Republicans’
trust ratings skyrocketed, because Americans saw the problem at hand
and liked the way Republicans were dealing with it. Years later, Obama
and other Democratic presidential candidates boasted how much more
effective they would be on national security—a fraud they were able to
perpetrate because Bush had kept us safe since 9/11 and the threat of
attack seemed remote. Even if Americans actually came to believe that
the way to defeat terrorists is to love them, Obama soon co-opted
Bush’s entire war policy, thus validating Republicans’ arguments for
the past eight years.
So we know national security isn’t Democrats’ strong suit. Perhaps
to distract from their unpopular war agenda, Obama and the newly
engorged Democratic Congressional majorities started talking about “a
new era of transparency.” After 384 Obama appointees turned out to be
tax cheats, liars, campaign underwriters, and lobbyists, Republicans
now lead on government ethics, the second-most important issue to
When ethics didn’t prove to be Democrats’ trump card, Obama started
traveling around the country handing out stimulus goodies and talking
about projects and jobs funded by the Recovery Act. Then ABC’s Jake
Tapper started uncovering all of Obama’s lies about the nonexistent effects of stimulus spending, and economists deconstructed the lunacy of his “saved or created” jobs argument. Now a plurality of Americans wants the unspent portion of the stimulus recalled.
In a desperate gambit, Obama took over GM and strong-armed
Chrysler’s secured creditors into lousy bankruptcy terms. The Fed
spent $1.2 trillion to lower mortgage rates, which increased, and
pledged so much spending that long-term interest rates are spiking.
So now—surprise!—the public trusts Republicans more on the economy,
the top-rated issue. As Rasmussen reports, “Voters not affiliated with
either party now trust the GOP more to handle economic issues by a
two-to-one margin.” So the economy doesn’t seem to be Democrats’ ace
in the hole, either.
In a sleight of hand, Obama then renewed his push for climate change
legislation and health care reform—gargantuan spending boondoggles that
would somehow miraculously save our economy, too! Then Democrats
rolled out their plans, and businesses that would actually be affected
by the legislation ran screaming.
In Rasmussen’s report, Democrats get their “highest” rating for
health care (47%)—but this was measured before we heard actual health
care proposals from Democrats, before the AMA and the Chamber of
Commerce condemned Democrats’ government-sponsored plan. Democrats’
lead on the issue has shrunk 8 points just since last month.
The other issues where Democrats do “well” are Social Security
(43%), education (44%), and abortion (41%)—all issues no one is making
major legislative proposals about right now.
Democrats’ confidence ratings are like a shell game:
whichever issues the nation is dealing with are correctly seen by
Americans as more capably handled by Republicans, but Democrats are
assumed to be wonderful—just wonderful!—on all the other concerns we
don’t happen to be tackling at the moment. As soon as Democrats get
their hands on something and we see what they actually want to do to
us, trust in their ability plummets, and they move on to another, more
The further the nation is from the reality of an issue, the more
likely Democrats are to be trusted; the closer it gets to that reality,
the more likely Republicans are to be trusted.
“Ending the war in Iraq” sounds reasonable—until you read the fine
print and realize Democrats don’t care whether we win first. “Renewing
relations with the Muslim world” sounds kindhearted—until the president
makes nominal demands to Muslim leaders and they start blowing things
“Introducing ethical standards” sounds noble—until Obama nominates
actual human beings to fill posts and we get a whiff of their
backgrounds. “Being the first post-racial president” sounds
refreshing—until Obama nominates for the Supreme Court a former Puerto
Rican separatist who thinks “inherent physiological differences” force
judges to decide the way they do.
“Stimulating the economy” sounds invigorating—until it is translated
into a 1,588-page doorstop that no one has time to read. “Moving
quickly to prevent an economic crisis” sounds prescient—until you find
out that four months later only 5% of stimulus money has been spent and
the administration is lying about funded projects.
“Cutting taxes on 95% of Americans” sounds generous—until you
realize the things Obama wants can’t be paid for without raising taxes
on current or future generations. “Saved or created 150,000 jobs”
sounds impressive—until the administration admits this figure is based on theory and not facts.
“Saving the planet” sounds conscientious—until you find out that it
involves so many devious machinations and new ways to burden Americans
that the Senate had to hire a speed-reader
to recite the bill. “Health care reform” sounds bighearted—until you
hear that it will cost $1 trillion and that Democrats want a 25%
national sales tax to pay for it.
You can usually tell when public figures accused of crimes are
guilty—their supporters invariably take several steps back and make
broad, abstract statements: “She’s an excellent teacher whom no one has
ever spoken ill of!” (But did she commit statutory rape with a student
or not?) “He has always worked to promote racial justice in his
borough!” (But did he accept kickbacks for minority contracts or
not?) “He has a lovely wife starring in ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out
Of Here!’” (But—oh, never mind.)
Similarly, for strategic reasons Democrats like to keep things
intangible, “big-picture,” “forward-looking,” “high-minded”—not
concrete, detailed, present-looking, practical.
Every time one of their shells is revealed to contain nothing
underneath, Democrats lose the public’s trust on that issue, but the
trust always seems to pop up again elsewhere. Instead of playing
Whac-a-Mole with Democrats’ confidence ratings, Republicans should
reveal their entire game as the swindle it is.