Wednesday, February 19, 2003


According to Roll Call, via TAPPED, the Democrats are now emulating the GOP's Monday meetings to coordinate strategy. Of course, having a coherent message and strategy among groups is a good idea and could help the party to speak with one voice. But what is troubling is the list of groups participating- NARAL, AFL-CIO, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and EMILY's List. In other words, it's the most liberal of the party's interest groups. This list is probably not exhaustive, but it gives a good look into the inner workings of the Democratic Party.

The Party has yet to learn that you can put all the interest groups together and you will still FAIL to get the necessary 50%+1 of the vote. Not to mention that when you become beholden to special interests, you turn off the vast majority of Americans who are NOT liberals. The great achievement of the Clinton/Gore administration was its ability to appeal to moderate, suburban (and even some rural) whites. And that is a lesson that somehow has been lost in the past couple of years. We have seen Al Gore play Mike Dukakis and the Congressional Dems shoot themselves in the foot.

The long run problem is that the Party had been able to maintain its Congressional dominance in the face of Republican White Houses and its leaders became complacent. But that all changed in 1994 and save for a brief time we have been out of power ever since. There was a reason that the Democratic Party was successful in Congressional elections despite GOP dominance in national races: they controlled redistricting! But that is no longer the case, and winning back control of the House will be nearly impossible until after the next census. The Senate is obviously a different matter and given the success of moderate Democrats, that chamber could be won rather easily as there is no way to gerrymander a state (at least not yet).

The genius of Clinton/Gore was their appeal to ALL Americans. Their message of hope, opportunity and responsibility resonated with almost every American. It was not tailored so that part of their message appealed to blacks, another part to women, another to environmentalists, etc. And that is the secret to winning over the American people. You have to talk to ALL of them. Don't divide them into groups and pledge allegiance to many different pet policies. Have a coherent governing strategy that is based on American values and invite people to come along in the journey to build a better America.


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