Democrats are Focused on Fundraising, But They’re Missing the Bigger Problem

We’ve officially entered political silly season, the time of the election cycle when the party most at risk of losing starts to do wacky things in a desperate attempt to make up ground or shift blame.

For evidence, look no further than Democrats’ recent spate of fundraising emails which read like the Facebook page of a very distraught, potentially depressed, teenager.

“It’s too late,” read one subject line. “Doomed,” read another. “We might as well kiss all hope goodbye,” wrote Nancy Pelosi, supposedly.

And then, apparently, desperation really set in.

“Joe Biden has emailed you. Michelle has emailed you. And now I’ve emailed you,” the “president” writes. “We wouldn’t all be asking if it wasn’t so important.”

Then, seemingly sensing that no money was forthcoming, the emails go to a dark place. “Everything just failed,” reads one. “We’ve got nothing left,” reads another. “We BEGGED you,” reads another. “We’re done. Go home. Give up,” reads another. “AAAAAAAAH!,” reads another.  And finally, you receive one that says, “All Hope is Lost.”

But perhaps the most accurate subject line came from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which wrote: “We are completely out of ideas.”

Of course they weren’t talking about policies—why soil a good political ploy by actually discussing some ideas?—they were just concerned about raising money.

“Things are rough, but we’re not ready to accept defeat,” the email body says. “If we can bring in 50,000 donations before tomorrow’s ad buy deadline, we can get back on track.

Make no mistake, Democrats problem this election season has nothing to do with money. Democratic candidates and liberal groups aired more TV ads in seven out of the nine most competitive Senate races. That’s in no small part to the fact that the top 15 Democrat-aligned PACs have outraised their GOP counterparts $453 million to $289 million. The fundraising battle is even more lopsided in the House where the House Majority PAC—the main outside group—is spending nearly triple the amount of the largest  GOP affiliated group, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee, $136 million to $109 million.

The problem is that they really are out of ideas. They have no clue how to speed economic growth outside of more stimulus spending. They don’t know how to slow the growth of health care costs since their first attempt—Obamacare—was a spectacular flop. They have no idea how to create a pro-growth tax system, and are instead reliant on simply raising rates. And they have no plan for how to control higher education costs, to incentivize innovation, to reduce poverty, to reform entitlements, or fix our prison system.

After years of being stuck in an economic malaise Americans are desperate for new ideas to jumpstart their engines. Instead, Democrats are only offering them more of the same old talking points. Take for instance, Dana Milbank’s recollection of a recent campaign appearance by President Obama for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown:

Obama’s rare campaign appearance did not go as planned — and not only because a man heckled him for his refusal to block more deportations. With about five minutes to go in his 25-minute speech, about the time Obama said, “I’m just telling you what you already know,” people began to trickle out. By the time he had finished, perhaps a few hundred had walked out on the president.

This exodus wasn’t intended as a protest. Long lines for shuttles taking attendees to remote parking sites induced participants to leave early so they could beat the rush. But the overall effect was akin to what happens when baseball fans begins filtering out in the seventh inning because the home team is down by five runs.

People are tired of hearing what they already know. They intuitively sense that Democrats have put so much mental effort into figuring out how not to lose their majority that they spent no time pondering how they should govern. As a result, they are walking out on the president and his Democratic party members. And no desperate-sounding email is going to be enough to win them back.