Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dem Dum Dems

I wish the Democrats would quit beating themselves over the heads trying to find an "identity." They already have one, and one that sounds pretty good. The Dems should sell themselves as:

- The party of tolerance.
- The party of individual rights and dignity.
- The party of compassion (the real kind).
- The party of religious freedom and separation of church and state (don't think for a minute you can have one without the other).
- The party of fiscal responsibility and prosperity.
- The party of enlightened foreign policy, one that balances security requirements with diplomacy and other tools of power.
- The party that deals in reality.

Over at Capitol Banter, cyber pal r. scott kimsey notes:

"The (Democratic) party comes across as shrill, as being more interested in personal attacks than policy..."

I think, scott, this is largely because they've been outmaneuvered by their opposition's propaganda machine. These days, my definition of "irony" is Ann Coulter calling Maureen Dowd a strident bitch. When it comes to shrill, personal attack, could anyone ever match Ann, Rush, Laura, O'Reilley, Hannity, Buchanan, and the rest of the Rovewellian echo chamber? If you want to see "nasty" and "vulgar," watch the tape of Dick Cheney's speech at the last GOP convention.

Remaking the Democratic Party into a mirror image of the GOP would most likely be a mistake. At some point, the center--where the margin of victory will come from--is going to get sick of the GOP (if it isn't already).

One thing the Dems need to come to terms with, though: if they want to pull in the center, they'll need to dump the Hollywood crowd, or at least ask them to tone it down. Whoopee and Chevy hurling obscenities at the GOP won't win over any new hearts and minds.


  1. I agree with what you say, Jeff. I thikn the Dems need to keep their extreme element under a bit more control (which is something the GOP learned to do with the religious right, at least during elections - once the elections are over they let them out again).

    I will disagree that no Dems can match Ann, Rush, Hannity, etc. I'll also disagree that O'Reilly is part of the echo chamber, or that Buchanan is for that matter, though the latter is definitely ultra-conservative.

    When it comes to lowering the tenor of public discourse, I think that it started more on the left (that's my recollection anyway; partly among the politicos and partly (more so) among the fringe non-politician groups). I know others will disagree with that, but my sense in the midwest is that a big part of the reason for the shift to the right we see in this country is people's distaste with the personalities on the left. I think the GOP actually had to play catchup to compete on on this level on any large scale, though now they are easily as bad as or worse than the Dems.

    On last thing: the Democrats need to quit relying on race bating and class warfare to try to score political points. Those tactics worked in the past; they backfire these days.

    Again, hardcore Dems will disagree with me, because they don't want to admit that such things exist in their own party. But the discussion we're having mirrors a debate that has been going on in the Democratic party since 2000. Maybe the party will emerge stronger for it.

  2. I guess we'd have to talk specific personalities regarding which side has the most shrill advocates. I find Michael Moore and most of the Hollywood activists offensive, but they're not in the media day in and day out, flinging their explative over the air for hours at a time.

    I think O'Reilly's definite part of the echo chamber. Pat is when he wants to be.

    Not sure what your definitions of "race baiting" and class warfare are, but we don't have racial or social equality. And I don't see how the Democrats can turn away from minorities and the poor and still be Democrats.

    We'll see what happens, huh?