Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is This the Best Strategy?

We read in this a.m.'s NYTimes that Democrats are addressing a broad strategy aimed at exploiting economic anxieties "and a growing sense that economic gains of recent years have not benefited the middle class or the working poor." Good enough. But they've decided to go at this issue by attacking ... Wal-Mart.

Poster-child for this new economic message is Joe Biden, who "delivered a 15-minute, blistering attack [on Wal-Mart] to warm applause from Democrats and union organizers" in (where else?) Iowa.

I would have been cheering too. I've boycotted Wal-Mart for years and deplore their trade and labor practices and what they do to many a small town, sucking all the oxygen out of local economies.

But declaring war on Wal-Mart as a political strategy? That's going to be too easily exploited by the opposition as a "war on poor people," an "elitist liberal plan" to deprive working-class Americans of cheap goods. We can practically write the TV spots now.

Others are warning against this issue for different reasons, according to the Times: "Some Democrats expressed concern about the direction the party was heading, saying it could turn back efforts by such party leaders as former President Bill Clinton to erase the image of the party as anti-business and scare off corporations that might be inclined to make contributions." We guess that would be the DLC.

"Wal-Mart has begun a counterattack. In interviews on Wednesday, company executives warned that they would alert their 1.3 million American employees to the anti-Wal-Mart campaign. They also pointed to a poll the company financed that reported that Americans were generally supportive of the company."

I don't know. I figger we're in some sort of trouble when Joe Biden is our leading domestic strategist.

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