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Fwd: good advice for the democrats?

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  • Greg Cannon
    from the new york times. ... have
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 6, 2004
      from the new york times.
      > Subject: Time to Get Religion By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
      > November 6, 2004
      > Time to Get Religion
      > If Democrats want to know how to win again, they
      > a model. It's the
      > British Labor Party.
      > When I studied in England in the early 1980's, the
      > British Labor Party
      > seemed as quaint and eccentric as Oxford itself,
      > where we wore gowns for
      > exams and some dons addressed the rare female
      > student as "sir." Labor was
      > caught in its own echo chamber of militant unions
      > and anti-American
      > activists, and it so repulsed voters that it seemed
      > it might wither away
      > entirely.
      > Then Tony Blair and another M.P., Gordon Brown,
      > dragged the party away from
      > socialism, unions, nuclear disarmament and
      > anti-Americanism. Together they
      > created "New Labor," which aimed for the center and
      > aggressively courted
      > Middle Britain instead of trying to scare it. The
      > result is that since 1997,
      > Mr. Blair and Labor have utterly dominated Britain.
      > The Democrats need a similar rebranding. But the
      > risk is that the party will
      > blame others for its failures - or, worse, blame the
      > American people for
      > their stupidity (as London's Daily Mirror screamed
      > in a Page 1 headline this
      > week: "How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?").
      > As moderates from the heartland, like Tom Daschle,
      > are picked off by the
      > Republicans, the party's image risks being defined
      > even more by bicoastal,
      > tree-hugging, gun-banning, French-speaking,
      > Bordeau-sipping, Times-toting
      > liberals, whose solution is to veer left and
      > galvanize the base. But firing
      > up the base means turning off swing voters. Gov.
      > Mike Johanns, a Nebraska
      > Republican, told me that each time Michael Moore
      > spoke up for John Kerry, Mr
      > Kerry's support in Nebraska took a dive.
      > Mobilizing the base would mean nominating Hillary
      > Rodham Clinton in 2008 and
      > losing yet again. (Mrs. Clinton has actually
      > undertaken just the kind of
      > makeover that I'm talking about: in the Senate,
      > she's been cooperative,
      > mellow and moderate, winning over upstate New
      > Yorkers. She could do the same
      > in the heartland ... if she had 50 years.)
      > So Democrats need to give a more prominent voice to
      > Middle American,
      > wheat-hugging, gun-shooting, Spanish-speaking,
      > beer-guzzling, Bible-toting
      > centrists. (They can tote The Times, too, in a plain
      > brown wrapper.) For a
      > nominee who could lead the Democrats to victory,
      > think of John Edwards, Bill
      > Richardson or Evan Bayh, or anyone who knows the
      > difference between straw
      > and hay.
      > I wish that winning were just a matter of
      > presentation. But it's not. It
      > involves compromising on principles. Bill Clinton
      > won his credibility in the
      > heartland partly by going home to Little Rock during
      > the 1992 campaign to
      > preside over the execution of a mentally disabled
      > convict named Ricky Ray
      > Rector.
      > There was a moral ambiguity about Mr. Clinton's
      > clambering to power over Mr.
      > Rector's corpse. But unless Democrats compromise,
      > they'll be proud and true
      > and losers.
      > So what do the Democrats need to do? Here are four
      > suggestions:
      > � Don't be afraid of religion. Offer government
      > support for faith-based
      > programs to aid the homeless, prisoners and AIDS
      > victims. And argue theology
      > with Republicans: there's much more biblical
      > ammunition to support liberals
      > than conservatives.
      > � Pick battles of substance, not symbolism. The
      > battle over Georgia's
      > Confederate flag cost Roy Barnes his governorship
      > and perhaps Max Cleland
      > his Senate seat, but didn't help one working mother
      > or jobless worker. It
      > was a gift to Republicans.
      > � Accept that today, gun control is a nonstarter.
      > Instead of trying to curb
      > guns, try to reduce gun deaths through better rules
      > on licensing and storage
      > and on safety devices like trigger locks.
      > � Hold your nose and work with President Bush as
      > much as you can because it
      > s lethal to be portrayed as obstructionists. Sure,
      > block another Clarence
      > Thomas, but here's a rule of thumb: if an otherwise
      > qualified Supreme Court
      > nominee would turn the clock back 10 years, approve;
      > back 25 years, vote no;
      > back a half-century, filibuster.
      > "The first thing we have to do is shake the image of
      > us as the
      > obstructionist party," notes Senator Ben Nelson of
      > Nebraska, who manages to
      > thrive as a Democrat in the red sea. He says
      > Democrats must show a
      > willingness to compromise, to get things done, to
      > defer to local
      > sensibilities. "We have to show the American
      > people," he says, "that
      > Democrats aren't going to take away your guns,
      > aren't going to take away
      > your flags."
      > Rethinking the Democratic Party will be wrenching.
      > But just ask Tony Blair - it's not as wrenching as
      > sliding into irrelevance.
    • Ram Lau
      Like I said, Clark-Obama 08! Ram
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 6, 2004
        Like I said, Clark-Obama 08!

      • greg
        It s too bad that Obama s already said no to running for higher office in 08: http://politicalwire.com/archives/2004/11/04/obama_will_not_run_in_2008.html
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 6, 2004
          It's too bad that Obama's already said no to running for higher office
          in 08:
          November 04, 2004
          Obama Will Not Run in 2008
          Calling it as "a silly question," Sen.-elect Barack Obama (D-IL)
          pledged "he would resist any overtures to run for president or vice
          president before the end of his six-year term as a U.S. senator," the
          Chicago Sun-Times reports.

          Said Obama: "I was elected yesterday. I have never set foot in the
          U.S. Senate. I've never worked in Washington. And the notion that
          somehow I'm immediately going to start running for higher office just
          doesn't make sense."
          --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
          > Like I said, Clark-Obama 08!
          > Ram
        • Ram Lau
          Don t forget that Bobby Kennedy was comparatively a small potato in 1961 and nobody he would become an icon in the Senate in 1964 and then a frontrunner in the
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 6, 2004
            Don't forget that Bobby Kennedy was comparatively a small potato in
            1961 and nobody he would become an icon in the Senate in 1964 and
            then a frontrunner in the Democratic primaries in 1968.

            4 years is a long, long time. But of course, it would be better if
            the President was LBJ instead.

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