Bob Trundle: Democrats wisely avoided these talking points

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2014

By Bob Trundle
Special to the Salisbury Post
Concerning David Post’s column, “Democrats’ team deserved this defeat,” in the Nov. 9 Salisbury Post:
Respectfully, Mr. Post seems a bit unfair in his assessment/criticism of the Democrats’ (Democrat National Committee, DNC) commendably wise strategy in the recent mid-term elections. Eschewing homey, human-interest sports anecdotes and quoting the much-maligned former secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld: “you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want or wish you have.…”! in reflection, those are good words and relevant advice for anyone and apparently subscribed to by the DNC!
Further consideration of the wisdom of the DNC in rejecting Mr. Post’s suggested political messages is best outlined in the following benign, non-partisan review of his points:
• “Republicans told the country…the Democrats didn’t fight back!… a marketing firm would love to have this story to sell.” Apparently whatever wave of such marketing love existed was insufficient to effect tactical agreement among political professionals.
• “Jobs and unemployment“: Under statistical scrutiny: 47,000,000 Americans on food stamps, hordes of workers no longer seeking work,a huge part-time employment component, all when excessively emphasized, might have defied voter credibility.
• “Increase in tax receipts, and decreased federal spending and deficit“: This, while potentially exciting, may tend to attract voters’ attention to the notable difference between the highlighted federal deficit and the federal debt (which is currently $17,947,076,515,156.00) — your (taxpayer) share being $56,000. Either or both figures are not particularly salable as a voter motivation.
• “Saving General Motors (GM)”: overworked as a catch phrase and politically dangerous; shrewdly avoided as an issue as many invested American families were “washed-out” by the GM bankruptcy while unfortunately gaining no direct benefit from the $1,000,000,000.00 (+/-) public funding of its salvation!
• The banking system and its depositors, as planned were commendably saved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which is funded by member-bank earnings as originally structured in the 1930’s.
• The stock market etc. A cyclical reversal of an extreme emotional reaction to uncertainty in 2008, credit for which is amorphous.
• Increases in health care enrollments. Such enrollments are unfortunately driven under the Affordable Care Act by enrollments through state exchanges, which consistently contain — unreported — enrollment-support subsidies.( This, as well awaits credible revelation of trends and actual figures in health care costs.)
• “Mortgage rates are extremely low”... as is interest paid on savings accounts, earnings from which do not keep pace with current government-acknowledged inflation rates; all due to actions by the Federal Reserve, also independent of the current administration.
• “Housing prices are rising.” While a positive trend, it is, in fact what is known as a “dead cat” bounce. We note with interest the home foreclosures in the Salisbury Post
appear to have continued, unabated at a rate of four to six a day.
Thus, upon further scrutiny, we must admire the DNC’s intellectual acuity and political wisdom to understand in depth what may appear on the surface to be winning “talking points” but under empirical scrutiny fall apart.
Finally, honoring the sports metaphor, we may wish to remember Ernest Thayer’s popular classic lines:
“Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
 Somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
 But there is no joy in Mudville; mighty Casey has struck out!”
Bob Trundle lives in Salisbury.