Bad Strategy

Roll Call says that the Senate Democrats are trying to reform their leadership in the wake of their loss in the midterm elections:

"Where we have areas of new proposals and ideas that we think would move us forward we should do that," she added. A top Democratic aide said Democrats lost out in this year’s election because Republicans successfully co-opted portions of their domestic agenda while at the same time seizing control of the national security debate over issues such as creating a Department of Homeland Security.

"Republicans did a masterful job of blurring the differences on key Democratic initiatives such as education, health care and the war on terrorism," the aide said. "This allowed the president to tack to the center and pick up Independent voters." The question now is what direction Senate Democrats will take their agenda and who will serve as their main spokesman. Moderate Democrats warned a dramatic shift to the left would alienate crucial swing voters in 2004.

"I think it would be a serious mistake, because the base of our party, as is the base of the Republican Party, is not enough to constitute a majority,"said Sen. John Breaux (D-La.). "It would make it more difficult to attract centrists and Independents in the middle, and that is the key to elections."

Indeed, this analysis is pretty much dead-on. The Democrats did lose because the GOP managed to undercut their issues while stressing their own strengths in foreign policy and national security. However, what are the Democrats going to do to make them a more competitive party?

They’re giving Hillary Clinton a leadership role.

Hillary will be in charge of the Democrat’s Steering and Coordination Committee. Which means that the Democrats efforts to attract swing voters will likely fail, as leaders like Clinton and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are entirely creatures of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party. While I have to give them credit for identifying the real problem they’re having as a party, it seems like moderate and reasonable Democrats like Sen. Breaux will find themselves marginalized as the DNC makes a headlong dash leftwards towards failure.

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