Democratic strategy: oxymoron?

695 words written by dylan
Posted May 17, 2003 @ 01:50 AM

I was reading Hasty's commentary on Calpundit's Democratic victory strategy for 2004: Run as the gay rights party. I think it's an interesting strategy, since it would be the perfect wedge issue between ordinary Americans and the Falwell/Robertson Right. No one in this country wants to be seen as a bigot, so of course they'd support a small measure, maybe just employment discrimination protection for gays and lesbians, and look askance at Jerry Falwell foaming at the mouth.

Poli Sci 101 taught me that the parties, by nature, will start an election cycle towards the farther ends of their spectrum. The reason is that you need to build momentum among your own radical faithful before you can start appealing to moderate, independent Americans -- the rank and file of this country. By then, it's too late for your radicals to get off your bandwagon, and if they do, you remind them of the horrors that your opponent will bring upon the nation. Gay men teaching your children how to perform abortions. June Cleaver types who will forcibly baptize your children and teach them how to kill abortion providers.

This cycle is looking very odd, though -- the GOP is about to tear itself apart, and yet it will more than likely make gains in Nov 2004. Dubya is the GOP's Jimmy Carter -- woefully inept in the areas of concern of most Americans -- and yet is the American Churchill. The neo-cons and the Christian conservatives can't stand each other, but both sides know that as long as they play nice they will not lose.

If, by some miracle, the Dems score an upset in 2004, the GOP will fall apart very quickly. Whatever formula the Dems use to win will become the new consistency of the party for the next generation. The GOP will collapse into different factions, the fiscal conservatives against the neo-cons against the social conservatives. The group that can strike a chord with rank-and-file moderates will become the new GOP. I think it's even possible we'll see a small but viable third party.

But, I'm doubtful the Dems have a chance. They so relied on the chutzpah and charisma of Clinton that they've created a leadership vacuum. That they are so antagonistic towards Dubya shouldn't be a surprise -- most Dems didn't vote for Gore, they voted against Dubya. Now, the very nightmare they feared would happen is here, and they've turned inward because they don't have a Churchill to offer the average Democrat.

Yet, they could win. The GOP is just about letting them. If they allow Ann Coulter within 10 feet of the convention dais next year, they are toast. DeLay ran JC Watts out of Washington because he didn't meet the acid test of conservatism, i.e., he didn't think affirmative action was such a bad thing. The districting issue in Texas drives home the GOP's indifference to the states and desire to run over local democracy in favor of a national oligarchy of power. And there's always the "Bush to states: drop dead" issue -- Dubya won't give any assistance to the states and is letting them flush higher ed and social programs. I mean, look at all those juicy issues. Get a Dem candidate who can frame those up in a congenial yet sober package, toss in some promises to his followers, and you get the White House back.

But, it won't happen. Karl Rove won't let it happen. He slid the convention back to coincide with 9/11 so as to guarantee momentum into the election. They have enough dirty tricks up their sleeve to take out 90% of the US population in a presidential election. It's almost a foregone conclusion. We're moving towards a Executive branch dictatorship with the media companies as their mouthpieces. It could well mean a generation of Republican rule simply because no one else will have the resources to challenge them. And there's the great GOP irony: They strongly support the freedom of the individual, but they'll gladly allow corporations to run over those freedoms if it means capital. They may well become the very dictatorships and crony-states they so despise.