Sunday, April 09, 2006

How do we win the next election?

Partially in response to the gay marriage issue, but also as a general issue I propose the following:

How does the left win the next two elections? Can we? Must we? Why or why not?


The Red Queen said...

1) Populism, populism, populism
2) Sane ideas for international relations including an actual policy for withdrawing from Iraq
3)Candidates that inspire rather than terrify (Obama, Oh how I love thee!)
4)Getting rid of milquetoast candidates and replacing them with people who have either balls or ovaries of steel
5) Calling republicans on their flip-flopping, hypocritical, anti-values fake morality. Time to take the gloves off and fight fire with fire. If the other guy ain't fighting fair- we don't have to either.

DeeK said...

Since I posed this question, I reserve the right to answer last on the topic.

However point 5 of your comment deserves response, specifically: 'Time to take the gloves off and fight fire with fire. If the other guy ain't fighting fair- we don't have to either.', is where I think we need to head. Does not fighting fair include ignoring gay marriage when you really support it? Politics is all about lying; one can never tell the complete truth in this arena. I think we constituents need to understand this as much as potential candidates.

DeeK said...

I need to be more precise in my question. Instead of 'Does not fighting fair include ignoring gay marriage when you really support it?' It should be: 'Does not fighting fair include pretending to ignore gay marriage when you really support it?

DeeK said...

Molly Ivins is speakin similar words to yours:

The Red Queen said...

Taking off the gloves means stop playing nice and worrying about "giving aid and comfort to the enemy". Not eating our own young for the sake of election results.

We take the gloves off and drag the moderate republicans (remember them, they're pro-choice and fiscally responsible) out of the dungeons of the wingnuttery. We don't put our own people in dungeons to make room for them though, cause the left is a big tent after all.

MdH said...

I’m not going to write a bunch on the specific agenda (because I’m working on a longer piece about our policy in the middle east) but I did want to drop something here. The democrats should pound away on the issue where they have the most credibility…go great gangbusters on the economy, US competitiveness, displaced workers, & the decline in the fortunes of the American middle class.

Carve new space on national security & foreign policy. I think the path is to talk tough, make noises about a smarter use of funds in building a post cold war force. Talk about underinvestment in diplomacy (the state department budget is a joke…they can afford to buy negotiating teams lunch) talk about a strong focus on “human asset intelligence” (Bush is dependant on his high tech toys…spin it that we need to focus human agents, translators, & diplomatic connections). “Diplomacy isn’t just rhetoric you spout while you ‘fix the intelligence’ around your military policy”

Homeland security should spin not about all of the new ways we can destroy our liberties & give up rights. The rhetoric should suggest that massively spying on Americans hasn’t increased our security. That we need to reform our domestic intelligence policy to ensure proper oversight, & protection of cherished liberties. But more important, the key to security is more people on the ground. We should propose 200,000 new border security personnel & 300,000 new beat cops for urban areas that are most at risk for terrorism.

Declare a war on fossil fuel dependence. The reason the middle east has become so influential in our policy making is this dependence. Katrina & it’s costs are just a taste of the longer term implications of a warming planet. Propose a massive package/policy (comparable to the moon program) of tax incentives, legislative requirements (make California’s 10% zero emis. Law national). The correct spin is that while moving away from fossil fuels won’t be great for the huge petroleum companies that have been raking in record profits it will be great for middle class jobs to support the construction of new alternatives infrastructure, maintain the systems etc. I’m talking about a massive program with billions of dollars in new incentives & direct investment. The program should be spun to illustrate it’s connection to our foreign policy, economic security, & environmental stability.

Finally, big federal spending on education. Big federal spending on infrastructure (which is currently collapsing around our ears). Now the big kicker. New taxes. I don’t think we should shy away from this one. The spin is that America is facing one of the greatest challenges in decades. The wealthiest Americans have enjoyed twenty years of extraordinary prosperity & it’s time for them to step up & play a larger role in financing the required changes we need to make to cope with new global realities.

In terms of gay marriage. It shouldn’t be a part of the platform. When the inevitable question comes, a mainstream answer is appropriate. “Like many Americans, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about gay marriage. I’ll admit that it’s not something I’m comfortable with. But I do know that our country is one where people demand fairness. I know that most Americans, even those who oppose gay marriage, believe that discrimination isn’t right. We should continue to work for ways to provide health insurance, employment security, & survivorship benefits for all Americans, & I’ll veto any “defense of marriage” proposal that doesn’t provide reasonable civil alternatives for gay couples. But I think gay Americans understand that my focus is going to be on putting America on the right path…

The gay left will go nuts. But that doesn’t matter. The candidate should have an explicit position on extending anti-discrimination protection to gays while taking a pass on marriage (which is where the majority of Americans are at). The people who hate gays aren’t going to support the candidate regardless, but a strong majority oppose discrimination when you take the “M” word off the table.

DeeK said...

mdh, have you been reading my notes? ;)

I agree totally with your platform. My only recommendation would be to tie energy independence closer to homeland security. I think doing this makes selling the entire concept easier.

I think we also agree on the gay marriage issue. Yeah, the gay left will anger, but much like the black community, where else are they going to go to find support?

I find it troubling that have not heard one Dem pick up these obvious solutions. We are not politicians, but it didn't take much effort to come up with this approach.

One other thing on higher taxes (which I think you imply are tied at, least partially, to infrastructure) is that it could be sold as pay a little more now or pay much more later.

Great work.