The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Of Pyramids and Levers

Former Sen. Bill Bradley has a great NYT column today spelling out the differences in the Republican and Democrats way of building a ideology and spreading their message. While, on the whole, I agree with Bradley's point, there are some points I disagree with. I believe our think tanks are already in place- Brookings, CAP, etc, and we do have a decent way of getting our message out. The biggest problem the Democratic party faces is that we are the big tent-party and the party of good-government. And I like that. We don't need wedge issues to win.

However, it's as if we do zero research and put up some of the most weak-assed candidates in the history of electoral politics. People who don't tailor their politics to where they're from. If it's good enough for San Fran, California, it's good enough for rural Texas (because why can't they be one and the same). For crying out loud people, Repubs are the party of Santorum, Snowe&Collins, DeLay, Bush, Shays, and Ah-nold. How many Christian evangelicals were booing Ah-nold's speech at the Republican National Convention? Yet how many people are angry at Casey running for US Senate in Pennsylvania-or Bob Langevin in Rhode Island- because he's pro-life/'Republican-lite'? Which leads into my final point.

We have some of the most Cartman-esque (screw you guys, I'm going home) activists in the world. No one fights for the greater good of their party a la Republicans, it's all about their pet interest and nothing else. Deficit Hawks still support Bush's budget and the remaining Repub moderates still tow the ever corrupt party line. But God forbid, don't completely prostrate yourself before the almight gods of _____ interest group in the Dem party, and they'll sit their asses on the bench for your election. At the end of day, it's not about labor, choice, national security credentials, enviromentalism, etc. It's about electing Democrats. Because time and again we've proven that things get better with us in charge.

Kevin Drum and Ezra have other, different takes on the matter.