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Running on Empty

The wheels come off the liberal juggernaut, but it’s still dangerous.

Jun 28, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 39 • By FRED BARNES
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Another blow to Obama was the rude response to his letter to congressional leaders last week asking for another $50 billion so states can avert “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters.” Charles Lane of the Washington Post demolished Obama’s pitch as inaccurate and exaggerated. At best, the president may get a portion of his request, funded (against his wishes) by unused stimulus money.

A final question: Why in the world would a Democrat facing a tough reelection challenge in November vote for cap and trade or any other such legislation? Here’s the essence of the reasoning: Republicans are bound to attack you no matter how you vote, so why not play a role in making history? It won’t kill your reelection chances.

That’s not all. There’s a story line for wavering Democrats. You’ll have more money than your Republican opponent. The tea party people will make life difficult for Republican candidates. And look what happened in May in the special House election in Pennsylvania. The Democrat won by sounding like a conservative and stressing local issues. You can do the same.

If you sense there’s something faintly familiar about this advice, you’re right. In 2006, Republican leaders assured worried incumbents they’d be loaded with campaign money, plus earmarks for their districts or states and scads of local issues to latch onto. Many Republicans were comforted by this advice and then lost their seats. A similar fate awaits Democrats in 2010.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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