December 18, 2013

If a potential run against Scott Brown doesn’t concern Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), this ad should unhinge her:

This is the message against every Democrat who supported Obamacare and who at one time parroted the “lie of the year.” It is devastating both because it is based on a set of facts no longer in dispute (Democrats promised you could keep your insurance and you can’t) and because the response is uncertain.

What do Shaheen and other Democrats say? If she says I didn’t understand the law, she sounds like a dunce not fit to be in the U.S. Senate. If she says the president tricked her, she incurs the wrath of the base and also sounds like a dunce. If she tries to change the subject — what is your idea, Mr. Republican — she will be badgered for refusing to explain her own promises. What if she tries the “your insurance was cruddy anyway” line? Somehow I don’t think constituents in the “Live Free or Die” state are going to take to being told they aren’t capable of making their own decisions as to their own health care and how much they want to spend on it.

Then Shaheen could tout all the other magnificent things she accomplished? Well, that’s problematic under the tenure of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has blocked any efforts at entitlement reform, won’t allow a straight up-or-down vote on an energy bill and rammed through a stimulus plan that merely ran up the debt. As for the regulations heaped upon businesses by the Environmental Protection Agency and new legislative creations like Dodd-Frank, it’s pretty hard to make the case those things have created jobs or helped the economy.

That essentially leaves a campaign of demonization. Heaping negative ads and painting the Republican as evil, dishonest and out to crush the poor and middle class is how President Obama got reelected. It will, I strongly suspect, be the tactic of choice for Democrats in 2014. What else have they got?

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.