I really don’t understand how multiple Republican Senators saying that people are voluntarily unemployed because of unemployment benefits isn’t blaring from every cable pundit’s mouth and every Democrat’s press office as the worst thing anyone’s ever said (seeing as how it kind of, er, is).As a party that has become much more George Wallace than Barry Goldwater over the past 40 years, Republicans seem to get a free pass from Democrats whenever they say some ridiculous madness like this. Senator Kyl's comments not only do not support any popular understanding of the "common man" or working class, they don't fit into even a conservative framework. Unemployment insurance is not a new idea, not a particularly radical concept - it's been in existence more or less since 1935.
So, as the party that attempts to speak for "real Americans," and then says crazybusiness like Kyl's statements, where is the organized, publicized response from Democrats? This is the opportunity to push for a serious change in branding. No, the Dems can't completely change the image they have allowed Republicans to heap on them for decades with one political gaffe, but this particular misstep is one in a long series of hypocrisies, lies, and falsehoods that need to be brought to public airing.
In my ideal world, there would be viral-friendly videos and posts about the "Republican reaction to economic recession" on the DNC website, along with the President's (or the party's) plan for economic recovery. The DNC would invest in a concentrated media push in poor and working class communities to question Republican commitment to those locations, and a national media push to highlight substantive policy differences between the parties. The lack of a unified response feels like there is no strong leadership at the party level.