Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), the Democrats’ chief political messenger, is up to old tricks. In a memo to his Democratic colleagues, Schumer lays out his preferred strategy of blaming “Tea Party Republicans” for the sorry state of the economy. In this case, Schumer argues, Democrats should blame the “extreme” GOP opposition to the President Obama’s jobs bill (defeated last night in the Senate) for putting the economy at risk. As the debate over jobs moves forward, he writes, “the Tea Party’s growing unpopularity has the potential to be the GOP’s Achilles’ Heel.”
Recent polling appears to confirm Schumer’s claim that the Tea Party’s popularity is waning. A CNN poll in late September found just 28 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, while 53 percent had an unfavorable view, signaling a steady decline over the past year. Schumer is hoping to capitalized on this perceived weakness.
He goes on to coin a number of new terms that you can expect to hear parroted ad nauseam by Democrats and other liberal talking heads in the coming weeks and months: “Democrats can make this link by branding the school of thought that resists against any job-creation measures as ‘Tea Party economics.’ The opponents of the President’s jobs proposals should be invoked as ‘Tea Party Republicans.’ If their obstruction continues, it will risk a ‘Tea Party recession.’”
At the same time, Senate Democrats will seek to advance the president’s plan “one plank at a time.” As they do, Schumer argues, “it will only get harder for Republicans to sustain their blanket opposition to the President’s policies.”
Schumer, though, is apparently convinced this is a winning strategy, telling reporters this morning that it is “almost impossible” that Democrats will lose the Senate in 2012.
UPDATE: You might be surprised to hear that, according to Schumer, Democrats do not control the Senate. Ezra Klein reports:
A reporter asked Schumer why voters were supposed to blame Republicans for economic outcomes when Democrats control the White House and the Senate. “We don’t control the Senate,” Schumer shot back. “You write that and it’s false.”