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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

From Both Sides

Brendan Miniter's column in Opinion Journal "Dem's and the Dark Years", should come as no surprise to anyone. Opinion Journal, the online arm of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, has a history of beating on the democrats.

However, E.J. Dionne, from the Washington Post also beating on them, in his latest column "A Gap in Their Armor", should come as a surprise.

Miniter lays out, very well, why he thinks the DNC is on the wrong path for the 2006 mid-term elections. The article referers to the dark years following our withdrawl from Viet Nam. The term has nothing to do with America, but instead how the South Vietnamese felt when we abandoned them, and they fell to the north.

He points out American's don't necessarily like war, as polls show with Iraq, but they like the idea of losing wars even less. And the GOP will spend a lot of money to remind American's that the basic strategy of Ned Lamont and the Sheehan end of the Democratic Party is to admit defeat and leave in Iraq.

Dionne points out that the Democrats have a bad habit of self destruction, and even with what seems a perfect set up for regaining at least some real estate in Washington, they could still blow it.

He points out, as others have over the last few months, that the in fighting between Howard Dean, the DNC Chairman, and Rahm Emanuel, the Congressman in charge of trying to win back the House, could be just what they don't need.

Dean is looking long term, not only to 2006, but 2008 and beyond by trying to rebuild the party structure nationwide. He's actually taken a page from the GOP, and decided that a firm, nationwide structure is necessary for the long term good of the party.

Emanuel, on the other hand, would like DNC money spent in 40-50 House races, for the 2006 election, and then worry about the future. While he has a point for this election, it's not a great long term strategy.

Emanuel could stand to look at how the GOP retook congress in the 1990's. It wasn't by focusing everying over a two year period, it had been worked on since Regan was elected in 1980. It only came into full focus and fruition in 1994. For 14 years before that the GOP had been working on states where they thought they could win, but also on building a decent structure in others at a local level.

That's how they also took a majority of Governor's mansions, and state legislatures since then. It wasn't by only worrying about "big elections". Getting incumbant, popular local legislators who could then move up to national office, or stump for those trying for them was a key to how they pulled it off.

The Emanuel strategy is just the opposite, worry about the big elections, and hope that it rolls downhill to get the smaller ones. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to work as well in most cases.

The Dem's have another problem Dionne points out, their big money donors aren't there like they were in 2004. Like Emanuel, the big money folks like George Soro's only seem to worry about big elections. 2006, while a prime opportunity to regain the House at least, doesn't seem to be attracting the dollars 2004 did.

The GOP, while not always attracting the individual big money guys, has done a great job at securing long term donors to the party, and keeping their money lead. But they've done it like everything else, with long term plans, not "just wait until this year!" type hyperbole.

Maybe, but I doubt it, the Democrats will start looking at both the image problem the GOP is certainly going to give them this year, and their own strategy for winning elections, and come up with a way to be competitive. Instead, I think they will end up finding disappointment come November, because of their own shortcomings.

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1Comments:

Blogger shoprat said...

I don't think the Democrats ever were in as a good of shape as they believed. They are masters at propoganda who are foolish enough to believe their own propoganda.

People are less than enthused with Bush, but alot of that is because he is not conservative ENOUGH. Of course that is beyond the left's miniscule comprehension.

1:07 PM  

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