Solving The Democrats' Southern Problem
by tgeraghty, Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 12:33:51 AM EDT
Since I am probably a charter member this so-called XBD class, at this point I am ready to give former Congresscritter Glen a good, hearty "f@!* off!" Not only is a founding member of the most disloyal group of Democrats in Congress lecturing good, loyal Democrats like me (I've never voted for a Republican), he insists on basing his analysis on the shopworn conservative frame of liberals as "dysfunctional elites," while associating "heartland America" with conservative Southerners. But I desist.
I suppose we can all guess what is coming next:
Again with the conservative memes (doesn't he know that so-called "partial-birth abortion" doesn't exist in any medical literature, but is a term invented by Republican spin-meisters?)
But I am willing to concede that maybe there is room for maneuver on some of these tricky social issues ("safe, legal, and rare" abortions; civil unions or domestic partner laws in place of full marriage rights for gays; keep gun control as a state-level issue). But, would that be enough to turn Southern moderates back toward the Democrats?
Not according to one conservative Alabamian:
But maybe this guy is not exactly representative of the Southern moderates that Browder would like to see us appeal to.
Then, Browder says something that really made me sit up and take notice:
Furthermore, while the Republican Party has focused effectively on international terrorism and expanding freedom, the Democratic Party can push aggressively and convincingly on universal domestic issues, such as social security, educational opportunity, job protection, tax fairness, political reform, and homeland defense--all of which resonate in this part of American society.
Well, now, here is something that we all can agree on, I think (although is it really XBD's that are blocking the much-needed national dialogue on universal health insurance?). Browder sounds like he is advocating the oft-derided "win them over with economic populism" message as part of our strategy to win back Southern moderates. I am on board with that.
I think there is an action item agenda for some of us here, too. I rarely see discussion of the economic and social problems facing rural America here or elsewhere in the liberal blogosphere. I think we need to remedy that.
UPDATE: Hey, I almost forgot the best part. Turns out Browder is a big fan of Montana's Brian Schweitzer (and who isn't these days), and quotes liberally from Schweitzer's Salon interview:
UPDATE II: I respond to some of the comment threads in a second diary that started as a comment but quickly became far too long to be a comment, so now it's another diary.
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