Okay, kids, let's just pack it up and head home, because the Great and Mighty "Both Sides" man David Brooks has pronounced issues ordinary people care about as dead, stale, stinking carcasses voters are running away from as fast as they can.
Minimum wage? Stale as a can of tuna that sat out on the counter for a week.
Women's reproductive rights? No one cares about those.
Jobs? Who needs jobs when we've got trickle-down economics working for us?
As I was reviewing the transcript last night, we got to talking about why it is that Democrats' issues are stale, but Republicans' issues are just as fresh as if they'd been preserved in formaldehyde for years on end, or etched on stone tablets or something.
Fear? Oh yes, whether terrorists or disease or Kenyan usurpers, fear is right up there at the top, and Brooks says hey, this is a 'mood election' where people are going with what they feeeeeel, and what they feeeel is pissy because people might projectile vomit on a subway train in New York City after fighting to save lives in West Africa and The Ebola will eat us all.
If it's not Ebola, it's terrorists. Call them Al Qaeda or ISIS, it doesn't matter. The Terrorists are coming, but Republicans will save you.
Here's the real issue: President Obama. That's a fresh, new Republican issue! One that we've never quite seen before!
The Republicans, it’s not exactly Plato’s Symposium over there. But they are hitting the core issue, which is President Obama.
Obama's not on the ballot, but David Brooks is going to ignore every goddamn thing Republicans have done to make sure not one blessed thing gets done that he might get a smidge of credit for, but the midterm outcome will all be Obama's fault. Unless Democrats win, in which case it will be despite Obama.
Well, if it's not Obama then it's the Democrats' bizarre issues. Bizarre ones, like how billionaires are buying Senators (or trying to), while suppressing the vote and simultaneously lying to voters on a minute-by-minute basis with the full cooperation of the media.
But the Democrats have had a bizarre selection of issues, it seems to me, through the last six months. Remember, for a couple of months, they were talking about the Koch brothers over and over again. The Koch brothers are going do this. The Koch brothers are going do that.
Midterm election spending in this cycle is $4 billion, most of it spent and/or spending-driven by the Koch machine. But let's just wave that off, because it's Obama on the skewer, not the Kochs.
Memo to Brooks: Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, Monica Wehby, Pat Roberts, Cory Gardner etc... all Koch-backed candidates. Hell, they're even funding libertarian candidates to peel off votes from Democrats in states where they're so inclined.
And maybe that was to gin up their donor base. But, as an issue, the Koch brothers are not an issue. Most people don’t know who the Koch brothers are. And then I think with the war on women rhetoric, I think they have just gone to the well too many times with that. And it was an effective issue in elections past.
Got that, kids? Republicans' issues and policies are minty-fresh and new! Democrats' issues and policies are stinky and stale. Especially those lady parts issues. Phew, those are awful, full of stenchy awfulness. Yuck, make them go away.
But, as Mark said, in a lot of places, it’s just not effective anymore. And I think people — either it’s not germane, it’s not salient to people, or they have just heard it too many times and the issues get stale. And so I think, in election after election, with the exceptions that Mark mentioned, you do not see the gender gaps that the Democrats would need to pull out wins here.
Or else they get lied to by everyone in the corporate media who makes issues out of crap that shouldn't ever see a headline so David Effing Brooks can pontificate on PBS once a week about how issues real people who do not live in New York City care about are just full of stale awfulness.
Or maybe people are just sick and tired of listening to Republicans whine about how Obama and the Democrats stop them from screwing us all.
But this is David Effing Brooks, after all, so after his pronouncement of stale, odiferous issues, he gives us all a preview of how beautiful it will all be when Republicans take the Senate back:
There will be more judicial fights. There will be more budget fights. Mitch McConnell said they’re going to pick some budget fights, to not fund some things President Obama wants.
But I don’t see big changes. Remember, as this landscape this year favors Republicans, because so many red state Democrats are up, in two years, there are a ton of blue-state Republicans up. Those people are not going to want to go out on a conservative limb. So it’s going to be a lot harder for Mitch McConnell to govern as a majority leader, if he is one.
But everyone will sing the Bipartisan Both Sides Anthem, join hands and peacefully compromise. Unless they don't, in which case you can expect Brooks to lay that on Obama's doorstep.
I really loathe these pseudo-pundits. Maybe they should try life outside the bubble for a few seconds to see what really stinks and what doesn't.