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April 22, 2006


What we have here is a four-way divide. On the GOP side there are the corporate cons and the theocons, who see the traditional values GOP as a kind of religion incarnate. Obviously this coalition is breaking down.

But on the Dem side there are also corporatist/professionals who see bureaucratic solutions to problems and disaffected middle and working class people who don't feel that government is doing anything for them, and, indeed, may have forgotten the concept of a government that could do something for them. They are struggling to survive against growing income inequality and cutbacks in government.

"Main street Reaganism" is not something the Dems should aspire to, to the extent that it is based on resentments of minorities and fear of change. But neither should they let their own corporatists take over.

What the Dems need is to reestablish the link between citizens and their government, with the idea that only the government can address big, complex problems like health care or global warming/resource use where the profit motive is at seriously at odds with the common good. They also need to explicitly practice inclusion, not exclusion, not just in the "we're all in this together" sense but also in the "we're all Americans and America needs all of us" sense.

The final piece (and necessary to pay for what needs to be done) is to scale out of Iraq and all those new bases, on a "strong at home and respected abroad" theme. Reemphasize alliances and diplomatic cooperation as a substitute for imposing our will by force.

"Common sense solutions for the common good" is the slogan, and the emphasis should be on:

-Fair and competent government.
-Opportunity for all.
-A strong safety net.
-Sustainable energy and environmental policies.
-Personal privacy.
-Security through diplomacy and the restrained but effective use of force.

Free for the taking by any candidate who is willing to be a visionary.

To both emptywheel and Mimikatz: applause!

Positive thinking, stop the fear machine, return of the old American pragmatic optimism. I think this resonates because nobody wants to be scared for years on end. Now where are the politicians with this message? Besides Obama?

Also applause to DemFromCT, who actually posted this piece ;-)

What is more obvious than an '08 nominee that can peel off a slice of Southern and Western main street business R's and R-leaning I males?

There is such a person running. And he seems to be pretty good at politics, too.

Warner? Edwards? The way things are going for the GOP, Hillary?

Apparently the GOP led Homeland security - ICE folk again stubbed their toe on the illegal immigration matter. They had the big show this week of 1200 arrests, charges against employers -- but what they didn't have was beds in lock-up, so aside from those (about 200) who were felons, they released them before nightfall. The Felons they immediately flew out. It took a doy or so for a reporter to dig around and find out about the release -- but there it is. It was a PR gambit and nothing more. If games such as this get much publicity, take another point or two off Bush's 33 points.

Of the so called Main Street Reaganites or the Rodkefeller types (and pleas don't forget that Jay Rockefeller is a pretty good Democratic Senator) -- I think what the Democrats do is pull of pieces of it that are compatable with the main thrusts of Democratic principles. I got an E-Mail invitation yesterday to one such event -- very interesting.

The invitation was to attend the Olmstead County Democratic Dinner -- priced between 125 and 250 depending on whether you attend the pre-dinner party. Now Olmstead County Minnesota has always been a classic semi-progressive Republican Bastion, the only real industry is Mayo Clinic, and it is huge. But in 2004 the DFL elected two state rep's from the county, and since the county is on the line between two Congressional Districts -- 1st and 2nd, they too have been consistently Republican. But two things have caused the Corporate Medical World to really leave behind the GOP -- Terri Schivo and Stem Cell Research. Apparently the DFL is signing them up like mad in that area, and with the state GOP now run by the former head of the Christian Coalition even if local progressive Republicans wanted to do something, they can't.

Of more interest, the entertainment for the evening will be Al Franken -- sho has now moved back to Minnesota from NYC, registered to vote, acquired a condo, and recently he attended his precinct caucus. He is being hosted around and talked up in various circles by Walter Mondale, who apparently is Franken's early campaign manager should he decide after this November to run for the "Wellstone" seat in the Senate in 2008. So what Franken apparently is doing now is raising money for this year's races, collecting chits and all and I suppose making a mailing list that will serve him well in 2008. I honestly think that if one really wants to see the change it will be in places such as this Olmstead Co. dinner, when former Republicans attached to an industry that was always lopsided Republican, socialize and sup with Al Franken and then sign on for a longer stretch. It is a couple of misdirected wedge issues that act like boomerangs and return to bite.

When Mondale introduces Franken these days he characterizes the Senate as filled with people who don't know they are stand up comics, and he recommends consideration of sending to DC a real one. (Norwegian Humor that did not catch on very well in 1984.)

Crab Nebula--I would guess you mean Warner. The only real visionary I see is Al Gore, and I think he wants to see how much of the public would be receptive to his vision before he decides if there would be a next time around. If he doesn't, he could still campaign for the Dem by highlighting his issues.

My sense for a couplpe of months has been that the "Hillary and McCain" prospect is a fantasy of the media, and it's really going to be Mark and Mitt.

Thank, Mimikatz, for what I consider a wise bit of advice. The "strong at home and respected in the world" title was arguably the best thing about the 2004 Democratic Platform (although I like your formulation better - "respected abroad").

Linking to ordinary citizens is something the party does seem to be doing a little better, in a few places. Huzzah.

But, after reading Shirley's piece, I admit my growing glee is somewhat tempered by knowing that the Democrats might actually win in '06. And, frankly, the pessimistic side of my optimism worries, just a little bit, about that. There is just too much opportunity for the same old, same old roaring back onto the scene, since, no matter how many new Dems are elected, the Old Guard and the Old Thinking have yet to get a full complement of comeuppance. I'd hate to see victory squandered. And while I have some growing confidence in Harry Reid - after some serious initial suspicion - I'm still discomfited by the clout of Schumer, Feinstein, H. Clinton and Biden, and what they might do with any victory.

The Dems have a serious language burrier: generally they need not over intellectualize every subject. Also there’s a difference between repeating the message and "branding" the message. A good example is "TAXES". Republicans choose to say that if you vote against a tax cut then your voting for a tax increase (you gotta love that). Now from a logical point of view that’s absurd. Taxes are based on percentages, and unless you vote to increase the percentage it’s not exactly a vote to increase taxes. Rather then waste 45 seconds pontificating on the great benefits of big government, citing professors and referencing articles to rebut republican talking points, they should draw contrast and keep it plain. “We either pay our bills or we take out a loan from China and have our kids pay it back. That’s like asking your grandkids to pay back a car you financed 40 years ago from the kids that chase him home from school everyday. Do you want that for America? That’s not conservative or compassionate by a long shot.”
Instead of calling it Universal Health Care, call it The Same Thing Program. The same health plan my U.S. Senator has. Call it the, the “Universal I don’t want to catch your cold program or the bird flu.” Call it the “Universal save two thousands dollars on my next American manufactured car program.” Call it the “Universal I’m tired of prisoners with a better health insurance then me plan”…

A wise man knows how and when to use simplicity and humor to get you to pay attention.

Meteor Blades

I'll learn to live with a Dem majority. We'll deal with it.


All good points.

Hi, yes I mean Mark Warner, who in a pure horse race sports talent sense just impresses the hell out of me. He is just fun to watch. Sure, he'll make mistakes, just like Bill (I didn't inhale) Clinton, but Warner is just super, and I think he will win it all. Hope I"m not wrong because I'm going out on a limb early.

I wish Al Gore had political talent, he certainly is smart. But I don't think he has much, and I don't see any kind of shift in public perception that would enable a "non performer" to be elected President in the U.S.

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