Lessons (Not) Learned

This is history in the making, and the results of this election surprised even me, and I was being optimistic. What does all of this say about the political situation in the United States? Well, it says that the Democratic Party is in serious trouble.

The Democrats couldn’t choose between being the opposition party and Clintonesque triangulation, and they ended up failing at both. Daschle first tried to buck Bush on the Iraq issue, but that became a polical non-starter fairly rapidly. The Democrats tried to attack the Republicans on the economy, which was perceived as their weakest area, and that also failed to gain much political capital?

What could the Democrats have done? They could have offered an alternative. The DNC turned this race into a race between Bush and People Who Want To Stop Bush At All Costs. Voters don’t want obstructionism, they want opposition. That’s a distinction that the Democratic leadership failed to grasp at all. Where was the Democratic plan on disarming Iraq? What was the DNC’s economic stimulus package? Social Security reform? Homeland Security? All of these questions were met with silence from the Democrats.

However, don’t expect the Democrats to start changing their playbook, at least not unless there’s a major shakeup in the leadership. Instead, expect them to go even more to the negative left, constantly criticizing the President and waving around Florida like a bloody shirt every chance they get. The Democrats will likely try to consolidate their base and lick their wounds while the GOP continues to cement their new mandate into 2004 and beyond.

One thought on “Lessons (Not) Learned

  1. So the Republicans won and who in, say, Europe, would have thought that a man whom, say, Europeans, consider the weakest link of the brain chain was going to gather up that much support. George W. is the first President in a long time who did not lose the first round of elections after his own…

    And ex-Vice Walter Mondale was quick to attribute the GOP’s victory to Bush’s politics. Now here is a thought that scares, say, Europeans. The one thing that they hear about George W’s politics is what they perceive as warmonging. And some cowboy who is all about bombs and oil (and, some time ago (?), cocaine as well) has found overwhelming support in the populace? When even a hardcore Democratic state like Minnesota goes Republican, the DFL had better sit down and think a couple of things over.

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