Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What next?

Following up on the Senate leadership question: What do Democrats do to win seats in 2006 and the White House in 2008?

I suggested that they should target the Midwest by putting Tom Harkin or Dick Durbin in the Senate leadership. I think that they should also find strong wedge issues. Outsourcing is supposed to have been incredibly effective in the Rust Belt and upper Midwest (including Missouri and Ohio, which we lost). Strong Congressional Democrats can find ways to put the White House and Republicans on the record with awkward votes on taxes for companies that outsource. Make the US Chamber of Commerce unhappy with swing state Repubs.

Rhetorically, keep the “Two Americas” language. It worked brilliantly in Iowa, and has huge potential if people keep using it. Once it gets into the language, it's something Democrats don't have to say, it's just going to be implied. And the media will start using it because they're stupid sheep.

The other thing that Dems only started to hit this election is embryonic stem cells. This is an area that polls great when people present it right. Get the Rockridge Institute to find the right frames for embryonic stem cells. Talking about life extending therapies, improving people's lives, saving children with cystic fibrosis, preserving the memories of our senior citizens. Talk about the future, the importance of research. Talk about the next great discovery, and the importance of innovation to the economy. Tie it back to outsourcing and prosperity. Say that Republicans are outsourcing medical research and the economy of the future. Talk about the future. Talk about the value of research and exploration. Talk about values.

A correspondent has suggested that “the famous Democratic post-election circular firing squad is forming up.” I hope not. This is a chance for everyone to stop and think. The DLC will claim Kerry didn't listen to them. Rabid Deaniacs will claim that the Democratic wing of the party wasn't influential enough. I suspect Dean himself will look for constructive ways to reach out to the South, which has been hammered by outsourcing and the war in Iraq. I think his vision of the party was that it would reach out aggressively to people we tend to write off. Guys with Nascar bumper stickers, roughnecks on oil rigs in MS, AL, and LA. The states that take the most from the federal government are natural allies of the Democratic party, and we just need to reach them.