Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Democratic fall strategy?

This Democracy Corps memo focuses on a populist approach to economic policy. It didn’t work in two presidential elections. What makes them think it will work now?

What’s more, it seems that they have conceded that Iraq and national security aren’t issues on which they can run to victory. And the response they urge on gay marriage is intended to reassure proponents of traditional marriage.

I can’t imagine that the Kossacks would be happy with this, though so far as I can tell, they haven’t yet noticed.

Discussions - 7 Comments

I think there’s a couple things going on here: one, I’ve read some things recently that suggests that despite the good economy overall, there’s a heightened sense that a divide is growing in this country. Some have likened it to some "depression" of the 1870’s, I think, which wasn’t really an economic downturn at all.

If in fact that’s true -- that the American voter feels anxious and left behind, despite all statistical data to the contrary -- then a populist strategy might be a good move. It plays off a sense that without governmental help, I’ll get left even further behind.

But it’s a conditional bet -- it would only work if other issues didn’t trump it. And the one issue that would trump it is personal security. So the Democrats are taking a bit of a gamble here ... gambling that anxiety over security issues don’t take center stage.

It’s a gamble, but it may be the only one they have right now.

From the memo:


Change dynamic one: The Iraq war. This is the biggest voting issue for Democrats
(and independents and change voters). While voters are divided on policy issues (like
timetable for withdrawal), the continuing attention to the war increases dissatisfaction
and elevates the change vote.


Anyone notice something about this? It seems to me that the issue of the Iraq war is not about how to win the war, but how it can be used, negatively, for a political end.

The Democrats know populist economic policy has not resonated with voters in the past, but they believe in it and, perhaps, sooner or later, younger voters who have been public-schooled in it all their lives, might even believe in it, too.


Yet, people who would vote Republican are disillusioned with the party and looking for alternatives. This has been true for the last few elections and the hope that George Bush generated and then has disappointed is mostly gone. Friends ask me all the time who is going to be the next Republican candidate they can vote for, happily. None of us hear anyone articulating the issues we want to be reassured about. All miss the clear voice and clear message of RR, made clear and seen to be true long before the actual campaigns started. Who are they hearing? Guiliani and McCain, both of whom make them uncomfortable on many issues. Who do they hear speaking to them unequivocally pro-life, anti-tax, pro-limited government, win the war and get on with peace and other issues that do resonate? No one. No one at all. So, they talk up voting for Democrats in hope it will spur Republicans to action. At least if Democrats are in power, Republicans seem to find a voice, a clear expression of principle. Weird nostalgia, but there it is.

Anyone notice something about this?

How about this?

Fortunately, 63 percent believe the country is on the wrong track.... Even assuming these skewed poll numbers have any relationship to reality, what’s "fortunate" about people believing "the country is on the wrong track" to anyone who is not a Democrat first and an American last?

What these guys just don’t get is that dissatisfaction, in this instance, is the result of the perception that the powers that be are not conservative enough and that any message that suggests a vote for change toward liberalism, in an increasingly conservative country, will not work.

Who, because of high gas prices, is going to vote for the party that blocks drilling in the ANWR at every opportunity? Who, but the cut and run crowd, will vote for the cut and run party? Don’t talk about winning the war, talk about losing it gracefully; don’t talk about raising taxes, talk about nationalization of medicine -- now that will resonate well with conservatives; don’t talk about securing the border, our plan is worse than the Republicans’; don’t talk about the liberal activist judges we will appoint, we’ll just keep that to ourselves; talk about corruption, theirs, not ours -- no wait, ours is worse than theirs -- don’t talk about corruption.

Kate, I do not share your concern for who the next Republican presidential nominee will be. GWB was pretty much a stealth candidate until the campaign, Clinton certainly was as was Carter. The ’08 Republican nominee will probably be someone we have, to date, not heard much about, but will be someone without the baggage McCain and Guiliani carry. But, by the same token, name a would be Democratic presidential candidate who is not carrying around a satchel containing a 100 pound dumbell in each hand.

Ho boy, I can hear the comments now. When I mentioned GWB, Clinton and Carter in the same sentence, I was talking about successful presidential campaigns. Not the quality of their presidencies after their elections.

Uncle Guido,
Yes, I recall the past campaigns and that is part of my point. Stealth candidates have their problems. Let me simplify, horribly: I voted for Carter because I loathed Betty Ford, thought Gerald Ford confused and inept, and mainly, stupidly thought Carter was a principled Christian candidate. Surprise! I was wrong.


Clinton had loads of baggage and by the time that was clear, the Democrats seemed to be stuck with him. Yet even morally compromised he was a much better media-candidate than Bush and with the Perot third-party bleed, HEY-PRESTO! Clinton was our man.


A conservative agenda dies because our man, GWB, while often (certainly not always) sound on the issues Surprise! or was it even such a surprise? can’t sell them to the public at large. I, and those who are asking me about this, would by far prefer to have a candidate this time around who we KNOW will be conservative AND articulately persuasive about conservative principles, issues and viewpoints. We are stuck with media-driven presidential politics and if our man does not sell the demos on ideas, no matter how good a man he is, he does the nation far less good than we need him to do.


Lucky us. The Democrats are also in a bad way. I have NO argument with you there. I hope they are hopelessly stuck and have no dandy stealth candidate of their own.


I am looking for, and asking about, a potential stealth Repulican candidate or a few. Maybe I want a statesman and am hoping someone else is seeing him before I am.

I’ve read in comments to other articles that George Allen has baggage and that Mitt Romney is a RINO, but I haven’t seen any details to support those claims. I’ve seen comments on threads where it’s been said that this church group and that church group would not vote for a Mormon, but I just can’t see them voting for a CINO (Christian in name only) Democrat just because Romney is Mormon. They may stay home, I suppose, but I would like to think they’ve learned from that mistake already.

I just ran George Allen’s name. Some attacks on him from the left, but I found nothing against him from the right. What can you tell me about him? ... Anyone?

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