People are still discussing the mystery report (as yet not available on this site, about which Ive already posted here and here. The latest commentator is Claremonts William Voegeli, who notes, more pungently than I did, "If Democrats could solve this political problem with rhetoric, John Kerry would be president today and Nancy Pelosi would be Speaker of the House." He also calls our attention to this post by Garance Franke-Ruta, to which Id also add this one:
Voters between, say, 30 and 55 -- years when careers hit their stride, when people marry and divorce, when they have kids and homes and run things -- are a central part of the electorate and yet also a mysteriously neglected one.
Ive long thought that there is only one question that really matters when it comes to reviving Democratic politics, and it is this: What does the Democratic Party offer people between the ages of 30 and 55 who are not poor, not rich, and not in unions? Normally the answer one gets in response to this question -- and Ive asked it of a number of politicians -- is something like "culture", "values," or "choice." But articulated values are stances toward the world, not policies or ideas or promises for how to create a society you want to live in. Stances are not the means to make things happen; they are what precedes the means. And the real answer to the question, Democratic political operatives will usually admit when asked on background, is that the party does not offer such voters very much, or at least does not do so very directly.
Folks, this could get interesting.