Monday, August 18, 2003

Let's all get on the Road to Ruin DLC Express! Al From has well and truly lost his mind:
As strong as President Bush seems today, he's not invincible. But there's only one way any Democratic candidate can defeat him in 2004. That's by asserting a clear sense of national purpose — by getting the big things right and by convincing Americans that he can provide our country better leadership than Bush can.

But there are any number of strategies that won't work for Democrats.

That's right, Al. And one of those strategies we don't want to follow is the one you espouse every time you open your mouth....
Democrats won't win a fund-raising contest with Bush. The president is likely to break all fund-raising records — and no Democrat will be able to come even close. The Democratic candidate needs to raise enough money to get his message across, but to try to match the president is to pursue a fool's errand.

So, what you're saying is that we should work just hard enough to get slaughtered in 2004. It's a good plan. I LOVE this plan...
Democrats won't win by polarizing the debate. Bush is a staunch conservative, not the moderate he claimed to be in the 2000 campaign. But Democrats who believe the way to counter his conservatism is by moving left to sharpen the contrast — to offer, in the words of failed presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, "a choice, not an echo" — are wrong.

Sorry, Al. We really would like a choice this time and not an "echo" of the 2000 and 2002 elections...
Democrats won't win by pandering to narrow interest or constituency groups. Resisting the demands of such groups is hard. That's why Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe was right to try to put the kibosh on candidate forums sponsored by organized pressure groups before they cause more damage than they already have.

Thanks for the heads up, Al. I promise to no longer pander to the DLC, a narrow interest group....
Finally, Democrats won't win without strengthening their appeal to what President Clinton called the "forgotten middle class." In the 2000 and 2002 elections, Democrats won only the votes of high-school dropouts and the educational elite (voters with postgraduate degrees). They lost the huge mass of voters of educational levels in between. Over the long haul, that's an unsustainable alliance, because high-school drop- outs and postgraduates have very different demographics and very different views on cultural issues.

So, I guess what you're saying is that the DLC is a failure because it appeals to only high-school dropouts and the educational elite. What about drug addicts? Don't they vote Democratic too?
For 2004, that requires common sense and realism, not rocket science. It means dedicating a presidency to fighting the war on terrorism and keeping our country safe. It also means building a strong, growing 21st-century economy that expands opportunity, creates jobs again, raises incomes and secures retirement — all the things Bush has failed to do. A candidate with a progressive agenda to achieve those goals will have a real chance to send Bush into early retirement.

In the first debate among Democratic presidential contenders this spring, Sen. Joe Lieberman argued: "I am the one Democrat who can match George Bush in the areas where many think he's strong — defense and moral values — and beat him where he's weak — on the economy and his divisive right-wing social agenda."

Whether Lieberman has the chance to prove that will be decided by the primary voters. But the formula he has laid out for taking on the president is exactly the right one for a Democrat to follow.

Sorry, Al. If the Dems are headed over the cliff I would prefer this guy:

and not this guy

doing the driving.