Comments: Thinking Out Loud

I agree with you. But I don't think that the Democratic party can solve the issue. I don't think the Republican party had a "vision"; they had a (sometimes contradictory) collection of slogans and simplicities which they marketed with brutal efficiency and relentless vigor. If they had a vision, it was of power.

And, as loyally as I vote Democratic, it's a big tent party which has to be at least a bit vague about things for fear of ticking off a major constituency or two. Now, you and I would probably say "tick them off and let's see if we get real people instead of one-dimensional interest groups in exchange" but party hacks don't work that way.

I think a vision, as you or I would see it, will have to come from a candidate, perhaps one with a strong but small intellectual/policy support system (think tanks, or small scale virtual organizations of some kind). It will have to be a kind of internal insurgency, Dean-esque (without the fulminating centrist personality, perhaps, though "enraged moderate" isn't a bad description of me, either) but with considerably more focus and clarity of message.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at November 13, 2005 11:35 PM

You're right about pissing off a major constituency being what party hacks fear, of course. Which is sort of what I've been saying all along. What the Democrats lack today is an actual leader.

If what the Democrats stand for is what a "major" constituency can't get behind, then the "major" constituency will have to vote elsewhere, won't they?

Yes, the Democrats are a big tent, but they can't be all things to all people and I think it's the attempt to do so that's turned them into a sort of vague fog on the political landscape.

Sooner or later, the Party's "leaders" are going to have to take a stand. If the idea is really that scary to them, they're in the wrong jobs.

As for the voters...well, it's a matter of deciding what's most important. What can we support in return for help with our own most important issues? What can we not support at any price?

I'm feeling very obnoxious today. This country needs a viable alternative to the current crop o'wingnuts and the Party that's running along behind them begging them not to be quite so crazy, quite so publicly.

I think it's time for one of those periodic party-realignment upheavals. I'd like for the Democrats to be the ones defining where the new lines will be, but if they're trying to draw the lines to scoop in voters rather than to address issues, they're going to remain impotent and incoherent.

Posted by Anne at November 14, 2005 01:26 PM