Sunday, July 27, 2003

No port in the storm for Bush... except the DLC.

Know thy enemy-
Here are the latest polling figures from the Democracy Corps. They indicate Bush is essentially where he started before 9/11, but with people more strongly polarized in their views about him (more people strongly agree or disagree than before). His metrics on the Economy, Security Policy, and Trust are all sliding. Considering we are still 15 months out, Bush is in serious trouble.

We have met the enemy, and he is us-
At the same time that Bush is faltering, Democrats are failing to make gains. The public indicates that they want Democrats to voice their views more strongly, to explain their policies more compellingly. The voters are turning away from Bush, but they need to see someone there to follow when they do. This is why Dean has risen so rapidly. He seems to voters to be someone worth listening to and he is providing a comprehensive critique of Bush and the GOP.

The Democratic Leadership Council should pay attention to what the voters are actually doing and saying instead of getting lost in their own thought experiements about who is most electable. Then they might see that Dean's rise is not just anti-war sentiment driving the party to the left. Dean's has appeal across the ideological spectrum, even to many Republicans. Dean is providing that strong contrast from Bush that voters need; the articulation of a compelling alternative vision they are hungering for. The other candidates are languishing simply because they aren't, or can't.

Instead of beating up on Dean as unelectably liberal, which is demonstrably untrue and misleading to voters, they should put their wind to work clearly explaining their own visions. If they continue their jealous and petty attacks on a fellow Democrat they are bound to discourage Democratic voters from participation in the general election, which benefits only one person; Bush.


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