Sunday, April 23, 2006

FIVE on the Dems

"A Short And Simple Democratic Agenda: At the DNC's spring meeting today in New Orleans, Howard Dean laid out a six-point Democratic agenda:

Dean said that Democrats will fight for a six-point plan that includes raising the minimum wage, tax ``fairness'' for the middle class, ``a complete ban on gifts and travel from lobbyists,'' the inspection of all cargo coming into U.S. ports, fixing the Medicare drug plan and ``transition'' in Iraq.
If you haven't noticed, Democrats have been making a concerted effort to explain in plain and simple terms what Democrats stand for. Yes, Democrats have finally trained themselves to drop the clause-laden, inaccessible rhetoric of the past, and are beginning to embrace a much more effective method of educating voters about the Democratic Party."-Georgia 10 on Kos.

"Bush's third term:
Bush has acknowledged that he has spent much of his political capital on Iraq, and the way to replenish the reserves is to replace the officials most associated with the overreaching that led to the tragedy in Iraq — and with the administration's broader disdain for diplomacy.

Yes, that means dismissing Rumsfeld. The secretary should go not because he has been criticized by a group of retired generals but because he embodies the smugness and inability to acknowledge error that has characterized both the Iraq war and the wider war on terrorism. Rumsfeld has been the pinched public face of an administration that has cut legal and humanitarian corners in dealing with people — including U.S. citizens — suspected of involvement with terrorists.

Suppose Bush didn't stop there. Suppose he also asked Cheney, his mentor and friend but an even more polarizing figure than Rumsfeld, to step down.Throwing Cheney overboard would be an implicit repudiation of the excessively hawkish foreign policy with which the vice president, even more than Rumsfeld, has been associated."-from (gasp) the editorial in today's LA Times.

"Democrats vow to set nation on course:
NEW ORLEANS — Democrats cast themselves Saturday as the party that will change the nation's unpopular course but hedged on how they would do it.

The Democratic National Committee used a three-day meeting in New Orleans to unveil a six-point statement labeled as the party's vision for governing, yet it avoided such thorny issues as Iraq or immigration. And party leaders put off further discussion of a Democratic plan for Iraq until later — and then it will be done in private, perhaps after the November election.

Throughout the strategy meeting, Democrats said they were confident that anger at President Bush puts them in position to win control of Congress in November. But most insisted the party must close the sale with skeptical voters."-from Knight-Ridder, in today's Seattle Times.

"Democrats Contour November Strategy:
NEW ORLEANS, April 22 -- Democratic Party officials continue to assemble the pieces for their midterm election strategy, but questions about the party's overall message, differences on Iraq, reservations about their leaders, and debates about campaign tactics contribute to concerns that they may not be positioned to take advantage of the most favorable political climate since President Bush was elected."-Dan Balz in the Washington Post, sprinkling cold water on the story, lest it overheat.

Better make that FIVE: "Standing for Something: The American Prospect has published the first part of Ruy Texeira and John Halpin's four part article on Democratic political strategy, messaging and branding. Their conclusion on what Dems need to do? Stand for something:
The thesis of this report is straightforward. Progressives need to fight for what they believe in -- and put the common good at the center of a new progressive vision -- as an essential strategy for political growth and majority building. This is no longer a wishful sentiment by out-of-power activists, but a political and electoral imperative for all concerned progressives. The identity gap in politics has serious direct and indirect ramifications. Directly, voters hold the Democrats' lack of identity against candidates and the party as a whole; indirectly, the lack of identity undermines Democrats' abilities to capitalize on their strengths and enables the GOP to capitalize easily on Democratic weaknesses."
-Armando on Kos.

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