Sunday, June 24, 2007


In The Nation this week, Rick Perlstein quotes recent poll data that shows a leftward tilt in the electorate on virtually every major issue, as well as on party identification; Perlstein notes, however, that Democrats haven't been inclined to take advantage of this:

Democrats … rarely ask the public to vote for them as Democrats. The trend was obvious by the 2006 season, for those who cared to see: The same Pew [poll] numbers that now show a 50-35 Democratic/Democratic-leaners advantage over Republicans had the advantage at 47-38 in 2006. Candidates would have earned a premium just slapping the label "Democrat" on their TV ads, but most didn't do it.

...that's just not how the Democratic consultancy class thinks.

Good point -- and I'd add that Democrats also ought to be making an extra effort to identify their opponents as Republicans, and to express open contempt for the Republican Party.

Yeah, yeah, I know -- voters are sick of partisanship. That's what we hear, but I suspect it's like all negative campaigning -- voters say they don't like it, but they respond to it. Certainly they've responded to Democrat-bashing for the past twenty-seven years -- why wouldn't they respond now to bashing of the prolong-the-war-endlessly/ overrule-Terri-Schiavo's-husband/ let-'em-drown-in-New-Orleans party?

The country really dislikes the Republican Party right now, and wants a more Democratic government, yet Republicans still bash Democrats more than Democrats bash Republicans. This makes Democrats look weak and reinforces the notion that Democrat-bashing conforms to objective reality and to the thinking of the public. Democrats have to turn this state of affairs around. I say bash away.

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