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March 31, 2005



what the thing suggests to me is that the base itself is the problem. don't tell anyone I said that, though.


What we've got, thus far, is just a good first step. We've put the President on the defensive and found a ripe issue for the election. But you know what? We've had good first steps before. It's all part of our inverted pyramid: rather than building a solid foundation for the next election, we just hope that whatever's going on at the moment will be enough to take down the right. It rarely is. What's going on at the moment has to also boost us.

a) I wouldn't knock a good start. It's a good start. Roll with it.

b) If you want tightly disciplined, highly focused, get in line or get out of the way politics, I'm sorry, you needed to pick door #2. We are a lot of ideas in all their glorious complexities and what we represent is the idea that everyone deserves a fair hearing, and then we'll do something. If you don't like the messiness, really, we're probably not for you.

c) Now, could we do a better job trying to influence perceptions? Absolutely. When people think about our answers (social security, right to choose, more peace/less war)we generally win; when they think about who likes flags and patriotism and Mom and Apple Pie, we don't. I like flags, Mom and Apple Pie. I even love America and what it stands for, in all it's glorious contradictions. We need a better ad agency. I know that can come off as cheap or cynical, but seriously. We need a good, common-sense presentation of who Dems are and what we stand for. And I know there are ad agencies full of liberals. There must be an answer there somewhere. That's how you take advantage of a good start.

Dave Justus

A lot of attention has been focused recently on the schism between small government republicans and the religious right over the Schiavo controversy. These two groups do have very different (although not totally incompatible) world views that have historically been held together by opposition to the 'Liberal Agenda.'

I bring this up because in my estimation while the Republican base is composed almost entirely of these two groups, the Democratic party is composed of a multitude of small groups with loosely compatible agendas. If this is so, is the message problem you refer to intrinsic in the structure of the party?

Disciplining your message too much might drive off some of these splinters, while not disciplining it creates electoral issues you have correctly identified.

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