Thursday, February 20, 2003

Do Democrats Want Everyone To Like Them?

The more I read about last fall's election, and the overall strategy employed by the Democrat Senate and Congressional Campaign Committees -- of playing down Iraq, National Security, and the Tax Cut (the first one, before the current monstrosity was rolled out) -- the more I get the impression that the Democrats are afraid to piss off the Right wing. Not the Republican party apparatus, or their supporting framework of organizations, but average, everyday voters who identify as conservative.

My question is, why?

There's about 30-40 percent of the voting population that will vote against the Democrats no matter what happens; Bush could be caught selling the nuclear codes to China, and these people would still support him.

So why worry what they think?

I mean, who cares if 40% of your state is screaming bloody murder about how you want to raise everyone's taxes and induce a communist revolution? You only need 51%. Everyone else can rot.

Look at the Republicans. It is incredibly obvious that they don't give a damn about the 30-40% who are going to vote Democratic no matter what. They throw the Right all kinds of bones to make their core supporters happy, then put on their good suit and tone it down to woo the middle 20% - or at least, the middle 11%. They ignore the Democrats' base completely, except to occasionally accuse them of horrible things (in order to further rile up their 30-40% and swing some of the middle 20% their way).

The problem is that the Democrats respond to the bomb-throwers on the other side in the worst possible way: by backing down and trying to make them happy, in the hopes that they'll let up enough for them to convince the middle 20%.

An example: The Bush Tax Cut

How many Democratic congressmen tried to preempt charges of being "tax-raisers" last year by emphasizing their support of the tax cut, or at least neglecting to criticize it?

Damn near all of them.

Now how many Republicans tried to preempt charges of "fiscal irresponsibility" or "favoring the rich" by de-emphasizing their support for the same tax cut?

I'm waiting.

Maybe I'm just too young to understand these things, but aren't you supposed to be afraid of the displeasure of your own fucking base?

In essence, it seems that the Democrats want the Right to love them. They think that they can win them over with a little soothing talk.

Well, as should now be blindingly obvious, that's a loser's game every time.

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