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Conclusions of a Democrat- sponsored Report

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“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.”

And pushing a really big rock.

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: “…it seems that the Democrats are trying to fight something with nothing. They’re a party bereft of ideas… With all of the infighting going on among Republicans these days, it’s worth remembering that the Democrats aren’t exactly sitting pretty. They managed to smother some of the worst apsects of Cindy Sheehan — like the fact that she hates her own country, based on her own statements — but the base that they have is small and their views are not too popular.”

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…


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About Mr. Snitch

  • Bill B

    It’ funny that you cite left winger Camus and The Myth of Sisyphus.

    Did you not read the end of your link?

    I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

    The right started pushing their rock after Goldwaters defeat. Now they’re reaping the benefits of their grassroots organizing.

    The left is trying to do the same. They’d do well to marginalize the radical fringe, something the right has been either unwilling or unable to do.


    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.

    This is c-r-a-p.

    Just check with the folks in Oregon.

  • Mister Snitch!

    These were the conclusions of a report requested and funded by Democrats, written by Democrats. You need to do better than finger pointing at the right to refute it, as the right has absolutely nothing to do with it. And you need a better argument than “this is c-r-a-p”. That flies on Kos – try it there where you will be highly praise for your wit. In the real world, it means only that you dislike bad news.

  • Mister Snitch!

    Sorry, couldn’t quite let this one go… Sisyphus is deemed to be content in deriving meaning from an endless, useless struggle because that is all he has and all he ever will have. He may (or may not) be happy – that is a speculation. But no progress is ever made, no goal is reached, nothing ever changes, nothing gets better. Ever.

    This is what you chose to take comfort in.

  • kittygogo

    I thought it was the fags fault.

  • troll

    gotta stand in for the sorely missed Gonzo here:

    ‘if Coulter’s the link the poster’s a dink’

    me – I’m sick of the Dem vrs Rep squabble which adds up to nothing more than which bullshit one prefers – is one party more fiscally responsible than the other – ? is one less likely to engage in empire building – ? is one less beholding to $ than the other – ? does one party have a better understanding of the possible unintended consequences of its platform than the other – ? can either party figure out how to deal with the system problems of capital concentration and surplus labor – ?

    what the hell – H5N1 is coming and thanks to both Dem and Rep governance the US has a gutted public health system

    so eat drink and be merry


  • There are links to several pundits here. But nice rhyme.

  • Bill B

    You need to do better than finger pointing at the right to refute it, as the right has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    In case you missed it, I was finger pointing at the report, that, I’m assuming you correctly noted, is making the assertion.

    You aren’t seriously contending that the republicans haven’t pushed policy issues that were/are favorites of the radical right? Are you?

    It’s not finger pointing to make this point.

    And you need a better argument than “this is c-r-a-p”.

    I simply disagree with the assertion.

    One can debate which party is MORE beholden as this would indeed entail some subjective judgements. What is not up for debate is that the republicans currently hold power in congress and the white house and thus the extent to which they kowtow to the far right is that much more significant.

    Only time will tell whether or not this hurts them at the ballot box.

    From an anecdotal perspective I know many who voted for Bush in 04 from a ‘not wanting to change horses midway through the race’ pov.

    I bet this view in itself was enough to tip the race to Bush.

    In the real world, it means only that you dislike bad news.

    It’s not at all possible that the authors of the study came to some self serving conclusions, is it? Also you seem to ignore this from me in comment 1.

    The left is trying to do the same. They’d do well to marginalize the radical fringe, something the right has been either unwilling or unable to do.

    But no progress is ever made, no goal is reached, nothing ever changes, nothing gets better. Ever.

    One of my points was that you cited Camus’ take which does indeed find value and worth in what on its face would seem a fruitless endeavor.

    You used the metaphor. I simply pointed out that at the beginning of the conservative grass roots push, it may have very well seemed like pushing a rock uphill to some of them as well.

    The left would do well to model this approach less the peta paint throwers and those of similar ilk.

  • G. Oren

    Excellent post and links. The dems have ideas, see the recent New Republic article on the New New Deal, but they need to remember that it was the excesses of the postwar liberal mindset and especially the new left that came out of the anti-Vietnam war movement that ultimately led to the political success of the right. Post watergate, the dems thought they were in touch with America, but they chose not to remember the 72 election, and should have learned differently.

    So long as the siren song of the far-left looks something like atheistic-free-love-queer-love-tree-love-big-brother-socialist-appeasnik-claptrap, and the democratic party sings that song with full throated enthusiasm, the democratic party will lose.

    The essence of succesful politics is to readily assess reality, to determine the particular cause and effect that impact particular situations, and to craft appropriate responses.

    A thought experiment – Was it true in the 70’s that oil and gas regulation prevented the production of oil and that a free market would produce more oil at a withstandable market price? Yes. Is it true today that the market functions efficiently in oil and gas? Yes, the market functions efficiently to “price” o&g with supply and demand factors, but the question for us now is not regulation but incentive to move away from O&G for so much of our energy needs. Commonsense Americans can see that the energy problem today is not the same as it was in the 70’s, the symptoms may be the same, but the diagnosis is different, a freer market will not result in more oil production (except at the margin) or less consumption – China and India will drive this market for the foreseeable future. There is a place here for an incentivized system of carrots and sticks to move us away from dependency on foreign oil – a good issue for democrats.

    On moral issues, if a democrat could simply defend “normal” morality, or not pillory the nation for being too close-minded, they might at least get a pass on this one. Again, the average American is not a bible-thumping prude, or homophobic (we all have family and friends who are turned that way – and we accept them and love them). That doesn’t mean that something as “abnormal” as homosexuality should be promoted and condoned – in other words its allowed but not encouraged. The same is true of abortion. Save for the minority who believe every sperm is precious, the majority of Americans simply feel that people should take responsibility for their actions. Abortion should not be used as post-coital birth control, but should be rare and somehow necessary. Having said this, they are also very ambivalent when it comes to their own daughters etc… That is why I think I don’t think it would hurt democrats to take a more popular soveriegnty approach to this issue. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, and the situation becomes one of every state for itself, democrats may actually have better opportunities (in a state by state fight) than they now have on this issue.

    Gotta go for now.

  • Hi guys. Listen thanks for the comments (even or especially those who disagreed with the premise). I do apologize for all the Clouter books – that was a cut and paste error. If the software lets me go back in there I’ll change it – what I THOUGHT I was doing was pasting in extreme views from all sides, but what I wound up doing was pasting in different versions of the Clouter book.

    I don’t actually even read Clouter, myself. She plays more to the hard-right, baiting the left. Lately she’s even been baiting the center.

  • Winston Jen

    I thought that the Republicans were out of touch on social issues, given the overwhelming majorites that opposed their interference in the Schiavo case.