Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dog Days of August As Congress on Recess Faces Constituents

Remember August 2009. Political anger was directed against incumbents on recess, as they faced hostile constituents worried about the economy, government takeovers of the private sector, and soaring national debt.

In that heated political August, the Tea Party movement took root, and Independents began to abandon the Democratic party in droves.

Well, August is here again. Democrats are worried about losing August. Melinda Gibson, an organizer with the union-backed group Health Care of America NOW, warned again about the tide turning during the August Congressional recess.

"We have to make sure we don't lose August," Ms. Gibson emphasizes. "August is crucial. People who experienced August last year will remember that we lost the media narrative for a long time, things were blown up on the ground, our organizers were in a defensive posture, and so it's very important that we go on the offensive."

The offensive seems to be based on blaming Bush for Obama’s failed policies. Unfortunately for the Democrats, Bush isn’t on the ballot. The budget deficit is over $13 trillion under Obama, vs $ 4 trillion under Bush. Bush is not responsible for passage of health reform. And the unemployment and underemployment situation has not improved.

The August 2010 political heat will be concentrated on jobs, but on health reform as well. If Democrats lose in November, it will not be the heat. It will be the humility.

We are entering the dog days of August. In Ancient Rome, Dog Days extended from July 24 through August 24 and were believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies."

This August, political fevers run high. Congress on recess will again face boiling mad constituents. We know what occurred last year. This year, will constituent anger spill over and boil the political seas enough to shift power in Washington? Will this power shift spell trouble for the health reform bill? Who will win August 2010?

"Not to worry, little dogs," says the Big Dog, "I am still the Big Dog. You may lose in August, but I will win in 2012."

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