Democrats in Congress have looked around for Republican boogeymen to scare voters out of making the midterms into a referendum on their failed economic policies and massively irresponsible spending. They have tried using George Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and perhaps especially John Boehner, the House Minority Leader who will likely replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Barack Obama himself has repeatedly mentioned Boehner by name, making him both the Democratic bête noir and a celebrity in his own right — which, of course, provided a lot more national attention for Boehner when he rolled out the GOP pledge and demonstrated that Republicans have their own ideas and proposals for governance, contra Democratic Party spin.
Of course, in order to actually sell someone as a boogeyman, Democrats have to make sure that people are universally frightened of him. Bobby Bright’s new ad campaign in Alabama makes that just a tad difficult (via JWF):
In perhaps the most striking example of a vulnerable Democrat racing away from the national party as the midterm elections near, Rep. Bobby Bright (D-Ala.) is running a TV ad that features side-by-side photos of him and Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio). The spot touts that he “votes 80 percent with the Republican leader.”
Several House Democrats have run ads that speak out against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) by name, but Bright appears to be the first incumbent to feature Boehner, her chief rival in Congress and the man who would be speaker if Republicans win control of the House.
Bright, a freshman in a tight reelection race, has broken with Pelosi on major legislation more than any other Democrat. He voted against the stimulus bill, healthcare reform, cap-and-trade climate legislation and the financial regulatory overhaul. He has refused to endorse Pelosi for another term as speaker, and in August he made national headlines by joking that she “might get sick and die” after he was asked whether he would support her again in January.
But it gets better. Why is Bright suddenly getting so cozy with Boehner? It turns out that there’s a bigger boogeyman that frightens Bright and his constituents … or to be more precise, boogeywoman:
The latest Bright ad is a response to one by the National Republican Congressional Campaign that says he voted “with Nancy Pelosi over 70 percent of the time.”
Bright is at least ahead of the curve in his caucus. While only one Democrat is running on the I Love Nancy platform (Betty McCollum in MN-04), Bright may be the only one to realize who the actual nightmare for voters is in this election.