August 14, 2005


Democrats are slow to connect with voters (Bill Lambrecht, 08/13/2005, St.Louis Post-Dispatch)

After their shellacking in November, Democratic politicians promised to do a better job of telling voters about their moral values.

But judging by a candid report last week from key party strategists, Democrats have made little progress presenting themselves in a way that would recapture rural voters or make inroads into Republican turf.

The report by the Democracy Corps, based on interviews in rural areas and Republican-leaning states, offered a further testament to the cultural divide in America that has worked to Republicans' advantage in elections. [...]

"The real problem for Democrats is that their elected officials, and by extension their entire party, are perceived as directionless and divided, standing for nothing other than their own enrichment," the Democratic authors wrote. [...]

The report found that particularly among less-educated voters, cultural issues "not only superseded other priorities, they served as a proxy for many voters on those other issues."

In other words, voters who paid little attention to the difference between the major parties on substantive issues like economic policy cast their lot with Republicans because of party leaders' opposition to same-sex marriage and defense of Christian values in public life.

John Kenneth White, a political scientist at Catholic University of America in Washington, predicted the Democrats' problem in his 1993 book, "The Values Divide."

He argued last week that Democrats have blamed their candidates rather than examining honestly how the party is perceived. For that reason, he said, studies like that of the Democracy Corps' can speed the party's repair effort.

But White sees no easy fix. "The divisions are so great that we have two parallel universes, the red and blue states, in which people speak to those who are like-minded, thus reinforcing their divisions. The distrust on both sides is enormous, and it spreads out to all kinds of preferences, not just what you believe but what kind of coffee you drink."

White was referring to a survey by pollster John Zogby, which found that people in Democratic areas are more inclined to drink Starbucks while Republican voters expressed a preference for Dunkin' Donuts' brew.

One of the things that's killing them is that in the absence of any ideas or leaders they are subject to the whims of their most extreme elements. Pick up a paper this week and the two main stories about the American Left are NARAL having to pull its ads and Ms Sheehan's Crawford campout. Democrats can't afford to be on the abortionist and peacenik fringes, but, having ceded control of the narrative, they certainly seem to be.

Cindy Sheehan: I won't pay tax (, 8/14/05)

As she continues her anti-war protest, Cindy Sheehan is labeling President Bush a "maniac" and a "lying bastard," and she's vowing not to pay her federal income tax.

"My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004," Sheehan told an audience of Veterans for Peace. "You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a penny. ... You give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me [for back taxes] and we'll put this war on trial."

Boy, you really can't tell the Left from the far Right without a program. Those Gordon Kahl/militia-types always refuise to pay their taxes too, don't they?

Nevermind, there is no difference, Why Cindy Sheehan is Right! (David Duke)

Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost a son in the Iraq War, is determined to prevent other mothers and fathers from experiencing the same loss.

Courageously she has gone to Texas near the ranch of President Bush and braved the elements and a hostile Jewish supremacist media to demand a meeting with him and a good explanation why her son and other’s sons and daughters must die and be disfigured in a war for Israel rather than for America.

Recently, she had the courage to state the obvious that her son signed up in the military to protect America not to die for Israel.

In a recent letter to “Nightline,” she wrote the following hard-hitting words:

Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by George [W.] Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy…not for the real reason, because the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy. That hasn’t changed since America invaded and occupied Iraq…in fact it has gotten worse.

Now, a gauntlet of personal attacks has been let out against her.

And these guys, of course, love her.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 14, 2005 5:17 PM

The concept of "trust" is central to this discussion. Let us turn to gun rights issues for an illustration of how this works

The gun rights component of the current political majority simply does not trust the Democrats. We would very much like to keep the fear of God in the Republicans, as shown by the way the NRA withheld its endorsement of Bush until after the Assault Weapons Ban expired.

Unfortunately, the Democrat lemmings, as they head for the cliffs, have convinced us that, nationally, they remain committed to taking away gun rights. What they had said about guns is not that they support our rights, but merely that they see a need for spin and stealth.

Look at what they say among themserves on all the so-called social issues: spin and stealth.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 14, 2005 3:38 PM

My reluctance to criticize her has decreased markedly since she started yelling, "Death to the Jews." As Glenn Reynolds says, "Not antiwar -- just on the other side."

Posted by: David Cohen at August 14, 2005 5:56 PM

You missed the money quote:

"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism," she said."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 14, 2005 6:07 PM

Get the shredder out for all last week's stories about the human face she put on the anti-war movement....

Posted by: oj at August 14, 2005 6:10 PM

They'll try and keep it going for a while longer, but Cindy will be more of a name than an actual person, as far as giving her any extensive camera time or print space. They'll just describe what she's doing and paraphrase what she's saying, while leaving out the uncomfortable parts that detract from the storyline.

Posted by: John at August 14, 2005 9:15 PM

Just a whiff of anti-Semitism generally sends them running for the hills.

Posted by: oj at August 14, 2005 9:20 PM

She's in Jane Fonda territory now. Hope she likes it there, because she probably won't ever find her way back.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 14, 2005 9:21 PM

America's sons and daughters must die and be disfigured in a war for Israel rather than for America.

Because David Duke uses no oil ?
Big backer of conservation and alternative energy, is he ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 14, 2005 10:41 PM

I'll admit to falling behind in my subscription to Conspiracy Nut Monthly, but what the heck's the PNAC?

Posted by: Governor Breck at August 14, 2005 11:17 PM

Gov: You haven't lived until you've watched the left go off on PNAC. It is to the left what the Trilateral Commission used to be to the right or the Fed is to Lyndon LaRouche. It is the secret government and the source of all evil.

In fact, it is an offshoot of the neocon's national greatness push in the 90s, when we didn't have more important things to worry about. Bill Kristol wrote some paper for PNAC in which he said, more or less, wouldn't it be great if we could get rid of Saddam. According to the left, that paper is the blueprint for the secret domination of the country by the fascist warmongering Jews in unholy alliance with Big Oil and Halliburton.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 15, 2005 12:17 AM

If anyone is currently in an unholy alliance with Big Oil, it's the average American consumer, who can, as the 70s proved, reduce energy consumption by over 25%, when properly motivated.

PNAC outlines quite reasonable goals, if one believes that America is best suited to furthering the continuance of global peace and prosperity - a proposition which is difficult to convincingly argue against.
Continental Europe, for instance, is automatically disqualified from being the 21st century's guarantor of peace and prosperity, and China is too immature.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 15, 2005 12:36 AM

Mr. Cohen and OJ:
Thanks! I don't know how I let that one slip past me!

Posted by: Governor Breck at August 15, 2005 4:23 PM

They have the power to cloud men's minds....

Posted by: oj at August 15, 2005 4:28 PM