This link to an article from The American Prospect offers some advice to Democrats and progressive types that I hope they will take. I’m sure they will because it’s really just a thinly veiled justification for their existence. The authors argue that the old moderate/centrist politics of the Democrat party have not acheived much for them. They call this the politics of inoculation and is consists of the following:
* Appeal primarily to the median voter;
* Downplay or repudiate liberal policies;
* Create distance from the progressive base;
* Anticipate criticism and move to shore up perceived weaknesses, primarily on social, cultural, and national security issues; and
* Push a clear centrist agenda focused on fewer governmental and more market/individual solutions to problems; fiscal discipline; “common sense” cultural positions; and a Truman-like national security posture that puts the war against terrorism at the core of the progressive project.
Instead they offer what they call a politics of mobilization which they think will turn the party around by shoring up their position with strong constituencies like single women and Hispanics and reducing the deficit they have with the white working class. The politics of mobilization consists of the following:
* Rally the progressive troops and maximize base turnout
*Grow the base by finding nonvoters and drop-off progressives rather than appealing to the center;
*Take a no-holds-barred approach to the opposition that is highly critical and contrastive; and
* Fight for every progressive priority equally.
Ummmm . . . yeah, that’s the ticket! Do that!
But seriously, it’s easy to understand progressive frustration and to see where they’re getting their strategic thinking. That kind of strategy (i.e., sticking to your principles) works well for conservatives almost every time it is tried. But there’s a big difference between us and them that they’re forgetting. It’s the substance, stupid! Didn’t Bill Clinton teach them anything? When you’re as wrong as they are it’s better for you to be a liar.