Wednesday, November 03, 2004


The Election

I put on my hip waders this morning and slogged through a few right-wing blogs. As expected, they've logged thousands of words that can be summarized as gloating and bragging. And they're entitled. But I'm still surprised at what they think we liberals are. Specifically, they think we are stupid, lying, spineless and Frenchified America-haters who want to turn over this country to the U.N. in order to appease terrorists.


So, what does this mean from the Republican side? Answer: more of the same.

I commend three pieces for members of the Democratic Party to consider.

The Bull Moose:

The issue for donkey is neither moving to the right nor to the left. The Democrats have the opportunity to become the true reform party. It is not as if Bush won on a positive mandate. His main message was "vote for me or they will kill you." With an increasingly ossified Republican establishment now fully in control of Washington, Democrats can truly become the insurgent party advocating fundamental reform in political and governmental institutions on behalf of the middle-class. It might be helpful to consult the old Gingrich playbook on how a minority party can seize power. Yes, the Republicans back then had voter mobilization, but they also were a party of ideas and seized the reform agenda.
Oliver Willis:

On the issues, no matter what the final outcome of yesterday's election are, I'm not willing to bend on fundamental things. I believe in the equality of all. I believe that our economic system should be honest and open and not skewed to a wealthy few. I believe that we shouldn't just go off to war because we feel like it. I'm not budging on a single issue.

... The amazing thing to me about this race was that Bush could be as divisive as he wanted to be, but it never penalized him. The most important things in the world were responded to with infantile answers or complete ignorance. Where he stood was clear. Simplicity wins.

Via Oliver, William Saletan:

Bush is a very simple man. You may think that makes him a bad president, as I do, but lots of people don't—and there are more of them than there are of us. If you don't believe me, take a look at those numbers on your TV screen.

Think about the simplicity of everything Bush says and does. He gives the same speech every time. His sentences are short and clear. "Government must do a few things and do them well," he says. True to his word, he has spent his political capital on a few big ideas: tax cuts, terrorism, Iraq.

... If you're a Democrat, here's my advice. Do what the Republicans did in 1998. Get simple. Find a compelling salesman and get him ready to run for president in 2008. Put aside your quibbles about preparation, stature, expertise, nuance, and all that other hyper-sophisticated garbage that caused you to nominate Kerry. You already have legions of people with preparation, stature, expertise, and nuance ready to staff the executive branch of the federal government. You don't need one of them to be president. You just need somebody to win the White House and appoint them to his administration. And that will require all the simplicity, salesmanship, and easygoing humanity they don't have.

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