I was out running an errand and saw the first bumpersticker for the Republican running in my Congressional district (NY-29, formerly Eric Massa’s). I have yet to see a yard sign or a TV ad from either candidate. I can count the local media stories about the race on both hands with fingers to spare. So, even though the DC media is helpfully throwing in the towel for every Democrat in Congress, this campaign has just begun. And Democrats have done some popular things that should be part of stump speeches. Here’s a taste:
When we passed a bill earlier this summer to help states save jobs — the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and nurses and police officers and firefighters that were about to be laid off, they said no. (Applause.) And the Republican who thinks he’s going to take over as Speaker — (boos) — I’m just saying that’s his opinion — (laughter) — he’s entitled to his opinion. But when he was asked about this, he dismissed those jobs as “government jobs” that weren’t worth saving. (Boos.) That’s what he said, I’m quoting — “government jobs.”
Now, think about this. These are the people who teach our children. These are the people who keep our streets safe. These are the people who put their lives on the line, who rush into a burning building. Government jobs? I don’t know about you, but I think those jobs are worth saving. (Applause.) I think those jobs are worth saving. (Applause.)
By the way, this bill that we passed to save all those jobs, we made sure that bill wouldn’t add to the deficit. You know how we paid for it? By closing one of these ridiculous tax loopholes that actually rewarded corporations for shipping jobs and profits overseas. (Applause.)
I mean, this — this was one of those loopholes that allowed companies to write off taxes they pay to foreign governments –- even though they weren’t paying taxes here in the United States. So middle-class families were footing tax breaks for companies creating jobs somewhere else. I mean, even a lot of America’s biggest corporations agreed that this loophole didn’t make sense, agreed that it needed to be closed, agreed that it wasn’t fair -– but the man who thinks he’s going to be Speaker, he wants to reopen this loophole. (Boos.)
While Democrats could have been doing better during the past few months, the fact remains that John Boehner is not popular, that doing nothing in the middle of an almost-depression is not popular, that sneering at teachers, cops and firemen is not popular, and that tax cuts for those making $250K or more are not popular. There’s a case to be made here, Obama made it, and Democrats will be making it in the next two months. I am not ready to write off the House, because this campaign is just getting started.