Friday, March 24, 2006

Being Bold

Kevin Phillips, author of Wealth and Democracy and, more recently, American Theocracy, has been guest posting at TPM Cafe to promote his new book.

His most recent post makes a point that I think all Democrats should take into consideration:
I believe that Democrats and liberals in 2006 stand to have their greatest opportunity since 1992 (which was lost). You will have the substantial support of many lapsed Republicans and doubters of Bush conservatism like myself. But I also have the sense that many Democrats and liberals have an instinct for for the capillaries, not for the jugular. If that leads to failure in 2006, there will be a major price to pay, not just for the United States but in terms of the credibility of your party and movement.
In the past, I've been skeptical of the liberal claims that Democrats need to be "extreme" to be strong. But I tend to agree that Democrats have been too timid (which is not to say too moderate) in opposing the President. Whenever Democrats have seen an opportunity to pick up seats, they tend to take a state by state strategy, failling to offer a bold, national message to define the party. That is the real genesis of the mantra that Democrats don't stand for anything. Democrats have an opportunity in '06 (and '08 for that matter) to present themselves as the party that will protect national security without resorting to secrecy and illegality. It no longer has to be "strong on terrorism" vs. "weak on terrorism." It should be strength and honesty vs. secrecy and manipulation.


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