“Stay clear of out-of-touch liberals.” That’s the basic conclusion of a study performed by two prominent Democratic analysts, William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck, who served under Clinton.
The most ‘out-of-touch’ issues cited were defense and social issues, which are at the core of the party’s rhetoric. “To the extent that liberals now constitute both the largest bloc within the Democratic coalition and the public face of the party, Democratic candidates for national office will be running uphill.”
We wondered how left-leaning pundits would deal with this report. (More accurately, we suspected we knew how they would, and visited some sites to see if we were correct.) Daily Kos managed to link to the report while artfully avoiding its central message. (We hardly expected this site to tell its reader base, ‘Hey! You’re the problem.) Talk Left said they’d rather lose elections than examine their basic beliefs and possibly adjust to the realities cited:
“I hate these kind of reports.
Two “intellectuals” from the Clinton centrist era have issued a new report saying the only way Democrats can win is to abandon liberalism and take a centrist position like Clinton did in 1992. … The report says Democrats can’t win on a liberal platform because there aren’t enough liberals in the country. I disagree.”
The site quotes Kevin Drum, employing the ‘it’s not us, it’s them’ defense:
“It’s the Republican base that’s far outside the mainstream.”
Tapped seems at least open to change, accurately noting that Democratic losses in recent years have been by razor-thin margins, but also notes that without change, the lossses will simply continue. (And “close”, as the saw goes, counts only in horseshoes, and maybe a few other things.)
Tom Tomorrow chimes in with a muddled and truncated piece of reasoning that we could not decipher. He quotes from the WaPo piece on the report, and we’ll leave his assessment up to your (hopefully greater) powers of interpretation:
“Because, you know, Americans have just been trampling the weak and infirm in their rush to embrace the Democratic party these past five or six years. Damn those liberals for interfering!”
The hard-left generally refuses to listen to more moderate voices such as that of James Carville, who criticized the standard leftist/Democratic message:
“At a speech sponsored by the Northwestern College Democrats… Carville told the audience that Democratic candidates can’t succeed by shouting out to every group in a crowd. Instead candidates should tell stories with the three elements of any good story — setup, conflict and resolution. ‘No Kumbayah crap,’ Carville said.”
In case anyone missed it, that’s c-r-a-p, and as Carville knows, it constitutes the bulk of leftist rhetoric online. Carville also reiterated one of our favorite maxims: A candidate who runs an incompetent campaign would only have been an incompetent elected official.
One who is listening is Insults Unpunished, a centrist breath of fresh air which critiques both sides, while searching for pragmatic ways to help the Dems along:
Captain’s Quarters sums the situation up well:
“Extremism will not win elections… In other words, people like Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer, who lecture the Bush administration and its judicial nominees for being out of the “mainstream” have themselves abandoned mainstream thought some time ago… Hillary at least understands the strategy of appealing to the center, although her movements towards those positions remain… half-hearted. This… approach also gets critized by Galston and Kamarck, who warn against using rhetorical legalese to confound voters into buying a heavily-leveraged “centrist” position… In other words, the DNC picked the worst possible national figure for its chair that they possibly could select. The creation of Mad How and his International ANSWER minions as the Democratic Poster Boy may go down as one of the most inept blunders…”
The right-leaning Strata-sphere tries to point the left in the, uh, right direction:
“study has come out suggesting that a push to the liberal left will not win elections (I could have told them that for free). If the conservatives keep destroying themselves over Miers and the democrats head this warning, there could easily be a shift back to the democrats.”
Unfortunately for the left, the report is not being heeded nor is the GOP likely to tear itself asunder over Miers. Horseshoes again.
From Betsy’s Page:
” I don’t imagine that the Moveon.org crowd finds these arguments very persuasive… [but] 2004 exit polls show that voters self-identify thusly: 34% conservative, 21% liberal, and 45% moderate.”
As we anticipated, the hard left is no more iinterested in examining itself than they accuse the hard right of being. This is no surprise. Since, as the report makes plain, the Democratic Party is much more closely aligned with its radical elements than is the Republican Party, Democrats can expect to lose elections in the foreseeable future. Some of the left-leaning sites are not only resigned to that fate, they’re proud of it (albeit frustrated). As Carville said: “Sometimes the problem with being a Democrat is being a Democrat.”
Also: Are the Dems counting on blacks and Latinos to pull themselves out of malaise? Count again…
Ed/Pub:NBPowered by Sidelines