Skip to main content

The Fear Strategy

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Glenn Greenwald questions the Democrat's tactic of wielding Sarah Palin as the only reason to vote for them:

Ipersonally find it hard to believe that large numbers of voters will be motivated by a fear-mongering campaign centered around people who do not currently wield power, do not occupy any positions, and are not even running for office. But the more significant point is what this tactic says about the Democratic Party. They have controlled both houses of Congress for almost four years and the White House for almost two. Yet rather than run primarily on affirmative accomplishments(some Democrats are even running against them), they're reduced to this not-very-inspiring or hope-laden message:at least we're not as bad as Sarah Palin.

While the tactics are pretty pathetic, Greenwald notes that it isn't surprising given the Party's lack of real accomplishments:

It's not hard to see why Democrats are relying on what Maddow called this "soul-sucking" tactic. With no end in sight to the unemployment crisis, almost no real benefits yet in effect on their central legislative achievement (health care), a high likelihood of Social Security cuts following the election, few of the promises kept on the issues most important to their core base, and even hardcore Democratic pundit-partisans now finally -- and angrily -- acknowledging that Obama has continued the vast bulk of Bush/Cheney civil liberties/executive power abuses(ones which drove many progressives to remove the GOPfrom power), what else can they do to motivate people to vote for them besides try to scare people into thinking about the Sarah Palin menace?

I think Greenwald is unnecessarily hard on the Obama administration (they have scored some real achievements), but he has a point. The Democrats have had two years of fairly unadulterated power, and have spent most of it arguing with themselves rather than passing progressive legislation.