July 16, 2006


Clinton, in Arkansas, Says Democrats Are 'Wasting Time' (ANNE E. KORNBLUT, 7/16/06, NY Times)

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, returning to her red-state ties, chastised Democrats Saturday for taking on issues that arouse conservatives and turn out Republican voters rather than finding consensus on mainstream subjects.

Without mentioning specific subjects like gay marriage, Mrs. Clinton said: “We do things that are controversial. We do things that try to inflame their base.”

“We are wasting time,” the senator told a group of Democratic women here, on part of a two-day swing through a state that could provide an alternate hub to New York if she starts a national political campaign.

The simple reality is that Democrats can't afford to talk about social issues.

the only way that democrats can regain a majority (Michael Lind, 8/04/05, TPM Cafe)

The good news for Democrats is that they can regain the majority if the now-dead Civil Rights Democrat coalition of 1968-2004, a coalition of social liberals who agreed to disagree about economic issues, is replaced by something like the New Deal coalition of 1932-68, a coalition of economic liberals who agree to disagree about social issues.

The bad news for social liberals is that in a Democratic majority defined by economic liberalism the social liberals would be the minority in their own party and the socially conservative, economically liberal populists would be the majority. Not only would social liberals have to welcome back pro-middle-class-welfare-state social conservatives to the Democratic party, but also they would have to consent to being the junior partners, as in the New Deal era.

Social liberals can be the minority in a majority party. Or social liberals can be the majority in a minority party. But social liberals can't be the majority in a majority party--not in the United States, not in the foreseeable future. There just aren't enough social liberals in the American electorate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 16, 2006 10:04 AM

Of course, her husband was the one who decided in virtually his first act after becomming president to sign the order allowing openly gay soldiers in the U.S. Military, which set the tone for his lurching from self-inflicted crisis to crisis for the next two years that -- along with the Hillarycare debacle -- ended up costing the Democrats control of Congress.

Whether on not Hillary learned from that not to try and force the culture further than public concensus allows it to go, or if the lesson was simply do as Bill did and don't talk about your real intentions before the election, and then be more ruthless about carrying them out once in office, we may never know unless the missue actually gets into the White House (and since many on the left have convinced themselves not only didn't they lose the 2000 election, they also really won the 2004 vote, they're not in the willing-to-shut-up-about-their-true-beliefs mood they were following election losses in 1980, '84 and '88).

Posted by: John at July 16, 2006 12:55 PM

I really wonder whether Arkansas would be a seconed HQ for Hillary. With its republican governor and he last Clinton governor in jail and with the debacle Hillary created by making the Arkansas schools even worse with the programs she tried to institute, I would wonder whether Hillary has any base in Arkansas at all. After all the state has gone for the republican president in the past 2 elections.

I think the NY Slime is just blowing smoke and hoping it works out - as usual. Do they ever think about what they are printing at all?

Posted by: dick at July 16, 2006 1:32 PM

You're right John, it's 45 million Americans are without health care because we allow gays to go and fight in Iraq. What were we thinking?!

Posted by: John's lover at July 16, 2006 1:44 PM

--45 million Americans are without health care--

If this were true - which is is more definitely NOT --


Social Security would be in much better shape, no?

I mean, we'd have 15% less population, yes???

Now if you wrote health insurance - then I'd have to ask you who are they who are not covered?

Posted by: Sandy P at July 16, 2006 1:51 PM

Lover boy, it's not about gays in the military keeping their private lives to themselves as they no doubt have done over the ages, militant gays and lesbians wanted Clinton to declare they could be openly gay with all that conjures up in the form of behavior that would enrage straights and keep the military in chaos for the foreseeable future.

Given the left's abhorrence of things military, it's quite amusing that so many gays say they're pining to serve their country, but the big, bad politicians just won't let them.

To quote Sandy, boo hoo.

Posted by: erp at July 16, 2006 2:16 PM

"so many gays say they're pining to serve their country"

You mean like the massive numbers who all rushed out to get married in Boston? So many that we have The Boston Globe forcing shotgun marriages on their employees.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 16, 2006 2:29 PM

Chill out jl, and tell me -- are you saying Clinton didn't cause himself unnecessary problems by making the gays in the military issue his first agenda item after inauguration?

The problem of Democrats going out and rattling the general public's cages unnecessarily on issues they can only obtain through court (or executive) order and hurting themselves in ensuing elections is the point Hillary was trying to make in her Arkansas speech, and is in all likilihood based on the firestorm she and her husband ran into by trying to force issues between 1992-94. She gets it (even if she believes she can work around the problem if elected), but the ones in the party foaming at the mouth over her Iraq votes or Joe Lieberman's continued existance in the Democratic Party are unlikely to pay attention until they've been knocked around for several more years.

Posted by: John at July 16, 2006 3:22 PM

Her lips were moving and she's lying.

Abortion - finding mainstream consensus - nuff said.

Posted by: Sandy P at July 16, 2006 10:27 PM

Ah, memories are so short. "Gays" in the military hurt the Democrat party, but the stake in the monster's heart was the "Assault" "Weapons" "Ban."

They themselves have acknowleged this, which is why they have gone into the stealth mode on this issue.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 17, 2006 10:19 AM