Thursday, October 06, 2005

Here's a story that caught my eye this evening.
To regain political power Democrats must abandon favorite election myths, adopt a strong position on national defense and pick candidates who connect with average voters, two political analysts from the party said Thursday.

Political scientists Elaine Kamarck and William Galston, both Democrats, warned that the most important first step is to abandon beliefs they describe as "election myths."

The report, done for the moderate Democratic strategy group Third Way, compared the current situation to 1989, when they wrote a report that mapped a centrist strategy for Democrats.

The said the current "myths" are:

- The belief Democrats can win if they just do a great job of mobilizing their base. Republicans have improved at mobilizing their own base, so Democrats need to do more than that.

- The theory demographic changes over time will make Democrats a majority, a questionable concept with the Hispanic vote increasingly up for grabs.

- The belief Democrats can succeed politically if they simply learn to talk more effectively about their positions.

- The strategy of avoiding cultural issues, playing down national security and changing the subject to domestic issues. National security is too dominant a concern now.

The report noted Republican gains among married people, Catholics, Hispanics and women during the last presidential election.

Democrats must choose to appeal to a broader majority that includes many moderates, said Galston, a political scientist at the University of Maryland.

The Democrats also must develop a coherent foreign policy because "we just don't have one," said Kamarck, a political scientist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
I think a simple "Duh!" should suffice.

The Dems would do well to follow this advice. Will the surging far left wing of the party stand aside and let their comrades re-brand the party as a moderate "progressive" alternative to ensure greater electability? Doubtful.

Update: James Carville offers up yet more advice, telling Dems to stop being such knee-jerk bleeding hearts. As he says, "Sometimes the problem with being a Democrat is being a Democrat."

I couldn't have said it better myself.


At 10/07/2005 6:13 AM, Blogger Eddie said...

Here is another suggestion, stay away from Hollywood liberals as far as they can. Why they align with this group that the rest of the Country just laughs at and views as eletists, even moderates, is beyond me.

My favorite, "if we just explained our views better." Nope, that's not it. The problem is you explain them all too well.

At 10/07/2005 8:21 AM, Blogger Ace said...

I never understood that "explain our views better" argument. The liberals have access to the best spin doctors and political marketing consultants in the business, not to mention an inexhaustible supply of skilled, liberal Hollywood image-makers and storytellers. Massaging the message isn't the problem.

It's clear from the electoral results of the past decade that the politics of class warfare and political interest groups only goes so far.

- "Tax the Rich" is not a mantra for the middle class, as many of them would be considered "rich".

- "Pro-Choice" slogans do not resonate with a majority of the electorate, no matter how you brand it, especially when it means you oppose sensible curbs like late-term abortion and parental notification.

- "Free Universal Healthcare" is a fantasy no matter how you cut it.

- "Save the Environment" is something we can all agree on, as long as it doesn't kill the economy. Demonizing those who oppose asinine treaties like Kyoto doesn't help the Democrats' cause.


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