The Lonely Centrist

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Dan Gerstein on the Democrats' Problem

Dan Gerstien, former Communications Director to Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Ct), has some interesting observations on the Democrats' plight - and failure to provide a serious alternative to the Republicans, in the Wall Street Journal. His thoughts are in line with the frustration I've recently expressed, and noted from John DiIulio as well.

Money quotes:

[T]he heart of the problem with our party and its angry activist base [is] not so much that we're living in a parallel universe, but that we have dueling conceptions of what's mainstream, especially on abortion and other values-based issues, and our side is losing. We think that if we simply call someone conservative, anti-choice and anti-civil rights, that's enough to scare people to our side. But that tired dogma won't hunt in today's electorate, which is far more independent-thinking and complex in its views on values than our side presumes....

We do badly need leaders with courage--the courage, that is, to push our party (to borrow a phrase) to move on, to accept that we can't win with the same lame ideological arguments in post-9/11 America, and that we must develop an alternative affirmative agenda that shows we can keep the country safer, make the economy stronger, and govern straighter than the ethically challenged Republicans.

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