The conservatives / Republicans have taken 40 years to build their base, infrastructure, and to develop and spread their message.
The Democrats / progressives need to do also, starting when Dean started. If a significant amount of the money that Dean is using in 50 states was put into, say, 30 races and the Democrats squeaked out a majority in the House, they would not be able to keep it as they do have foundations to reliably keep it. The Democrats need to build the apparatus, then victories will take care of themselves in the long run.
Also it is not clear that putting a whole lot of money in very competitive races is the right thing to do even with a short range perspective. Tying up Republican candidates in all 50 states drains their money for competitive races. They had to spend $10 million to keep the a seat in a Republican district in a recent election in San Diego.
The Democratic Party is built on enlarging the middle class and using government for the common good. This is the opposite of the Republicans who favor limited government and taxation, and let the chips fall where they may, i.e. into vast disparities of income and wealth.
The Democrats need to be flexible in providing a vision which appeals to the urban, suburban, exurban, and rural voters, as well as to all 50 states. So many Democratic candidates will not meet the litmus tests of a strict progressive agenda. To expect that they all will is unrealistic unless you want the Democrats to be a minority party forever. To expect that they should doesn't recognize that there are regional variances of opinion on issues.
Some of the best legislation passed in this country was a partnership of liberals and southern conservatives. What did they have in common? They fought for the little guy and built the middle class. Even thought the Republicans have divided the country on god, guns, and gays, essentially nothing has changed and this coalition could be in existence today. This is especially true because race is not the issue it was in the 1960's and before.
The country is yearning for a populist government and effective leadership that only the Democrats can provide. The Democrats need to be united in their overreaching goals - building the middle class, protecting the country, and supporting the Bill of Rights. Once they do this, they would be a majority party for decades.
David Brooks doesn't have a clue about the progressive internet movement (Respect Must Be Paid, June 25, 2006). He tries to portray the Markos Zuniga of the dailykos.com and Jerome Armstrong of mydd.com as corrupt. I have researched his charges and have found no valid substantiation. Their important contribution is leading the evolution of the Democratic Party's principles and policies which will build the middle class, protect our country, and respect the Constitution. Anyone who reads their blogs regularly know they champion incorruptible and transparent government, as well as a 50 state strategy for the Democratic Party. As a result, they and many of their readers support Mark Warner and abhor Joe Lieberman in a logically consistent manner.
What is especially insulting though, is that Mr. Brooks calls the readers and supporters of their blogs as "rabid lambs" and "Kossack cultists". This charge goes beyond Mr. Brooks' standard Republican Party propaganda. Their supporters haven't "drank the Kool-Aid", but are deeply alarmed over the Bush administration's incompetence and Karl Rove's destructive partisanship. They believe that the newly energized Democratic Party is slowly but surely providing a viable alternative and will eventually be a majority party for a long time.
Republicans are must better at discerning public opinion than Dems and Iraq is a prime example. The public knows that we went in there on false pretenses and have entered into a costly mess to say the least.
However, the Republicans know that a majority of likely voters do not feel we can leave Iraq in a civil war or anarchy. They do not want to feel our soldiers died in vain. They do not want Israel and the Gulf States' oil production in danger. They may disagree with going to war and about the high cost, but they will not automatically hand it over to another party with no plan.
The Dems must define the situation and present a plan for success (which is not just leaving). It is at least even money that a tiny majority will still vote Republican if the Dems do have a real plan. Saying we should get out sooner than latter is not a plan.
The defining of the situation is that the US acted nobly in removing a tyrannical dictator that had invaded 2 countries. The US won the war in a few weeks. It has then help keep the country from falling apart through the valor of the soldiers, despite incompetent leadership.
The plan could be that we will continue to train the troops and structure the security forces to weed out militias. Then the U S must turn over parts of the transition phase to the international community, particularly with Arab and Moslem peacekeepers. A competent leadership, not Bush, could persuade the international community to now join and help solve a problem in a volatile part of the world. The transition will be faster because the international community will have more moral authority and Arab / Moslem peacekeepers will better relate the Iraqis. With help from others, then U.S. would be free to use different strategies to combat insurgents and foreign fighters, and then soon redeploy its troops outside the country to be used on emergencies and special missions. As a result, the U.S. could then systematically reduce troops as the Iraqi institutions improve and others replace them.
Is the definitely the right plan? Maybe so, but probably another one could resonate more with the public. But you get the idea. The Dems need a plan for stabilizing the area or it will be defined as cutting and running and letting our soldiers die in vain, plus being big wimps like always. You can't win if you are perceived as weak, not having principles, and not in touch with the common person. This is a debate that has to be won on an emotional level and selectively reading polls that say the public favors withdrawing completely misses the nuances underlying that feeling.
ANGIE PACCIONE is running against Marilyn Musgrave. Angie is a former professional basketball player and reelected by a wide margin to the Colorado legislature in a district in which her party was a minority.
Somalia is its own country with its own dynamics. It is incorrect to automatically assume that an "Islamic" faction is bad and its opponents, i.e. the warlords, are better. Somali are extremely independent people and act according to their self-interest.
Looking at this an east/west or christain/islamic or secular/religious struggle is superficial and would lead to improper policy decisions. Rather one would have to know the Somali culture and the groups that are clashing, then you could start an thoughtful analysis.
Somalia was once a battleground between the US and Russia. Factions in Somalia would play the two off against each other, while not caring anything about the world-wide ideological conflicts. Nothing has changed in this regard.
Of note, Somalialand in the North has been essentially independent for the last 15 years and relatively peaceful.
Also, Arab Al Qaeda cannot easily hide in Somalia, they would stick out like a sore thumb.
So forget about military intervention, as probably no one in the US govt. could figure out who is fighting whom and for what reasons. And if there is a shortage of Arabic and Persian speakers in the US, there are very few who speak Somali.
I appreciate all this site has done, but these 10 words do not have any emotional juice and are too generic. Compare to smaller government, less taxes, strong military, personal responsibility, and moral values.
The number one thing that Democrats should be known for is "growing the middle class". This is what unites the party by uplifting the poor and stopping people from sliding into poverty.
improved health care and education,
homeland security (domestically and foreign policy),
environmental protection, and
Everyone knows that the Republican marketing can be summed up in a few words: strong national defense, low taxes, limited government, personal responsibility, business friendly, moral values. Depending on the audience they might omit one or two.
For the Democratic stands, I suggest
-enlarging the middle class (stop those who are falling from it and help the poor reach it by eductation, reformed health care, etc.),
-realistic foreign policy (diplomacy and military),
-competent government (antithesis of Bush),
-individual liberties (including civil and women's rights and religious freedom by separating it from the government), and
I disagree with the conclusion. Whether or not the President enforces the anti-torture provisions, this amendment is seen as the will of the American people as it was voted overwhelmingly by the Senate. McCain made Bush and Cheney lose in public, a rare event.
McCain has become a shrewd politician who knows how to pick his battles and when to follow the party line. To conclude else wise is significantly underestimating him/ He will be a formidable candidate if nominated by the Republicans.
The lesson here is that the Democrats can easily find other issues where there is clear consensus with Americans and write legislations or resolutions supporting their position. What about spying on Americans for instance? If it is proposed law that the Republican leadership with not debate or introduce, they can filibuster. Why let McCain and Lindsey Graham get the top reviews for 2005?
You forgot Al Gore. If he was serious about it, he and Hilary would be the main contenders. He would generate a lot of sympathy from everyone after being beaten by the Supreme Court. He could look at what he did wrong in 2000 (letting the Republicans paint an inaccurate picture of him) and not do it again.
The Republicans have been successful in a great part to the coalition they have created among corporate interest, the military, and rural dwellers. These three do not share the same views on many subjects, but they don't offend each other much because corporations and military folks are mostly neutral on social issues.
The Democrats need to form their own winning coalition. The common thread among Democrats is fighting for working Americans. Many Democrats in the South and the Plains are conservative on social issues, but believe in protecting the poor from the wealthy. Progressive Democrats need to form an alliance with them, as represented by the DLC. This should not be too hard, because the DLC and progressive are not that far apart. Only by doing this, can the Democrats become a majority party.
The Democrats did OK. It wasn't great, but they have only 45 senators, so they are weaker than Frist and his gang. They probably would have gotten the vote of McCain, Chaffee, Snow, and Collins. They wouldn't have gotten Hagel because of his Presidential ambitions. Voinovich wouldn't break ranks after his cosmetic objection of Bolton. Specter is kept on too tight of a noose by the right wingers. From the other possible ones (Warner, Gregg, Murkoski, Graham, DeWine), it was iffy to get another 2.
The Republicans put in a lot of political capital and spent weeks of their time on this; time that couldn't be spent elsewhere.
The fact that the compromise saved the filibuster. Frist is not likely to try the nuclear option again. This will offset (barely) the 3 judges which will get an up and down vote and be nominated.
I just sent this to firstname.lastname@example.org
I read your comments with disbelief!
First it is impolite and impolitic to insult progressive bloggers, especially one as knowledgeable, insightful, and effective as my DD.com.
Second, you are wrong. Every race should be contested. Not all should be given equal money from the DNC or DCCC, but a presence is absolutely necessary. It may take 10 years to win a seat, but you have to start somewhere. Also you can tie down Republican money by running candidates as happened with Delay and Musgrave.