Archive for February 14th, 2006

What Republicans Understand That Democrats Don’t

This is a point I’ve danced around on occasion, that finally crystallized at Drinking Liberally tonight:

Republicans understand that voters in “the base” turn out if motivated, and the undecideds in the middle do not. Consequently, they tailor their electoral strategy to pumping up their base to maximize that turnout, and they don’t worry about the middle all that much because they’re proportionally less of a factor. The Democrats, on the other hand, repeatedly throw their base under the bus in pursuit of those fickle undecideds who probably aren’t voting anyway.

In other words, Republicans understand that turnout is a force multiplier. Democrats are satisfied with just being ahead in opinion polls, implicitly assuming that voter turnout is homogeneous.

And this is why the ballot results never quite live up to the poll results for the Democrats. The Democrats are alienating voters by chasing after non-voters.

5 comments February 14th, 2006 at 11:37pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Politics,Polls,Republicans,Rove

“I Said It. I Meant It. I Stand Behind It.”

I forgot to include this in my previous post about the Democratic party establishment screwing over Paul Hackett, but I think it deserves its own post anyway:

Various bloggers (I could have sworn Digby was one of them, but I can’t find the post I was thinking of) have lamented the Democrats’ unfortunate and self-destructive practice of sabotaging their best and most forceful messengers, but that doesn’t go quite far enough. The core problem with the Democrats, individually and collectively, is their reluctance to say, “I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it.” By apologizing, “clarifying,” or backpedaling away from their statements every time the Republicans and their creatures raise a fake uproar, the Democrats marginalize themselves and their message.

By apologizing, they are saying, “Yes, you’re right, that was not a valid point I was making.” By backpedaling, they are saying, “I routinely say things that I don’t really mean, and I just hope that no-one calls me on it.”

On the other hand, by standing firm and repeating “I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it,” or better yet, “We said it. We meant it. We stand behind it,” every time they are challenged, the Democrats would send the message that their positions are valid and deserving of respect, that they never say anything they don’t mean, and that they will not back down in the face of intimidation.

Of course, the Republican noise machine would howl about how angry and unreasonable the Democrats are. Let them. I believe the Democrats would regain the respect of their base, and the admiration of those undecideds who are disgusted with the Republicans but don’t see a viable alternative.

If Hackett is through with seeking public office, maybe the Democrats could hire him as a speech coach.

10 comments February 14th, 2006 at 01:49pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Wankers

Your Stupid Minds! Stupid, Stupid!

I sure hope the Democrats know what they’re doing…

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio’s closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.


“For me, this is a second betrayal,” Mr. Hackett said. “First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me.”

Mr. Hackett was the first Iraq war veteran to seek national office, and the decision to steer him away from the Senate race has surprised those who see him as a symbol for Democrats who oppose the war but want to appear strong on national security.

“Alienating Hackett is not just a bad idea for the party, but it also sends a chill through the rest of the 56 or so veterans that we’ve worked to run for Congress,” said Mike Lyon, executive director for the Band of Brothers, a group dedicated to electing Democratic veterans to national office. “Now is a time for Democrats to be courting, not blocking, veterans who want to run.”


Mr. Hackett was widely criticized last year for using indecent language to describe President Bush. Last month, state Republicans attacked Mr. Hackett for saying their party had been hijacked by religious extremists who he said “aren’t a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden.”

Though Republicans called for an apology, Mr. Hackett repeated the mantra of his early campaign: “I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it.”

“I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it.” Are you listening, Democrats? That should be your response every single time the Republicans and all their media zombies whine and rage and demand an apology from you for not rolling over and playing dead. And this is the guy you push out of the Senate race? The guy who is exactly the kind of breath-of-fresh-air candidate your spineless party needs? What the hell are you THINKING???

I’d say that this has made me lose all faith in the Democratic party’s leadership, except their fold-job on Alito already took care of that. What they don’t appear to understand is that, in addition to the obvious, immediate tactical disadvantages of opposing Hackett and not Alito, there is also a less obvious, but even more significant negative impact on the party’s grass roots and base, who become increasingly disgusted and disillusioned with the Democrats, and consequently less willing to donate time or money, or to turn out in droves on Election Day.

And just who is the brilliant political mastermind behind this daring new Democratic strategy? It wasn’t easy, but I pulled some strings, and was able to get this exclusive picture of the Democrats’ new chief political advisor, Robert Karl:

You’re doin’ a heckuva job, uh, Karlie.

9 comments February 14th, 2006 at 11:23am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Wankers

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