February 8, 2006

Why can't the Democrats take advantage of Bush's woes?

Adam Nagourney and Sheryl Gay Stolberg address the conundrum in today's NYT:
Since Mr. Bush's re-election, Democrats have been divided over whether to take on the Republicans in a more confrontational manner, ideologically and politically, or to move more forcefully to stake out the center on social and national security issues. They are being pushed, from the left wing of the party, to stand for what they say are the party's historical liberal values.

But among more establishment Democrats, there is concern that many of the party's most visible leaders — among them, Howard Dean, the Democratic chairman; Senator John Kerry, the party's 2004 presidential candidate; Mr. Kennedy; Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader; and Al Gore, who has assumed a higher profile as the party heads toward the 2008 presidential primaries — may be flawed messengers.

In this view, the most visible Democrats are vulnerable to Republican attacks portraying them as out of the mainstream on issues including security and budget-cutting.

One of the party's most prominent members, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, has been relatively absent for much of this debate, a characteristic display of public caution that her aides say reflects her concern for keeping focused on her re-election bid. Mrs. Clinton, who has only nominal opposition, declined requests for an interview to discuss her views of the party.

Mr. Kerry said the party's authority had been diluted because of the absence of one or two obvious leaders, though he expressed confidence that would change.
If only Hillary would save us. Only Hillary can help.
"We are fighting to find a voice under difficult circumstances, and I'm confident, over the next few months, you are going to see that happen," Mr. Kerry said in an interview. "Our megaphone is just not as large as their megaphone, and we have a harder time getting that message out, even when people are on the same page."
Oh, damn it, you had the big megaphone and, when you did, you couldn't manage to get out a comprehensible message.

You know, this is a really long article, but it seems padded with nothingness. I'm not blaming Nagourney and Stolberg. They interviewed a lot of Democrats, who are quoted in the article. You can go over to the link and read what they said. I looked for a pithy quote but I couldn't find anything. The most interesting thing I found was Kerry's feeble whine. That's just sad.


monkeyboy said...

The far left is pushing for lliberal values? Like "Bear any burden, pay any price?" or "art should uncomfort the comfortable?"

As an outsider looking in, I see the far left as simply demanding that the Democrats be against anything and everything Bush is for.

The Dems need a coherent post-Bush plan. 1994 was about throwing the bums in as much as it was about throwing the bums about. Dems need to go beyond "there is a better way" and actually tell us what it is. The American people can accept it or they can not.

Icepick said...

The fact that Kerry feels that "the party's authority had been diluted because of the absence of one or two obvious leaders...." speaks volumes about his failure as a Presidential Candidate. If he is seriously planning to run again, he needs to assert some alpha-male dominance and BE the obvious leader. What a twit.

But what was REALLY funny was this line: In this view, the most visible Democrats are vulnerable to Republican attacks portraying them as out of the mainstream on ... budget-cutting.

The Republican Party is for budget cutting? What a concept!

Here's one more area where Hillary will be able to level substantial attacks when she gears up for '08.

Sign me,
A Disgruntled Republican in Florida

Gerry said...

"That struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Hmmm... is it the article here to which I am referring, or does that quotation have applicability elsewhere in today's political realm?

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that one big problem for the Democrats is their lack of messengers. This picture of Teddy Kennedy on Wonkette yesterday says a lot. You see an old overweight alcoholic philanderer reclining on his family yacht, looking more like a beached whale than anything else. And this Senator who was kicked out of Harvard for cheating, had his father buy his way into law school, and who left a woman underwater to die after a drunk driving escapade while he went to talk to the family lawyers, has the effrontery to try to lecture (now) Justice Alito on ethics. He was a Senator when I graduated from high school, and many of my classmates who went into civil service are now retiring. Yet on Powerline today, he is mentioned 13 times in the visible blog entries.

Bruce Hayden said...

I did not mean in my last post that Teddy Kennedy, himself, is the problem, but rather that he was emblematic of the problem. John Kerry has served in the Senate for over 20 years now, and is still the Junior Senator for Mass. Sen. Byrd has been in the Senate representing WV for my entire lifetime.

For the most part, the visible leadership of the Democratic party is old and very, very, rich, white, mostly male, and, for the most part, have been in their leadership roles for a long time. It is hard for them to really connect many times with the traditional base of the Democratic party, the poor, the downtroden, the minorites, etc.

How do people born with gold spoons in their mouths, or who married their money, who have rarely had careers outside of politics, connect with the average American who works paycheck to paycheck?

The Democratic side of the isle in Congress is clogged with the same lifers, slowly rising to the top, where they stay until retired to the morgue. Where do their rising stars go? Obviously, the statehouses, etc., which is one reason the last two Democratic presidents were former governors and not from Congress.

IMHO, the best thing the Democrats could do would be to impose term limits on their politicians at the national level.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Democrats at the top know this, which is one reason that Sen. Obama is considered such a rising star in their party. He is young, attractive, articulate, and Black. They know that this is the sort of image that they need to portray. The problem is that those at the top aren't willing to make way for them.

EddieP said...

Makes me laugh when Kerry moans about getting their message out. They and their compatriots at the MSM get it out loud and clear every week. "Let's catch Bush at something we can hang him with" That is part and parcel of the dem message, to hell with the country, GET BUSH!

Where's their message on fixing Social Security and Medicare, on managing the budget, on national defense, what do they recommend we do about Iran, what about converting some red staters to their side?

Rove, Cheney, and Bush have to chuckle every week at the scandal du jour.

PatCA said...

You beat me to it, EddieP. They own the media, except for Fox! Again, what a twit.

I think rich people like Kennedy or Kerry connect with ordinary folk by patronizing them, as in, we are going to deliver you from your sad, sordid lives by giving you welfare and feeling sorry for you! After they put their trusts in off-shore tax havens, that is.

As for his moral posturing, as Taranto, says, Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

Thorley Winston said...

Where's their message on fixing Social Security and Medicare, on managing the budget, on national defense, what do they recommend we do about Iran, what about converting some red staters to their side?

Good questions and until we start to hear some answers to those questions, Democrats are going to have to get used to being the minority party for the foreseeable future.

Tyranno said...

It is absurd to say they haven't taken advantage of Bush's woes. The Dems have thrown everything they have at him including the kitchen sink.
Their problem is the old "Pogo problem;" "dey has dizcoverd da enemy an' it be us!"
Dispite their contiuous dumping on every problem, every foible, every policy difference, even creating problems out of thin air . . . the current crop of modern progressive liberal democrats are what they are!!! And what they are, unfortunately for them, is not appealing to mainstream America.