We need more thinktanks coming up with new ideas. Reps are always coming up with new ideas, mostly bad, but they always have creative stuff they're throwing out there. I felt like Kerry's campaign positions were pretty much exactly like we've had every campaign for the past 20 years: spend more on health care, raise minimum wage, do nothing about social security. Not all of these are bad ideas, particularly minimum wage, but we always come across as the party that wants to spend more-- which is all the more ridiculous because the Reps spent like drunken sailors the last four years.
Anyway, we need ideas that break the mold. Ideas that don't always revolve around starting or expanding entitlement programs. I feel like the Reps have given us a big opening to be the party that balances the budget and reduces the debt. Just because we're liberal doesn't mean we have to reflexively try to raise taxes and spend it on social programs.
We have to contest every single state and every single office. Not doing so is completely short-sighted. Even if we lose, we lay the groundwork for a future win or a victory in another election or for another office.
One of the most frustrating things about this election is how we wrote off so many states and seats. We basically stacked the deck against ourselves before we started. We assured that we would need an "inside straight" not just for the presidency, but for the legislative branches. This can't ever be allowed to happen again.
I agree on most issues, but on Social Security we should be willing to support some changes. I've never understood why we are so married to a status quo that is clearly mathematically unsustainable.
I also don't have a problem with letting people invest a portion of their SS taxes as long as (i) we find the funds to honor our commitments to those who currently draw SS, and (ii) we still provide a safety net for those who need it.
SS is an issue on which we have been intellectually bankrupt on for years. The Reps plan is a bit too reckless for my taste, but Kerry's position this election was basically to do nothing and that's a shame.
There was a commission chaired by the late Sentaor Moynihan, a Dem and an incredible statesman, that had a lot of good ideas. We should get past our previosu kneejerk reaction to all changes and focus on adding good ideas and resisting the worst of the Reps ideas.
This analysis is incorrect. Clinton didn't get 50% of the popular vote in 1996. I believe as unimpressive as Bush's win was, it was more impressive than Clinton's. And I agree with the above poster that Clinton may not win either in 1992 or 1996 without the help of Perot.
On the other hand, Bush's victory was not nearly as impressive as Reagans, Nixon's, or LBJ's. I can't understand how Bush can take a 51-48 win and say it's a mandate.
"CNN's exit poll showed Kerry beating Bush among Ohio women by 53% to 47%. Kerry also defeated Bush among Ohio's male voters 51% to 49%. Unless a third gender voted in Ohio, Kerry took the state."
Unfortunately, the exit polls were wrong because they underrepresented rural areas and because it appears Republicans voted most heavily late in the day.
We have a long battle to get back into power. Until we at least face reality that they got more votes than us this time, then we're going to just keep running into the same results just like we did in '02 and this year.
Ever since 2000, when the election was truly stolen from us, we've whined and ranted. And guess what? It doesn't help at all. In fact, it turns people off.
Now is the time for us to reexamine a lot if our old issue positions, find new standard-bearers, and become positive and optimistic again.
We lost this election. I tip my hat to the Reps; we registered voters, they got voters to the polls. Now it's time to figure out a positive response that will win for us in 06 and 08.
I agree with your general parameters for our next candidate. But Clark is creepy and a little flakey. I remember him criticizing the initial invasion of Iraq on national TV the second day of the war. As it turned out, the campaign itself was very successful, and Clark looked stupid.
We Dems already saw Clark this past primary season and rejected him. Nonetheless, I'm sure there's someone out there that can win for us.
Also, I don't think Hilliary is so bad. I think she can get her negatives down enough to win, and she's a saavy politician.
I completely agree, Randi. Right now we have no plan for SS other than doing nothing about it. Frankly, we are a party without any creative ideas right now except more government programs. Until we come up with somee good ideas, the Reps will continue to run circles around us.
I agree with Ephus on most things. I think the environment and minimum wage are issues that are winners for us. We need to really work to show people how badly we need to get greener.
I also agree about law and order. For years we Dems were weak on crime, but I think voters are pretty comfortable with us on crime now.
I disagree on teachers' unions. I think we should support school vouchers at least for poor inner-city children. I don't want vouchers to be handed out so middle class kids can get out of public education, but we owe it to those less fotunate to give them a better opportunity to succeed. To the extent the teachers have resisted vouchers in all forms, they need to be pushed aside.
We also need to get serious on foreign policy issues. Until the very end, we Dems didn't take those issues as seriously as most Americans. I think we've made big steps, but we have to continue to argue that Iraq made us less safe without appearing that we aren't committing to destroying Islamic fundamnetalistm in all its forms. The fact is it is liberals who should be in front of the fight against societies that subjugate women and stifle religious and political dissent.
We should become the balanced budget party. The Reps have given away their claims to be the fiscally disciplined parties. Let's roll back the tax cut, but instead of spending on new programs, let's pay off the debt. We should have won big on this issue, but we didn't because Kerry decided to tell people he would use most of the savings from the tax cut on a health plan. I'm not against the health plan, but our first focus should be the deficit.
We need to quit being pussies on gay rights. Kerry totally wussed out on the issue. The result was that he still didn't get support from folks who are against gay rights, but he also alienated people who support gay rights with his cowardly position. Dems should support equal rights, including marriage, for all Amercians.
We need to distance ourselves from the Hollywood/Michael Moore crowd. Those people alienate and scare most people. Kerry tried to look moderate, but it's hard to sell that when a guy who did a manipulative, misleading piece of shit like F9/11 is your biggest fan. We don't need schlop like that to get fired up. The truth of the Bush presidency should have been plenty.
We need to contest EVERY STATE, even if we can't always win. Bush had 200 EV's before a vote was cast. That's embarrassing.
We lost. It's that simple. The sooner we get past trying to concoct Michael moore conspiracy theories or blaming the American people for being stupid, the better.
This wasn't 2000. Neither Florida nor Ohio were very close. Bush won the popular vote handily. We lost, that's all there is to it.
We need to accept that the American people chose them and not us and figure out what we can do to make 2006 and 2008 better. Let's start by firing Terry McAuliff, who has done nothing but lead us into a string of successive historic losses.
MyDD's and most other pollsters' projections were based on historic party ID, but party ID has changed since 9/11. More people are Reps now than on 9/10.
We were relying on heavy turnout and assumed we would win if it happened, and never suspected that the Reps would match if not exceed our GOTV efforts.
I kept telling the MyDD guys all along that spliting undecideds 86% was over-optimistic. Don't know the final numbers yet, but it looks pretty clear that the undecideds didn't split anything close to that for us.
Can't believe we lose fucking Iowa. What the hell was the Kerry campaign doing? Instead of bragging about their GOTV they should have been actually getting their vote out like the Reps did.
Kerry's campaign is going to go down in the annals of history with the Dukakis and Mondale cmapaigns for complete ineptitude. This election should have been an easy win for us with such a fuck-up as a President.
Looks like Bush wins Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, giving him 286 votes.
As such an Ohio challenge is viable, BUT we should only challenge if the margin is 50K or less. If we make a big deal out of Ohio when we are down by 100K, we just look like bad losers. 50K is close enough that it's worth a shot to wait for provisionals, do recounts, etc.
Also, this isn't 2000. Bush is winning the popular vote by 3-4 million right now. At a certain point, we have to concede, but it's still way too early right now.