Trying to out-Republican the Republicans is a losing strategy, and Democrat gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes should know better than to go down that road.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Barnes blasted both political parties and President Barack Obama for failing to win bipartisan support for a law more Americans could get behind.
“I consider it to be the greatest failure, modern failure, of political leadership in my lifetime,” Barnes said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
Greatest political failure of leadership–Obama? Many measures in the health care law came from Republicans even though they didn’t vote for it.
In March, Obama said the following about the ‘centrist’ health care law.
“I think that the Republican Party made a calculated decision, a political decision, that they would not support whatever we did,” he said on NBC’s “Today” show, referencing Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) claim that it would be his Waterloo. “I think that’s unfortunate, because when you look at the actual bill itself, it incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas.”
The health care law isn’t perfect, and can be made better. However, Barnes giving proverbial comfort to the Tea Party Republicans or right-wing conservatives is not a winning strategy and further confuses the debate on health care.
Barnes’ attempt to be this independent populist needs to stop right now. You are a Democrat and need to start acting like one.
“Listen, I made mistakes. I pushed some things that I should’ve reached a better consensus on,” Barnes said. “He did the same thing. He’ll learn.”
Sometimes, Mr. Barnes you have to take a stand and do what’s right for Georgia, and giving any credit to Sonny Perdue is not a step in the right direction.
In the 1940’s when Truman enacted Executive Order 9981 to integrate the military, was there a ‘consensus’ or when Lyndon Johnson pushed through the Civil Rights Act and other equal protection laws?
Georgia and the nation are at a crossroads, and appears Barnes is campaigning ‘scared’, and it shouldn’t be that way.
When Barnes decided not to attend an early August fundraiser and speech of President Obama in Atlanta, I was a little disappointed. However, I just brush it aside at the time.
Barnes wanted to visit rural areas of south Georgia such as Berrien County, and that’s fine. However, what is his message as a Democrat?
It is good that he is traveling to rural south Georgia and visited places like Ocilla in Irwin County. Ocilla is Irwin County’s largest city and has a 60% African-American population.
Rural Georgia isn’t exclusively white conservatives. There are white rural progressives along with a large percentage of African-Americans and a growing number of Latinos, but it seems Barnes is trying to veer right instead of sustaining a progressive message and exciting his Democratic base.
Now I am becoming a little more skeptical and worried with his latest comments about Obama.
Barnes is receiving some bad advice from some of his advisors and from some political scientists.
Obama is viewed incorrectly as a Muslim by 1 of 5 Americans, but Obama received more votes in 2008 than any other presidential candidate along with receiving more votes from whites than Bill Clinton did.
However, it appears in a mid-term (non-presidential year) Barnes is succumbing to advice like this.
“Among white independent voters in Georgia – which Barnes needs – he (Obama) is pretty unpopular,” Emory University political science professor Alan Abramowitz said. “Barnes needs to stay away.”
Obama is not the problem… it’s Barnes political and media strategy.
And if Barnes feels more comfortable with Sonny Perdue than Barack Obama, Democrats are in trouble.
It would be nice to see Barnes talk to Morehouse and Fort Valley State students instead of steering clear of them.
Younger voters–white and black ages 18-29– and minority voters across the board were instrumental in Obama and Bill Clinton’s victories. And simply put, Barnes is ignoring them. This may hinder Barnes from breaching the 50.1% threshold on November 2nd.
Barnes should know better.
Bill Clinton received criticism for passing a budget reconciliation bill in 1993 without a single Republican vote and raised taxes for millionaires along with targeted tax cuts, and by the time he left office, the country had a budget surplus.
Obama and the Democrats passed a health care law and have been able to stabilize the American economy with 2009 stimulus.
Barack Obama did lose Georgia in 2008, but only by five percentage points, and if Obama would have visited the Peach State more, Obama would have won the state.
Obama’s presence on the ballot helped former U.S. Senate candidate force a run-off with Republican Saxby Chambliss.
So why is Barnes trying to ‘diss’ Obama in 2010?
Obama received 1,844,123 Georgia votes in 2008 with his “Yes we can” progressive message.
Barnes received less than a million in both of his gubernatorial wins in a landslide win over Guy Millner in 1998 and his disappointing loss to Sonny Perdue in 2002.
Sonny Perdue has proved to be one of the worst governor’s in Georgia history, and has taken the Georgia economy to new depths that include continuous budget cuts to education and health care benefits and now furloughing teachers have become ‘normal’.
Governing is hard and Barnes should know that first hand, and making tough decisions is part of the job.
Everybody – especially among the working and middle class-is struggling right now on some level, but Barnes must do a better job of explaining himself and the Democratic Party’s accomplishments in order to win in November.
Barnes needs to be an advocate for the health care law, and provide solutions to make it better instead of joining the Sonny Perdue-Nathan Deal band of skeptics who side with the insurance companies.
Barnes blamed Democrats for failing to explain the plan better and Republicans for not delivering reasonable alternatives.
Take your own advice Mr. Barnes, and embrace your ‘base’ along with presenting your own plan for Georgia’s future– and actually accept Obama’s help for once.