Saturday, May 21, 2005

''The Party of New Ideas''

Another 'Letter to Howard Dean,' this time from Tom Cosgrove, previously a "campaign manager and field director for Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.. and these days runs the political strategy firm The Cosgrove Group."

"The American public has it right -- it is not clear what Democrats stand for. Americans may know what group we stand against -- Republicans -- but they do not know what ideas we have for change or what principles and moral values we share as a party.

They don't know because we Democrats have not, in fact, agreed on these things for years. Our party has nothing comparable to the big ideas and value themes Republicans have been running on. The Republican ideas may be bad, however they are big and bold and driving the debate in America. Not just in Washington, D.C. but in state capitals as well.

Our practice, for decades, has been to leave issues and ideas alone until the presidential election cycle starts. By then it is too late to shape the public's image of our party. In the last cycle we nominated a man based on the perception that his resume made him the strongest "horse" against President Bush. Now less than six months after the election who can name the big ideas of the Kerry campaign?

We need to start now. You can make it happen now. Specifically, I urge you to convene a Democratic National Committee mid-term convention, next year, as a Convention for America's Future. Define the agenda of this convention, now, as having a debate about ideas -- for the United States, at home and abroad. Set up a process focused on getting ideas, collecting data that determine whether these ideas are good or bad, and invite people from all ranks of the Party, to debate those ideas as participants."-from the letter.

No comments: