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The Failure of the Democrat Brand

If you ever doubted that the Democratic Party has become utterly irrelevant in the state of Texas, take a look at the website of leading gubernatorial contender Bill White and see if you can find any mention of the fact that he's running as a Democrat.

You can find him espousing some moderate policies and criticizing Rick Perry while faintly praising Kay Bailey Hutcheson, but good luck finding a mention in his bio or his position statements on the main page or even the header of what party he belongs to. It's like he's embarrassed to be a Democrat. He doesn't want to be associated with a brand which has become tainted with economic disaster, unemployment and socialism.

Like hundreds of other Democrat politicians in Texas who have chosen to run as if they were independents or even switched to the Republican party, White clearly realizes that hitching himself too clearly to the Democrat brand would be the kiss of death for his campaign. In Texas and around the country, association with the Democrats in Congress or with the Obama administration is a fatal liability going into 2010. It leaves candidates like White in the awkward situation of trying to essentially trick voters into voting for them by selling themselves on their own merits and then letting the voters discover what party they are in for the first time when they get to the voting booth.

The bottom line is that candidates want to be elected, and there are only a few ultra-blue areas of the country where they can do it solely on the votes of die-hard Democrat loyalists. Most of them need some independent votes to win. Independents are growing in numbers and now make up almost a third of the electorate. In the recent elections and in current polls independents are voting for Republicans over Democrats by a 2 to 1 margin. That's very scary for anyone planning to run as a Democrat.

Going into the election season I wouldn't expect to see Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid getting any invitations to campaign for candidates around the country, and candidates are likely to be looking for diplomatic ways to tell the president "thanks, but no thanks" when it comes to the traditional round of back patting and hollow praise expected from a party leader. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Obama White House take on some of the bunker atmosphere of the last days of the Nixon administration by next summer, with a president shunned like a pariah by his own party.

I did eventually find a reference to the Democratic party on Bill White's campaign website. In the blog section there's a cartoon which shows a donkey in it, though the party still isn't mentioned by name.

Can a brand this damaged and discredited recover by 2012?

About Dave Nalle

  • Arch Conservative

    Dave, don’t you know you’re not allowed to discuss any problems the Democrat party might be having. You’re only alllowed to talk about how the GOP is dying. Just ask Baritone, handy, or Glenn.

    the fact is that even today this nation remains a slightly right of center nation. That’s why the moonbat leftists two major attempts at copletely dictating our lives, Cap & Trade and Messiahcare are being met with such fierce resistance.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    What interests me is that the Democrats keep talking about how people are leaving the GOP to go independent, apparently blissfully unaware that they are leaving the Democrat party at twice the rate they are leaving the GOP and that independents vote Republican at twice the rate they vote Democrat.

    With the current breakdown between the parties (32% ind, 28% GOP, 36% Dem) that means that the voting actually breaks down 50% GOP and 45% Democrat. That’s not good for them.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    *yawn*

    But to rebut your (evidently hopeful) chest-beating, the 2010 elections will come down to results.

    If the economy continues to recover through next November, that’s bad news for the Republicans. You’d better hope Obama fails.

    If the unemployment rate begins to fall by next October – and particularly if it begins to fall before the summer of 2010 – that’s bad news for Republicans. You’d better hope Obama fails.

    If the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes by next November, that’s bad news for the Republicans. You’d better hope Obama fails.

    If there are no major terrorist attacks on American soil by next November, that’s bad news for the Republicans. You’d better hope Obama fails.

    BUT let’s say everything above DOES go as the Democrats plan…and yet we make no gains next summer, or even lose a seat or two. What does that mean? It means nothing, because you know as well as I do that the midterms usually go against the party that occupies the White House. So if the Republicans really make significant gains next fall, historically speaking, that won’t be too surprising.

    But what if the Democrats buck history and make gains next November? Personally, I think that would be a stinging rebuke of the current Republican tendency to avoid any hint of moderation, to support ideologues over pragmatists, and to oppose anything the Democrats (and particularly Obama) support – not because it’s a good or bad idea, but simply because it’s an idea that came from the Democrats (or particularly Obama).

    It all depends on whether Obama succeeds or fails at making life better for Americans as a whole, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’d rather that conditions in the country get no worse, but I don’t see how that is possible. If Obama fails on health care and cap and trade and somehow gets stymied on all the spending he has planned, there is a possibility of some natural recovery in the economy, and he may benefit from taht. I can only hope that the people see that such a recovery would be in spite of his policies and not because of them.

    If he succeeds in his plans and implements his agenda against the will and best interests of the people there is no chance at all that he will survive politically.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave -

    If he succeeds in his plans and implements his agenda against the will and best interests of the people there is no chance at all that he will survive politically.

    “against the will…of the people”? Last I recall, he was elected by a significant majority of the people, and his platform certainly included health reform that didn’t merely consist of tax cuts and ‘medical savings accounts’.

    “against the…best interests of the people”? As compared to Dubya? As compared to Iran-Contra Bush 41? As compared to Reaganomics Ronnie? As compared to tricky Dick?

    Since the end of the Eisenhower presidency, Republican presidents did a few things right (like opening up China, not continuing on to Baghdad during the first Gulf War, and raising taxes to get us out of the late-80′s recession), and one big thing right (winning the Cold War), and a whooooole laundry list of wrong things that we’ll be paying for for generations to come.

    Frankly, I don’t think the Republicans have a whole lot of room to talk when it comes to doing things ‘in the best interests of the people’. I’d prefer they worry about the log in their own eye before they start complaining about the splinter in the Democratic party’s eye.

  • Baronius

    Dave, you’re overreacting again. The country can do just fine without banks, cars, doctors, energy, small business, big business, imports, exports, savings, investment, or credit.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Glenn, do you seriously believe the lame arguments you make and the excuses you repeat from DNC talking points, or are you just so morally bankrupt that none of this really matters to you anymore?

    Sure, Republicans have made mistakes. Who hasn’t? But the key difference is that most of their policies are not intended to do active harm to the nation and its people. The Democrats can’t say the same. They are working from a playbook in which the constitution, the republic, the people and their rights are the enemy. How can you be an apologist for that?

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave -

    Sure, Republicans have made mistakes. Who hasn’t? But the key difference is that most of their policies are not intended to do active harm to the nation and its people. The Democrats can’t say the same

    You DO realize, of course, that you are quite strongly implying that the Democrats’ polices are intended to do active harm to the nation and its people.

    So according to you, we Democrats are INTENDING to do active harm to the nation and its people.

    Yet you call me ‘shrill’.

    Tell me, were you a ‘swiftboater’? You know, one of those oh-so-patriotic guys who were tearing down Kerry’s combat service while ignoring Bush’s months AWOL from his ’boutique’ squadron in Texas? When you accuse us of intending active harm to MY country that I served for two decades, you sound very much like the swiftboaters did – willing to accuse the opponent of anything, regardless of how false the accusation, just so you can win.

    How could I be part of an organization that encourages such attacks? I can’t. That’s why I’m not a Republican.

    FYI, when you point out that yes, Republicans make mistakes just like everyone else, what you’re leaving out is that it’s a matter of degree. The ‘mistakes’ the Republicans have made since Nixon took office far, far outweigh the mistakes of the Democrats…and if you were objective enough, you’d know this.

    But you’re not that objective…and even if you did do enough honest historical research to find which party since Nixon took office has been involved in not only the most scandals, but also the most serious scandals, you wouldn’t admit it…because you know very well where the finger would point.

    As for myself, I’d rather be humble and right than to be proud and powerful at the cost of my integrity. I must base what I believe on fact, and I must not adjust facts to fit my beliefs. That’s why I’m no longer a Republican (although if the Republican candidate is better, he’ll get my vote as four GOP candidates did in the 2008 elections).

  • http://www.nationalbroadside.com Dave Nalle

    You DO realize, of course, that you are quite strongly implying that the Democrats’ polices are intended to do active harm to the nation and its people.

    So according to you, we Democrats are INTENDING to do active harm to the nation and its people.

    Yes, that would be a lengthier restatement of what I said.

    When you accuse us of intending active harm to MY country that I served for two decades, you sound very much like the swiftboaters did – willing to accuse the opponent of anything, regardless of how false the accusation, just so you can win.

    Look, military service is a great thing. I respect it. But it doesn’t excuse your current role as an apologist for people who promote the most inhumane and destructive policies I’ve seen proposed in my lifetime.

    the Republicans have made since Nixon took office far, far outweigh the mistakes of the Democrats…and if you were objective enough, you’d know this.

    Perhaps. But the mistakes are hardly as much of a concern as the active promotion of policies which are bad for the nation and the people. Mistakes are to be expected and have to be dealt with, but they are unintentional.

    You seem not to understand the difference between a scandal and fundamentally malignant policy. Scandals are transient. Bad lawmaking and oppressive government are much more serious.

    You seem willing to excuse and minimize the worst possible political offenses which border on treason by comparing them with scandals which are by their nature trivial.

    But you’re not that objective…and even if you did do enough honest historical research to find which party since Nixon took office has been involved in not only the most scandals, but also the most serious scandals, you wouldn’t admit it…because you know very well where the finger would point.

    Glenn, I’m quite familiar with the history, thanks. But I’m not deluded enough to think that petty scandals are on the same level with policies which by their very intent violate the constitution and the rights of the people.

    If you want you can make a valid argument that some things done under Bush are as bad as the things Obama is doing. I’ll acknowledge that. But the terrible mistakes we made then under the pressure of 9/11 do not excuse doing more of the same today.

    As for myself, I’d rather be humble and right than to be proud and powerful at the cost of my integrity.

    Yet you choose to be an apologist for tyrants. Your world is a very strange and surrealistic one.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Apologist for tyrants? Jeez, Dave.

    Your rhetoric went into overdrive during the last months of the presidential election and has not recovered its sanity yet.

    Believe it or not, Obama and Pelosi and myself believe in liberty just as much as you do. We just don’t abuse the word and the concept by defining it in the narrow and ideological way you now insist on, in every article and every comment.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yes Glenn’s world is very strange.

    Mark Sanford had an affair and lied about it……Nancy Pelosi wants to throw you in jail for not buying government health insurance.

    Larry Craig tried to solicit homosexual sex in airport bathroom…..Henry Waxman and Al Gore want to force a massive tax increase, job killing cap and trade bill on the nation.

    Mark Foley sent dirty emails to his aides….supreme court justices appointed by Democrats are citing foreign law in their decisions.

    Yeah the GOP really has it in for America.

    Sometimes you people are so fucking stupid it’s beyond belief.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    it’s true, we ARE stupid. i learned (at the very very far left lefty super-commie libral university of pinko-babies that i went to) that conservatives like to sit behind their desks smoking cigars, plotting ways to kill the poor, cut taxiz, and figure out how to get a better deal on lincoln town cars.

    or so i thought. turns out its not true at all.

    cuz i’m stooopid.

    now if you’ll excuse me, i have to get back to my plans for setting up a new legal defense fund for gay welfare cheats.

    p.s. that’s a polyp over there to your left. should probably have it cut out

  • http://www.nationalbroadside.com Dave Nalle

    Believe it or not, Obama and Pelosi and myself believe in liberty just as much as you do. We just don’t abuse the word and the concept by defining it in the narrow and ideological way you now insist on, in every article and every comment.

    Indeed, my definition is extremely narrow. I define it as liberty. If you’re trying to define it as something else then I’m afraid you’re part of the problem.

    Dave

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    Indeed, my definition is extremely narrow. I define it as liberty. If you’re trying to define it as something else then I’m afraid you’re part of the problem.

    so you get to play word semantics but nobody else can? because you’re ‘right’?

  • Arch Conservative

    Yes and handy defines it as those things that Obama, Pelsoi and company will allow us to do and ofr whci we should be so very grateful for their generosity.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Mark Sanford had an affair and lied about it……

    The heinous thing wasn’t that he had an affair and lied about it. It was that he told his staff he was walking the Appalachian Trail, then swanned off to Buenos Aires without even telling his lieutenant governor he would be out of the country, effectively leaving his state without a chief executive.

    It was irresponsibility of the highest order.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    so you get to play word semantics but nobody else can? because you’re ‘right’?

    Yes Mark, that’s one of the perks of being right.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Being [in the] right” is equated here with one’s political persuasion. And that’s a semantic feat of the highest order.

  • Arch Conservative

    So you’d rather be thrown in jail by Nancy Pelosi for not buying govt. health insurance than lied to by Mark Sanford about an affair Dr?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Archie, kindly show me where I said anything of the kind.

    Just about every Tom, Dick and Bill in DC has been caught with their trousers lowered in inappropriate locations. There’s not much point in getting upset about that. Sanford’s dereliction of duty was not that he lied about an affair, but that he abandoned his state.

    Also, if you can provide a citation for your claim that Pelosi wants to throw you in jail if you don’t buy government health insurance (as opposed to a TV reporter trying to put words in her mouth), I’ll get duly upset about it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There isn’t even a law yet. But if the ‘uninsured penalty’ does become law, the few people dumb enough to go to jail would be going for tax evasion. Which is already a crime.

    The jail term would be not for refusing to buy insurance, but for refusing to pay the tax penalty imposed for [selfishly, stupidly] not being insured.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    There is not now anywhere in the world, nor has there ever been, a fully ‘libertarian’ society. Nor will there ever be one, certainly not one as large and complex as the United States.

    So defining ‘liberty’ as the absence of federal involvement in an issue is political rhetoric.

    My own definition of Liberty allows democratically elected officials to do their jobs. And if I disagree with their actions, I can try to get a new government elected and/or take the laws I disagree with to court.

    But calling virtually every proposed federal program an ‘attack on our liberty’ is what I mean by distorting and abusing the word and the concept.

  • Arch Conservative

    The federal government isn’t going to throw you in jail because you didn’t buy a product they told you that you had to buy…they’re just going to throw you in jail for refusing to pay a massive fine they impose on you after you don’t buy a product they tell you to buy…

    You’re right handy…that’s much better…..

    The way you conveinently ignore the issue of the jail time in the health reform bill while going on and on about Mark Sanford’s affair leads the reader to believe you think the latter is a far more serious and aggregious matter and well…..that’s…..just fucking stupid….there’s really no other way to put it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Besides, the notion of liberty is not supposed to be independent to the point of doing what you will, however detrimentally it affects the well-being of a community.

    It’s a contextual notion, first and foremost, a rather subtle point which is lost on such rabid and unenlightened proponents like Nalle et all. Their version of it is at best a farce.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But Archie, the analogy with the liability insurance you are obligated to carry if and when you own and drive a vehicle is quite apropos. Failure to carry health insurance carries similar repercussions insofar as the cost to the society is concerned. So I don’t see any problem with enforcement here, because, as one might say, living, no less than driving, is a risk.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I’ve said little or nothing about Sanford. I think he is a sad joke, another devoutly Christian right-winger who failed to keep his pecker in his pants and has thereby destroyed his potential as a national politician. I have no opinion about whether he should be impeached. He’s toast anyway.

    The insurance fine/tax would only apply to a relatively small percentage of people:
    – those who are not insured through their employer
    – and who are able to afford to buy insurance

    This is not an evil power grab by the federal government, it’s what the insurance companies get in return for dropping some of their current barbaric practices of denying coverage. It’s called a sustainable risk pool. Look it up.

    If you’d stop calling people names for five minutes you might actually find yourself in a real conversation.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Handy, in the Senate version there is now also a devastating additional mandate/tax on small businesses which can’t afford to insure their workers and will likely have to cut jobs because of the mandate.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Here’s how the NY Times describes the Senate bill. [The House bill requires businesses with payrolls of more than half a million dollars to offer health insurance benefits.]

    Does not explicitly require employers to offer coverage. But a company with 50 or more full-time workers would pay a penalty if it does not offer health benefits and if any of the workers obtain subsidized coverage through the new health insurance exchanges.

    Penalty: $750 for each full-time worker in the company.

    Is this what you mean by devastating?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Handy, Archie was the one who raised Sanford in the first place and he’s the one who’s been going ‘on and on’ about him.

    I simply pointed out why I thought Sanford’s behaviour was particularly egregious, and it wasn’t because he’d had an affair.

    Archie’s claim about Pelosi wanting to throw dissenters in jail was ridiculous on its face. As concerned as anyone should rightly be about the prospect of jail time for failing to pay a tax penalty for being uninsured – and this would only be applied, BTW, if one declined any type of insurance, not if one declined the public option – the IRS isn’t all that inclined to throw people in jail. You can’t collect taxes from someone who’s in jail, after all. They prefer to seize your property and assets and sell them.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    On health insurance -

    Would it have cost the taxpayer more to pay for my brother’s ingrown toenail when he couldn’t afford to go to the podiatrist?

    Or did it cost the taxpayer more to pay for the life-saving amputation of my brother’s lower left leg? And what did that cost the government in terms of lost tax revenue for the months my brother could not work?

    And considering my brother is the network admin for five radio stations, how much did my brother’s absence cost the company?

    Ah, but this is all just part of a vast left-wing conspiracy too, I guess.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Yes, Handy, I realize that $750 per employee per year is probably not going to break a business with 50 or more employees, but it will be harsh when it’s passed on to the employees in the form of a salary reduction, which seems like the likely response.

    What it ultimately does is encourage companies to force their employees to get on the “public option” to get the government off their back, growing the public option to the detriment of commercial insurance.

    Dave

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave -

    Look at #30, and tell me which way was less expensive for the taxpayer, and for the employer.

  • Arch Conservative

    There’s nothing rediculous about it Dr.

    Pelosi, Gore, Obama, Bush, etc..they’re all part of the NWO. Cap and trade, global warming, the UN, the Fed…….

    Apparently you don’t like freedom. It’s much easier to succumb to fear mongering isn’t it?

    Will you finally be happy when your existence is nothing more than a a 20 hour day working in chains building the palaces and monuments of the New World government stopping a few short hours to sleep and stand in line for your daily slab of the Order’s cheese?

    Wake the fuck up!