Friday, April 21, 2006


Many times on this blog Scott and I have urged action, any action, from the Democratic Party to unite behind a single message and a single agenda; and we weren’t the only ones as posts have been written on Daily Kos, Wonkette, My DD, and other “main steam” outlets like Chicago Tribune’s The Swamp.

Is it starting to sink in?? Maybe... just maybe... it is.

The DNC is down in New Orleans this week for their annual ‘Spring Meeting,’ and the topic of striking a single message for the American people to unite behind has been foremost in everyone’s mind as the Democrats find themselves leading in many polls. The problem though, is, at times, the party seems sharply divided over whether they need (or even already have) a national message and agenda that will tell the American voters exactly what the party stands for, but that is not as easy as it sounds, as Alvaro Cifuentes, the head of the DNC’s Hispanic Caucus, stated, “You can't try to simplify your politics with a slogan. You can't.”

When asked what the party’s message was, a few (according to the linked article by AP reporter Liz Sidoti) said that the party stands for affordable and quality health care. Others mentioned human rights and the search for new energy sources. Still others cited a new Medicare system (you know, one that actually works) more funding for education and a Social Security re-haul program that would actually be useful and feasible.

Democratic leaders (in an attempt to make their election-year message clearer to voters) have launched a series of six policy statements with “Honest Leadership & Open Government” and “Real Security” the first to be rolled-out, with messages about energy, the economy, health care and retirement to follow.

(While it is true that the current political landscape favors the Democrats for the upcoming mid-term elections – especially as approval ratings for Bush and the Republican-led Congress are at their lowest points since Bush took office and the fact that close to 70% of the population thinks the country is heading in the wrong direction – the DNC needs to realize that solely emphasizing the travails of the GOP is not enough to win on Election Day this November. A single message that will unite and solidify Liberals and garner those Independents that are sitting on the fence needs to be made and made soon. But, the problem with that is that if you ask Democratic leaders to name their party's election-year message now you’ll get a wide array of answers, some similar, some radically different… and all far from a “consensus” of a single, unifying message.

If political history has taught us anything, it’s that the GOP has always been more adept at crafting a single, unifying message while the Democratic Party has been hard pressed to explain their messages in a concise and simple way that, when repeated often enough, can resonate with the voters and thus convince them to vote Democrat (Ms. Sidoti’s article states this fact as well.

The fact of the matter is this; politics in this country have changed dramatically in the last dozen or so years, and solely relying on the public’s distrust in the GOP and that party’s recent ethical and law-breaking ways is not enough to win this November. We now live in a “freeze-dried world” where people’s attention spans are shorter and things need to be shown and explained in simple, easy-to-read ways. Of course, all of this is solely my opinion... and I could be wrong...

... though I highly doubt it)

Allow me to end this calculated, albeit rambling post, with a quote from the same article by Linda Chavez-Thompson, the AFL-CIO's executive vice president. When asked what the Democrat’s message was, she said it will come together and that “We're formulating it now, and that is, we are going to change things in Washington and the Democratic Party has the answer.”

Wonderfully put Ms. Chavez-Thompson… wonderfully put.

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