February 8, 2005


Dem blues: Can the Democrats find the lyrics to regain the White House? (Roger Simon, 2/14/05, US News)

How bad off is the Democratic Party? Well, the Democrats don't have the presidency, they don't have the Senate, and they don't have the House. And while a few men have been elbowing one another to get elected Democratic chairman on Saturday, that is largely a fundraising job. Just what the heart, soul--and future--of the party is seems very much an open question.

"I think we are in for a difficult period," says Bill Daley, Al Gore's campaign chairman in 2000. "Can we win in '08? Tell me what the economy will be like or what the war in Iraq will be like. I don't know. Do I see that the Democrats are on some grand march with programs and ideas that will motivate people? No."

"It is depressing losing elections, especially one in which so many things went well," says Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist. "We didn't get outspent; we did an extraordinary job organizing voters and increasing turnout. Fundamentally, the question Democrats face is: 'OK, if so many things were in place, why did we lose?' That is a tough question for a political party."

Says David Axelrod, a Democratic strategist who worked for John Edwards in the last presidential primary campaign, "The impression is that [the Republicans] have ideas and energy and we are trying to maintain the status quo. It was not clear in the last election what our vision was." [...]

Over and over again, critics say that Democrats have become tainted by a "cultural elitism," the sneering belief that "blue staters" are better educated, more sophisticated, and morally superior, compared with "red staters." "We do sneer at red staters," said Daley. "We convey that we are out of touch with the average person. We are truly a Washington, D.C.-focused party, and that includes unions, feminists, et cetera." Many also say that while Hollywood has been good for the Democratic Party in terms of contributing money, the Hollywood connection reinforces the notion that the Democrats are a condescending, leftist elite.

Maintenance of the bureaucratic status quo and Leftist amorality are visions; they just aren't likely to win American elections.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2005 12:50 PM


How 'bout: "It's my party and I can crash and burn if I want to"?

(I mean, isn't assisted suicide a party platform?)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 8, 2005 1:07 PM

Well, the Democrats do have a bit of an advantage right now in that they already have their presidential nominee (even if some of the Deaniacs might be in denial about the inevitability of Hillary!), while the Republicans at least at the outset will have a primary battle in the early stages of 2008. But barring any unpleasant international-related surprises and unless the GOP manages to stage a repeat of their 1992 primary, whoever comes out will both have a stronger platform to run on and far lower negatives than the Democratic candidate will have with the American voters.

Posted by: John at February 8, 2005 1:20 PM


It's Jeb vs. Hillary and that's a 58-42 election.

Posted by: oj at February 8, 2005 3:14 PM

Criswell has spoken!
So enlighten us, O Enlightened One, who is going to win the 2040 election and by how much?

Posted by: Governor Breck at February 8, 2005 3:32 PM

Governor Breck

George Prescott Bush in a squeaker over Chelsea Clinton. 50.0001 to 49.9999

Posted by: h-man at February 8, 2005 3:39 PM

H: husband vs. wife in a Presidential election? You sure that's legal?

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 8, 2005 3:57 PM


President Orrin Griffin Judd will be running for re-election....

Posted by: oj at February 8, 2005 4:58 PM


And we say good luck to him, but please resist that temptation to start the 50-0 posts for a few more decades.

Posted by: Peter B at February 9, 2005 5:58 AM

The GOP is in far better shape than the Democrats in 2008. They know what their campaign will look like, what voters they will target, what issues they will stress. They just haven't selected a candidate but anyone from their party's mainstream from Santorum to Lamar Alexander would have pretty much the same platform. All they need to do is pick someone who can represent them best. Lots of folks think that person is Jeb Bush, I think it's McCain but the issues they will run on and the positions they will take are identical in about 95% of all cases.

The Democrats are going to run Hillary Clinton but they haven't a clue as to her platform or what kind of campaign they will run. If she 'moves to the center' she will alienate much of her party's fundraising base, people who believe in American surrender abroad and see Sodom and Gomorrah as 'the shining cities on the hill.' If she decides to 'unite the party,' she risks being portrayed as a proud standard bearer for the Loony Left.

My guess is that when all is said and done that she is as principled as her husband and will campaign in the way that gives her the best chance of winning rather than articulating a clear 'alternative' policy. The loons will storm out of the convention, get together in a Starbucks somewhere and make a party, nominating, say, Kucinich or McDermott, perhaps a Kucinich/Waters ticket.

Some of the weirder zealots of the Republican party, unhappy with the fact that Bush seems to want to follow public opinion or change public opinion before changing the law on a whole myriad of social issues, because they are unhappy with so many darker faces in high positions in the Bush Administration, and because they are upset with American support for the continued survival of Israel, etc will form their own party perhaps. They could nominate Tancredo, if he gets beaten up enough in the primaries rather than merely ignored as the non-entity he is, or Ron Paul, who may be getting tired of being roadkill in a House run by the Hammer. Let's call it a Paul/Sobran ticket.

My early prediction is Jeb or McCain 59%
Hillary 35%
Kucinich 5%
Paul 1%
Jeb or McCain sweep every state except Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, DC and narrowly carry NY.

Posted by: Bart at February 9, 2005 6:43 AM



Posted by: oj at February 9, 2005 8:21 AM

Now, OJ, once his father's writings are dug up by oppo research, he won't have a chance of carrying the states of Ontario and Quebec, eh?

Posted by: David Cohen at February 9, 2005 8:49 AM



Good. We can use the oil under Western Canada...

Posted by: John at February 9, 2005 10:50 AM

The extra five are the new states of Manhattan, New Columbia, Puerto Rico, Aztlan and Prince Edward Island.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 9, 2005 1:16 PM

The great state of Yukon will cast its 3 electoral votes for Jeb's re-election in 2012!

Posted by: Phil at February 9, 2005 1:37 PM