Truman went around the country during the 1948 campaign blasting the GOP for threatening all the popular Democratic reforms of the past decade. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the National Labor Relations Act, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and of course Social Security – all these programs and more would be threatened if those dastardly Republicans got their hands on the government! The message here was clear: The economy might be headed back into recession, so you don’t want to endanger all those important programs the Democrats designed to protect you during economically challenging times.
So why won’t this work for Obama? Let’s answer this with a question: what’s the most recent, popular Democratic social welfare program? Medicare, which is now 46 years old. Obama can’t go around the country pointing to all the popular Democratic programs the GOP are going to take away because there are no popular Democratic programs, at least none that are less than a generation old.
In fact, the party’s only substantial domestic achievement since the Beatles broke up is Obamacare, which is massively unpopular. The RealClearPolitics average has the bill pulling in just 36 percent support, while the recent Fox News poll found approval for Obama on the health care issue at a measly 41 percent. So, Truman could tour the country saying that a vote for Dewey would destroy the New Deal, but Obama can’t go around saying that a vote for Perry or Romney will destroy Obamacare because that might actually help the GOP nominee!