October 8, 2006

How the Democrats/Republicans can win.

The NYT has a series of very short op-eds today collected under the headings "How the Democrats Can Win" and "How the Republicans" can win. Nothing especially inspired me here. I don't know. Maybe it's me.


Derve said...

"How America Can Win"
... not a big draw either

MadisonMan said...

Was there anyhing new in the articles?

Doyle said...

“Tough on terror, economic expansion, dangerous Democrats.”

This didn't inspire you, Ann? I'm surprised.

Bruce Hayden said...

No, nothing new, except that if the Democrats actually took all that advice, I think that they would lose. There, a lot of people with obvious agendas were pushing such. Do really that many people believe that trying to sell nationalized health care is going to get the Democrats elected? And it is fankly silly for them to be yelling "competence". Drum makes sense in "Start Making Sense" as well as Dean does in "Fight on All Fronts". But Dyson in "A Spinal Transplant" is suggesting that the Democrats come out of the closet about their liberalism - when their views are significantly to the left of the American public on most issues.

Bruce Hayden said...


But how would the Democrats sell anyone except the faithful on any of those items. You aren't going to get an economic expansion through higher taxes or more regulations. And cutting and running isn't exactly being tough on terror. Rather, it is far more likely to embolden it.

Yelling "Dangerous Democrats" makes sense, because in the House, which the Democrats have a higher chance of taking, it is really a credible charge. Pelosi is scary, but Conyers and Rangle are much more so. Conyers has vowed that if the Democrats regain the House, he will spend the term trying to impeach the President, and will have the perfect forum for it as committee chair. Is that what the American people really want?

ada47 said...

You're right about impeachment not being what Americans want. I certainly hope that the Democrats don't go for impeachment if they take over. I think we learned back in 1998 that Americans are not terribly enthusiastic about impeachming a popular, competent President, especially during a time of peace and prosperity, over a rather unimportant issu...
Oh, nevermind. Still, most Americans (including this one) don't really want to see that distracting spectacle get in the way of, ya know, fixing stuff.

johnstodderinexile said...

On Matthew Yglesias' site there was a debate underway between those who want Democrats to focus on bipartisan good government proposals and those who advocate "using the the subpoena power of Congress to investigate the hell out of what's been going on in the executive branch for the past six years." The latter clearly won; advocates of the former were associated with the evil...David Broder. (The name "David Broder" inspires loathing in certain quarters that was once exclusively for Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman.)

The debate on Yglesias was a little different, in that it was about what Democrats should do when they take power next January -- it assumed that they will win at least one house.

I am curious why it is assumed on Democratic boards that what Democrats campaign on and what they actually do, silly boy, should be two completely different things.

"Investigate the hell out of..." as a campaign platform would lose big. But Democratic activists will think their party has gone soft if they don't pursue that agenda after taking power.

I agree, the NY Times feature today was extremely dull. I'm amazed how often the Democrats cite poll results as the rationale for their positions, as if a poll result absolved them of the need to actually make a persuasive argument.

But the Republicans seem so tired, almost punch drunk. Yes, there have been no attacks like 9/11 since 9/11, but the way they say it reminds me of a boxer who managed not to get knocked out for 15 rounds. It's impressive, but it's not the same thing as winning the fight.

ada47 said...

Maybe the problem is that the Democrats are too used to being powerless, and the Republicans are too used to being in power. Both parties have become quite complacent in their current position. Dems whine but give themselves an excuse for not doing anything, and the Republicans keep on doing whatever it is they think will keep them in power, even if it serves no one else.

I'd love to know what to do about it. Honestly, I have to say that as much as I would love to see the Democrats win big next month, Pelosi scres the crap out of me, and the thought of her taking over and trying to solve the mess Bush and the Republican Congress got us in is not terribly comforting.

Fenrisulven said...

She'll make it worse by forcing us to pull out.

Its the equivalent of kicking Islam in the nuts [GOP] and then running away [Dems].

JorgXMcKie said...

Isn't there some way both of them can lose? Please?

George said...

Here is the reaction to each of the pieces from a white male suburban (former) swing voter:

Rahm Emanuel...Tough dude..Lots of anger..."Republican negligence and incompetence...." Zzzzz.... Nothing new here.

Stanley Greenberg. Former Clinton adviser...Zzzz...What? I don't understand why I should vote Dem. based on this. A bore.

Jody Powell...Jimmy Carter's press secretary 30 (!) years ago....Who cares....Didn't read it.

Joe Trippi....Hmm. Howard Dean's campaign manager. Sure. "Bold change on Iraq, energy policy, and health care will carry the day...." Zzzz.

Phil Bredesen...Ding, ding, ding!!! Former head of publicly trade health-care management company (which he started?), popular governor of Southern swing state...."Democrats haven't yet offered that alternative vision." Yes, thank you for telling the truth. "Concentrate on a single issue: health care." Ok, and I bet you know what you're talking about. "Vigor...big vision." Phil, run for President. As a Republican. I might vote Dem. if you're on its ticket.

Kevin Drum...blogger I never heard of...Dems should "Reduc[e] hatred of the United States." Wake up, Mr. Drum, we are at war.

Michael Eric Dyson...Prof. of Religion..."Adopt the hip-hop mantra of authenticity: 'Do You.' Whatever.

Ellen Malcolm...head of "Emily's List"...Sounds like something to do with dead children..Am afraid to read her essay.

Howard Dean...Irate Vermont doctor who quit his church over a tiff about a jogging trail and whose wife doesn't like to be seen in public with him...."A defense policy that's tough and smart." Sure. Go to Sydney, grab the first Australian guy you meet, drag him back here, and run him.
Am now too bored to read the GOP side, except for R. Emmett Tyrell, hard *ss knife fighter....3 generations of "Old Order" Dems are fading out...Now's the time to "Affirm the New Order." Yeah, okay.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, George. That was very funny. I almost wrote about the Tyrrell piece. It made me think that the morals voters, whatever they think of the level of corruption among members of Congress, have got to like the judges that are getting appointed.

Simon said...

From Jennifer Grossman's piece:

"It becomes clearer every day that House Republicans will fail to take the kinds of measures that might minimize political fallout from the Mark Foley Follies. Like forcing Dennis Hastert’s resignation. Or passing a statute that makes sexual solicitation of a page or intern by an elected congressman immediate grounds for removal."

Would a law mandating removal of a member of Congress on conviction of soliciting a page violate Art. I §5's stipulation that "Each House may ... with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member"? I would read that to require a particularized vote by the House on a case-by-case basis, and surely the issue would be justiciable per the most applicable precedent, which I would take to be Nixon v.United States, 506 U.S.?

mynamehere said...

I thought Ari Fleischer's craven appeal to the voters' short-term self-interest ("Take the number of children you have, multiply it by $500 and send the money to Uncle Sam") was particularly reprehensible.

But the next one, from a speechwriter for Dan Quayle(!), was even worse.
re Foley: "Silently thank Bill Clinton for lowering the moral bar for officeholders."
re Iraq: "Send a lot of troops to Iraq. Next week."
re terrorism:"Candidates should incessantly mention that there have been ZERO terrorist attacks since 2001-- a result of administration policy." Only if you ignore the terrorist attacks all over the world. Aren't there some terrorists targeting Americans in Iraq? That is the result of administration policy.
re the economy:"the Bush tax cuts have created a strong economy with two(!) record closings f the Dow last week." Wow the Dow is finally back up to where it was in 2000. Meanwhile, wages are stagnant, and six years after a Democratc president balanced the budget we're running up bigger deficits than ever.

Fenrisulven said...

Meanwhile, wages are stagnant, and six years after a Democratc president balanced the budget we're running up bigger deficits than ever.

Intelligence services and military were cut to the bone, with consequences. Its like saying you balanced your own budget by redirecting money from retirement funds and the kid's college tuition fund.

I think the Dems platfrom is disgraceful - pretend the war doesn't exist, abandon Iraq, so we can dole out "free" services to our selfish constituency: I got mine, so screw you.

Revenant said...

Would a law mandating removal of a member of Congress on conviction of soliciting a page violate Art. I §5's stipulation that "Each House may ... with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member"?

Yes, but that's ok, because Constitutional violations only matter when Republicans commit them. :)

Here's an idea that would work, though: get rid of the pages.

Revenant said...

six years after a Democratc president balanced the budget

A clue for the clueless: Congress passes the budget. The President just signs it.

Paco Wové said...

I certainly hope that the Democrats don't go for impeachment if they take over.

I hear you. My district's (Republican) representative has been generally ok, but he's made some votes this past year that have really ticked me off. The only thing keeping me from marking the ballot for his Dem. opponent is precisely the fear that the Dems will go into Payback Mode as soon as they get a House majority – something the country does not need.