Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Cenk gets it

Cenk Uygur gets it:

The main problem of Democrats isn’t domestic policy or even foreign policy. It’s that in a time of war and terrorism, voters want to feel protected. And they’re not going to feel protected by a bunch of weaklings who get pushed around in the media week in and week out. We have to push back. The main issue in these elections isn’t moral values, Iraq or terrorism – it’s strength. Almost immediately after the election, polls showed that Bush had unfavorable ratings higher than 50% on just about every issue. But people say over and over again, “But I know where he stands.” This is part of the reason conservatives attack every strong voice in the Democratic party (remember what they said about Al Gore a year ago when he came out making firebrand, impassioned speeches against the administration – he might be going crazy and he is unstable). They know that if they can knock down the strongest leaders and make the rest of the Democrats cower; they’ll have won, no matter what people think about the issues. If you can’t protect yourself, how do you expect voters to believe you can protect them? We have to stand up for ourselves and for each other, so that people will believe we can stand up for them when it matters.
Note that: 1) Republicans almost never criticize each other in public. 2) Since becoming DNC Chair -- hell, since he dropped out in February of 2004 to back Kerry! -- Howard Dean has not said one critical word in public about another Democrat. I've looked at Howard's speeches over the past few weeks and months, and you know what? He hasn't suddenly got more "controversial" in his speaking style. What has happened is that the media are suddenly doing a full-court press against him, even as stories come out about his breaking fundraising records and making the leaders of the state Democratic parties very happy.

My opinion is that Dean should have framed it as "the GOP is the party of privilege." to hammer the weak point of their coalition with the wedge. Lots of people will hear that the GOP is the white Christian people's party and want to join. The fault line is between the often secular country clubbers and the often much poorer religious right.

For that matter, many Latinos consider themselves white and would probably identify with the GOP as described by Dean. The fault line there is between the Protestants and Catholics among Latinos, with right-wing Catholics deceiving themselves that they have a stable alliance with Protestant fundamentalists. The Calvary Chapel brand of fundamentalists is careful not to push the "Church of Rome is the Whore of Babylon" rhetoric, but a lot of the SBCers just can't help themselves.
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