A veteran state legislator says he and his fellow Democrats need to “take on” critics who have a national forum on the radio or cable television. Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the status of the national economy has put everyone on edge.
“The national cable networks are flaming and stoking the fire of this discontent and I think it’s new for politicians to respond to and we’re prepared for it,” Hatch says. “I think it’s now part of our American culture, political culture.”
Hatch isn’t mentioning any specific names, but he seems to be suggesting Democrats need to do a better job of countering radio talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
“Some of these (commentators), some of these talking heads, some of these (disingenuous) people who’ve changed their mind in the middle of an argument are now talking against the very position that they were promoting three, four years ago — we’ve got to take them on,” Hatch says. “And I think Americans and I think Iowans want a fighter.”
Hatch says many Iowans are angry, but he rejects the idea that their anger is focused solely at Democrats and President Obama. “I think there’s some legitimate anger that Iowans have. The Tea Party is an example of it,” Hatch says. “…This anger that you see being demonstrated is really an internal battle with the Republican Party…They’re angry at (the Obama) Administration, but they’re also angry at the Bush Administration…This anger comes from legitimate concerns about out-of-control spending and an expansion of government that the Republican Party was part of from the very beginning.”
Hatch made his comments yesterday during a forum sponsored by IowaPolitics.com. Three other legislators, including two Republicans, were there. Representative Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Garner, is an assistant G.O.P. leader in the Iowa House who directly challenged Hatch. “I hear a lot of people being frustrated, too…and they’re frustrated because people aren’t listening,” Upmeyer said. “They’re saying, ‘We want smaller government. We want you get out of our lives and let us go about our business and not have to worry every morning when we get up about how much more money you’re going to take from us and how many more laws you’re going to pass that are going to infringe on my rights and my future.'”
House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines has said for the past few months that as the economy improves, the political outlook for Democrats will improve, too. “Politics is cyclical,” McCarthy said yesterday during the IowaPolitics.com forum. “…Politics ebbs and flows and you have moments where one party seems to be stronger than the other with swing voters — knowing that that occurs, knowing that always occurs, I’d rather be in that situation now than next November.”
McCarthy also points to the 2000 election when George W. Bush won Iowa, but Democrats made gains in the Iowa House.