Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bull Market for Donkey Shares Indeed

Shortly after the 2004 election I wrote A Bull Market for Donkey Shares? for TechCentralStation, in which I argue "if the Democratic Party were a publicly-listed company, I think I might be tempted to buy a few shares. It is great fun watching the torment and back-biting going inside the Democratic Party right now. But as Benjamin Graham and John Templeton taught, the best time to buy a stock is at the moment of maximum pessimism, and that moment is right now for the Democratic Party."

The piece re-reads pretty good right now: "Like a depressed blue-chip stock, the Democratic Party still has a high ’book value,’ or tangible political assets such as labor union and other interest group organizations, a historic brand name, Hollywood money, and media sympathy. The political equivalent of the business cycle -- the problems and stumbles of the incumbent majority party -- will usually create opportunities for a comeback."

It’s not all rosy for the Dems. I caution that

A few Dems understand that it is their product line that stinks. If the two parties were burger franchises locked in mortal competition like Burger King and McDonald’s, one might suggest the Dems have decided to compete while staying closed for lunch, and refusing to offer hamburgers for dinner. Democrats are not seriously competitive on national security ("closed for lunch") in the way they were under Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. (Or if they are open at all, they only offer chicken strips.) And their disdain for religion would be like McDonald’s refusing to offer hamburgers to customers at dinner. Among Franklin Roosevelt’s many religious utterances was, "Freedom of religion has no meaning to a man who has lost his God." A prominent Democrat who talks this way today risks being shunned; verily, we are seeing that freedom of religion has no meaning to a party that has lost its God.

Despite some refinements in the "values" area, it is not clear the Dems have really changed deep down.

P.S. My stock picks in that piece look pretty good, too. Maybe I should start doing more of that.

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