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Is it Time to Panic Yet?

11:34 AM, Mar 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
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This weekend’s hymn appears to be “Democrats in Trouble.” Follow along with Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker of the New York Times:

Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.

Appearing in the chorus:

Maureen Dowd:

With the health care sign-up period coming to an end this month, Democrats in Congress are looking over at the White House and realizing that the president is not only incapable of saving them, but he looks like a big anchor tied around their necks.

The president is still a good fund-raiser for Democrats. But while the Koch brothers are pounding the party’s Senate candidates and a few House candidates around the country, congressional Democrats are wondering when Obama’s vaunted powerhouse national advocacy network, Organizing for Action, will finally step in with some money to offset the wave of outside spending by the Republicans.

David Plouffe:

“We have a turnout issue,” Plouffe said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “This is a screaming siren that the same problems that afflicted us” in 2010 when Democrats lost control of the House “could face us again.”

Chris Matthews:

“It’s going to be very hard to hold the Senate — I think the Senate goes,” MSNBC's Chris Matthews said on Thursday morning's edition of 'Morning Joe'. “I think we heard from the Ghost of Christmas Future this week. They’re going to lose the Senate.”

Most of the doom is attributed to the damage done to the party’s brand by Obamacare’s troubles and (all together now) those horrible Koch brothers and all of their money. There is talk of going for turnout and scaring voters with stuff about how the Republicans are coming for their Medicare and Social Security. And surely this will happen, along with warnings of wars on women, the young, and the climate.

More interesting, perhaps, is what is not mentioned. Namely, the economy.  As another Times reporter noted, earlier this week, some 57% of Americans believe the country is still in a recession.  One doesn’t want to go too far out on a limb here, but might that not incline a lot of voters to think it is time for a change. Been six years and, still, things don’t seem to be getting much better.

With a robustly growing economy, even Obamacare (whatever it is, this week) might seem affordable.  

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