Here is a very poignant piece written by two prominent Democrats and published by a new Democratic journal, The Democratic Strategist. One has worked on John Kerry's campaign, the other for Al Gore. So, to all angry Democrats that love nothing more than to microspoically dissecting avery last little thing, discrediting the sources, and discrediting expressions that are critical of the party you love and cherish; you cannot use the excuse that these writers are GOP hacks that have no claim to substance, because they are not.
Swing Ideas, not Swing Voters by Kenneth S. Baer and Andrei Cherny is what I see as an accurate examination of the state of the Democratic Party, in its current state. They see what a lot of us independents see, they see what I see.
It doesn't blame Bush for war crimes, it doesn't blame him for corruption, nor does it blame him for any of the ills of the world. It does not urge people to hate George Bush. You say you don't hate George Bush personally, you just hate his policies, right? Well, you will be most surprised to know that they do not even try to convince you to hate his policies. Why?
Because they are making the sound argument that I have made, many of my commenters have made, and a great deal of the American people have made, for some time now. They are advocating for ideas, they are advocating for change, and most of all, they are making the case FOR something, not AGAINST it.
George Bush had a hard time in the polls, leading up to the election of 2004. There were many that were not pleased at how things were being run, some for a certain set of reasons and others for other reasons. Has it ever occurred to the Democrats that campaigning against Bush, did them no favors? Did it occur to the Dems that people generally didn't like the tone of the Dems campaign? Or did they not cinsider that Americans really did want a better way, but were afraid to take a chance on John Kerry and the people that ran his campaign? They didn't have any cohesiveness, they didn't have any message, all they seemed to have was a dislike for George Bush and hammered him for any (and everything) they could find, to sway the people their way.
And what was that way?
Anything that was anti-Bush was the strategy.
Rather than winning the hearts and minds of the mainstream middle-class American, they tried to get back into power, by seriously miscalculating that Americans would reject the President and his policies. Rather than giving alternative plans to deal with the problems we faced (and still do), they ripped the Administration at every opportunity, but yet failed to offer something better, something positive. We got negativity and accusations. Americans did not want to that kind of campaign, they wanted to hear who had the best solutions.
Unfortunately, the Dems had none to communicate. And as the authors of this point allude to, today is no different.
I really do not see a lot of difference in the Democrats, since 2004. In fact, the 2006 election is once again turning into another referendum on Bush. Has anyone heard some long-term, deeply-planted ideas to build a philospophy or an ideology on?
I haven't. It's not because I haven't been listening, either. I hear Dems make their weak cases, a lot.
But I do hear more and more anti-Bush vitriole than I do about what their hopes, dreams, and visions are for the future of this country. I hear more about Halliburton, than I do about how the Dems would solve the Social Security crisis that they clamored about some years ago, but now, have many members among them say, it's not broken. I hear more about how Saddam was no threat to the U.S. and how Bush (and his cronies) concocted this war in Texas (before the election), than I do about real constructive ideas about how to win the peace there and give the Iraqis a decent chance at liberty and freedom that they have never enjoyed before.
What the Dems desperately need to do is, do what these two men suggest and come up with some deep values that resonate with mainsteam America. They need direction beyond 2006, and even 2008. They need to re-define who they are and what they stand for. They need to not listen to the angry left-wing, so much, and formulate some plans that are fair and equitable to as many as possible, In short, they need to stop allowing the left to be the mouthpiece of the party. They need to be Democrats, not loud socialists that cast blame.
Because if they want to be the ones in charge, ever again, they will need an idea or two in which to formulate a message that conveys hope, vision, and success. Not what they have been denonstrating since 2000, but a new direction for the party and for America.
So Dems, this is what I see. I do not see FDR, HST, or JFK. I do not see a strong future for the Democratic party on the national scene, unless they get with the program and do it real soon.
HT for the article: RCP