Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Democrats Winning Strategy

History isn't on the GOP's side, either. If keeping the top marginal tax rate at 35 percent—the rate under Bush, and the rate that Republicans are fighting to preserve—spurs so much hiring, why didn't America experience any job growth at all during Bush's time in office? And if a top marginal tax rate of 39.6 percent—the rate under Bill Clinton, and the rate that Democrats are fighting to restore—is such a job killer, why did payrolls grow by 20 percent during the 1990s?Newsweek Blog

I have become so tired of the gloom and doom of the Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections. It seems everywhere you turn the news keeps getting worse. Based on these reports there won’t be any Democrats left in the Congress following November. I believe that the Democrats can not only survive November but can also prosper. In order for this to happen they will have to do a number of things that Democrats historically don’t do very well.
The first thing they will have to do is to craft a coherent message that they all unite behind. Because of their lack of a national message the Democratic caucus is plagued by rogue members who feel little if any national allegiance to the party. Because so many of their members are products of local issues and electorates too often Democrats are left with the type of majorities we’ve had the last two years. The Dems have been a majority in name only and incapable of crafting a cohesive governing philosophy. What we don’t need and I am certainly not suggesting are litmus tests like teabaggers or wing-nuts, but instead we need to have certain principles that make us Democrats. I know that we have the general terms of working for the middle-class and for the downtrodden, but that is so open to interpretation that it provides little structure in times of great calamity like the ones we are in. As a party the Dems should craft a set of principles that all members of their caucus agree to work and fight for. And once accepted it should be provided to the American people as a contrast to the Republicans. This message should be honed and offered by all candidates as the governing philosophy of this party. Those who are unable to uphold these principles are free to run as independents or Republicans.

The second thing they should do is at every interview, town hall, and campaign stop carry a chart of the federal deficits under all presidents dating back to Eisenhower. This chart should appear in all of the ads and should become the mantra of the party. They should all provide the American public with an image of the failed policies of these fiscal conservatives who have always preached one thing and done another. This would be a symbol to all but the truly partisan of the duplicity of this party and their unrelenting assault on the middle-class. This is the type of symbol that resonates with the independent voters. This President and these Dems were elected by drawing just such a sharp contrast between their policies and the policies of the wing-nuts. Unfortunately, in America it is not enough to just talk about the lack of consistency and the hypocrisy of the Republicans many of our citizenry need an illustration to drive home points. The success of the bumper sticker rhetoric of the wing-nuts will bear this fact out. This point of preaching austerity and yet every chance they get to govern they raise the deficit to record highs must be repeated over and over. The Dems should take a page from the wing-nuts and that is if you repeat something long enough and loud enough people begin to accept it as fact.

Finally the Dems should propose sweeping public improvement and infrastructure projects to attack the intransigent unemployment that is gripping this nation. It is time to force the Republicans to either support the American people or be seen for the hypocrites they are. Regardless of anyone’s political persuasion few can argue against the historical truth of the “New Deal”. It is time for the American people to get another new deal. Just as FDR recognized the economy had been shanghaied by the wealthy of his time so it is again today. Instead of hoping to negotiate with those seeking short-term greed, it is time for this President to call them to task for the sake of the country. No group, no single person’s agenda can be allowed to supersede the greater good of the majority of Americans. It is time for the Dems to go on the offensive. If they truly believe that they have the best minds with the best plan for America then now is the time to show it. The time has come to craft a set of programs that will actually stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment and at the same time they must demonstrate how implementing these initiatives will in the long run reduce the long-term deficit by fueling the expansion of the economy. Just as the New Deal laid the foundation for the greatest expansion of the American economy in our history so it must be done again.

If the Dems are going to survive and keep the momentum now is not the time for timidity, instead it is the time for bold visions and actions. The Republicans have shown that they are devoid of any new ideas to address the major challenges we face as a nation. So rather than cowering in the corner waiting for the day of reckoning the Dems must provide the American people with a stark contrast of the future of America. If the Dems cannot defeat the rehashed ideas of the past then they are not worthy to lead into the future.

“When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” - John M. Richardson, Jr.

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