Another take on saving the Democrats
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By jank - Last updated: Friday, August 1, 2003 - Save & Share - 7 Comments

“This is all great news for Republicans, though we’d argue not for the country. On the present Democratic course the GOP may have a chance to finally become a governing majority in 2004 and beyond, but sooner or later the Democrats will get their turn again. We’d much prefer a center-left party in the mold of Britain’s Tony Blair, one that is tough against terror and recognizes that private markets create wealth. It isn’t healthy in our democracy to have a major political party run off the rails.” More here

This article provides a little more detail on what I was trying to say in response to Cyn on Flightsuit.

One of the more salient points: “Among white men age 25 to 49, only 41.5% even have a favorable view of Democrats. More than 70% of that group view the GOP favorably. As for income groups, the nearby table shows how the heart of the tax-paying middle class is abandoning the Democrats.

“Mr. Penn attributes this mass defection to “current perceptions that Democrats stand for big government, want to raise taxes too high, are too liberal, and are beholden to special interest groups.” They also suffer from what he calls a “security gap,” or the “wide chasm” between the parties on keeping America safe after 9/11. “Today, Democrats must be strong on security to be heard on the economy,” the strategist writes.”

I’m not arguing that white males should be anyone’s key demographics, but when you’ve got less than a 50% favorable rating, and probably less than a 30% identity among a still pretty sizeable group, it indicates that the party isn’t keeping up with the rest of the nation.

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7 Responses to “Another take on saving the Democrats”

Comment from etrigan
Time August 1, 2003 at 3:20 pm

Wow. I live in a bubble. Maybe I should use this information as a launching pad for WDYLIA – Part 2. I should research the Austin demos. (Of course, jank would see this as a WIDLIA…)

Comment from cynsmith
Time August 1, 2003 at 3:49 pm

I don’t know what WDYLIA or WIDLIA stand for…

BUT – I do think that the Journal is the pot calling the kettle here, as far as being in touch with the average middle-class voter goes.

a) they ignore the fact that the first Bush raised taxes because – gasp! – as Perot had pointed out, Reagan’s tax cuts had resulted in enormous deficits and were driving the country towards bankruptcy. The same is true today, and Dean is pointing it out again. Except this time he’s calling it something like a “credit card economy” which I think is brilliant. It’s all fine and good for me to run up debt I can’t repay while quitting my job and buying things I can’t afford, but I want my goverment to be more fiscally responsible than the average college student.

2) While the Journal calls the Dean and Kerry proposals tax increases, the bulk of their ideas are actually suggesting that we not implement tax cuts that have yet to take effect, and repeal the cuts that have been in effect for just one or two tax years. Since most people weren’t directly affected by receiving a noticeable cut in the first place, I don’t think it’s a hard sell to repeal it. As Friedman said in the Times a while back, the Democrats need to start making the case STRONGLY that reduced taxes = reduced services. Luckily, the reduction in airport security issue is already pointing in that direction, and people are paying attention.

Comment from etrigan
Time August 1, 2003 at 4:02 pm

WDYLIA – Part 1 vs. “Why I Don’t Live In Austin”. It’s a continuing series that I will write everytime I have an “Austin” moment that would be basically unreproducable anywhere else. (I expect next Saturday’s Summer Camp will spawn another WDYLIA.) Upon seeing the demographics of Austin, I think jank would not want to live here. ;o)

Comment from jank
Time August 1, 2003 at 4:12 pm

Eh, about the only WIDLIA (Why I don’t live in Austin) is lack of ability to find gainful employment there. Besides, I’m much more comfortable being a conservative surrounded by leftists than I am being a libertarian surrounded by fascists/Houstonians/etc. Plus, leftist types have better arts/resturants/outdoors facilities, etc.

As far as what’s driving the country towards bankruptcy – yeah, it’s a credit card economy, but it’s our parents spending on things like Social Security and Medicare (especially w/ perscription drugs) that’s driving the debt. Taxes are only one side of the deficit problem. If we would stop spending like drunken sailors, we wouldn’t be nearing a financial crisis. Bush’s tax increase merely postponed the spending cuts that the Contract with America pushed through, leading to the longest peacetime expansion in history. (I’m also of the mood that pushing through the tax increase was a move by a Democrat-dominated Congress to be able to bash Bush I over the head with the ‘Read My Lips’ quote).

(WDYLIA – Why don’t you live in Austin).

Comment from etrigan
Time August 1, 2003 at 4:30 pm

ummm…After hearing first hand my father-in-law’s troubles with Doctors, etc — (It honestly breaks my heart to hear him not up-to-speed.) — I think spending on Social Security and Medicare is a must including a prescription drug benefit. A retired college professor should not be paying what he has to pay to be treated the way he’s being treated.

Comment from cynsmith
Time August 1, 2003 at 6:37 pm

We should be allowed to spend like drunken sailors on the things that are important to us – health and environmental protection being high on my personal list. The problem in my view is that Bush is saying yes to more spending (prescription drugs, war in Iraq, creating a new arm of bureacracy) at the same time he’s saying yes to tax cuts. It is irresponsible and duplicitous.

Comment from etrigan
Time August 2, 2003 at 10:08 am

The letters in reponse to the original article about overcoming the GOP in ’04 is out. My favorite quote:

So, what should the T-shirt say? “Cocaine, Champagne, Petroleum?” Or “Leave no donor behind?”

I’m gonna have to make me a double-sided t-shirt.

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