April 1, 2007
-- by John Emerson
Ever since 1988, the controlling DLC faction has oriented Democratic campaigns toward moderate and independent "swing voters". This actually worked in 1992, but only at the Presidential level, and the rabidly partisan Gingrich Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994. Pursuing his centrist strategy, Clinton further weakened Congressional Democrats by working against them and relying on Republican votes to get his program through.
Now, Matt Dowd, the Bush strategist who just jumped ship, also happens to be the guy who showed Karl Rove in 2002 that most voters (93%) are partisan and that elections are won by getting out the base. In 2004 Rove picked that up and ran with it. However, all Dowd really did was figure out that the toxic Gingrich-Delay strategy would work at the Presidential level too.
The Democrats used to be the smart party, but now they're the dumb party. Hillary Clinton hasn't learned anything in thirteen years and is still running to the almost non-existent center -- to a degree, so is Obama. And the Democrats' party pros and retainered consultants are still mostly the Froms and Shrums who've helped us lose for all these years. (Of course, while the Democratic Party pros are pretty bad, if you want real clueless idiocy you have to go to the editorial pages and read what those fatheads have to say. David Broder is only the worst of a bad lot.)
Increasingly, Democrats are running as Democrats, but the Democratic Party still has some housecleaning to do.
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