The Schoen/Caddell farce

THE SCHOEN/CADDELL FARCE…. I’m beginning to notice a pattern — Doug Schoen and Patrick Caddell, ostensible “Democratic” pollsters, write silly op-eds bashing their party and the Washington Post runs them, over and over again.

It started in March, when the pair argued Democrats would be far better off with the electorate if they failed to pursue their policy agenda. A month later, Schoen and Caddell were at it again, this time insisting that Democrats do what Tea Partiers tell them to do. President Obama and congressional Democrats should, they argued, work on an agenda focused on “reducing the debt, with an emphasis on tax cuts.”

Last month, the not-so-dynamic duo had another WaPo op-ed, blasting the president for being “divisive.” Today the Post runs yet another Schoen/Caddell piece — the fourth piece in eight months — and this time we learn from the Democrats who hate Democrats that President Obama should respond to the midterms by refusing to seek re-election in two years, because it would bring people together.

The piece is a little too absurd to excerpt — go ahead and click on the link if you’re inclined, but keep a bottle of Maalox handy — but the argument is ridiculous on its face. I obviously don’t know what political conditions will be like in two years; no one does. But the notion that an electoral shellacking necessitates retirement is not only silly, it’s at odds with all recent history — Clinton, Reagan, Truman, and FDR all saw midterm setbacks on par with Obama’s. They all won re-election soon after. Indeed, it’s an inconvenient point, but Obama’s electoral standing is actually slightly better now than at comparable points in the Clinton and Reagan presidencies.

Adam Serwer noted that “asking Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell not to be one-note hacks would be like telling Maury Povitch to stop doing shows involving paternity tests.” He added, with dripping sarcasm:

Why wait? Shouldn’t he and Joe Biden just resign effective immediately, making John Boehner president? In fact, this whole two-party system thing is absurd and just leads to partisan acrimony. One party rule would be better. The Democratic Party should just disband and let Republicans control Congress and the White House. That way, there would be no doubt about our national identity and common purpose, and no opportunity for resentment and division. Letting the American people actually vote on whether or not they want Obama to serve a second term would just lead to more polarization.

But I’m also struck by the larger context. Matt Gertz noted that Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell are regular Fox News contributors, who supported Republican congressional candidates this year, and who’ll soon join Republican politicians and pundits at a right-wing retreat founded by activist David Horowitz.

Maybe now would be a good time for the Washington Post to stop running their tiresome screeds as if they have Democratic interests at heart?