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Wednesday, April 20, 2005


James Carville and Paul Begala write in USATODAY:

Sure, we'd like it if Democrats were seen as the party of faith, family and the flag. And we'd like it if Democrats would fight corporate interests more and take their special interest money less. But the biggest problem the Democrats face is not that they're seen as standing for too many liberal issues or standing for too many conservative positions. It's that Democrats aren't seen as standing for anything. The fundamental question for the party out of power is always: What would you change? Democrats' answer should be, 'Everything.' On every front, on every issue, Democrats should be the party of reform, change and a new direction.
They go on to offer some specifics, which I don't necessarily agree with, but the fundamental issue, that Democrats have become the reactionary party is very true. I think the primary issue is that the Democratic party has become a coalition of small groups of diverse nature that don't really have any common philosophy or political viewpoint accept for general agreement on opposition to the Republican philosophy.


Blogger t0m said...

Republicans have certainly demonstrated that an ideological lock-step is more effective.

I take issue with Republicans blocking Democrat bills in Congress, then claiming Democrats don't have any ideas. We don't have any ideas that are allowed on the floor is more like it.

4/20/2005 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Thanks for commenting Tom, hope to see you as a regular, I am always happy to have commenters who disagree with me.

There is a certain amount of truth to the claim that the efforts of Democrats are blocked, they are in the minority currently, but I am talking more about a core philosophy.

If you are a Republican you probably believe in a Small Government, a Fiscally Conservative (pro-Business, free trade) economic policy, Promotion of Individual Rights, and protections for Traditional Values.

Leaving aside the debate of how well any given Republican Politician reflects these values (few politicians of any stripe seem able to resist Pork), it is pretty clear what the party as a whole espouses. Almost all Republicans believe in at least 3 of those four, and a good deal believe in all four.

The debate in the party is mostly about how important each one is and how to resolve conflicts between the core values.

In contrast, the Democrats don't seem to have a comparable philosophy, at least not one that I have seen widely advertised. They have plenty of issues but the Party seems to me to be a pretty disparate union of special interests each with their own narrow focus and without any intrinsic relation to one another. If an umbrella philosophy could be constructed to include most of these groups in it (and yes, exclude those who don't mesh) it would in my mind go a long way to helping the Democrats recover electorally.

Conservative/Republicans were widely publishing and debating their ideas long before they had any political power or the means of enacting them, back to the Goldwater era. I don't yet see a wide spread similar process in place on the Liberal side.

4/20/2005 02:16:00 PM  

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