Can the Democrats do Better? Markos has a Vision!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Originally published: Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Together, America Can Do Better." That's the slogan the Democratic Party's brain trust has produced. Sadly, this weak, grammatically incorrect verbiage is appropriate to the current party backdrop. It's innocuous, meaningless, purposeless, and fairly inoffensive. Better relative to what? A Republican agenda that is driving the nation off a cliff? But according the Washington Post, Democrats are still foundering when it comes to articulating a unified strategy and compelling vision, even though they are faced with the most corrupt, incompetent, dangerous administration in American history. It should be a no-brainer, but they don't really want to differentiate themselves from Republicans on any of the important issues: the occupation of Iraq, corporate excesses, military adventurism, wholesale violations of civil liberties... In short they don't conflict with the dangerous vision of "American Empire." If they did they would have crafted an opposition by now. No. The Democrats just want to adminstrate that empire "better." How to market that idea? Well, you can see what they've come up with. I shudder to think what slogans didn't make the final cut: "Democrats: We're Not AS Bad" or "Democrats: The Slower Boat to Hell."

Meanwhile, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, whom Eleanor Clift once characterized as "Moses leading Democrats to the promised land," may have really hit on a strategy. It would not force Democratic candidates to address any of those hot button issues. It would be a full frontal assault on the "family values" meme we've all been beaten to death with. Kos, the man whose dis of the "sanctimonious women's studies set" and endless diatribes against NARAL sent women running in droves from his site; the man who said he would not be part of a party defined by abortion rights, has finally realized that the death spiral of Roe v. Wade could affect men.

Good point. No abortions means more 18 years of child support after a drunken "mistake". [sic] Choice isn't a woman-only issue.

Tracing back through the links, we find that the notion comes from Digby, via Atrios. Digby, to his credit, appears to have been directing this idea to some thickie who just hadn't considered the full ramifications of the South Dakota law and its portents for the future. There-in lies the marketing genius of Kos's revelation. What Kos understands innately is that all interest is self interest. He is now ready to begin Crashing the Gate with a new vision for the Democratic Party. Democrats must become the party of rabid self interest. "Ride the wave," my ass. Don't let Kos's claims that he's no leader fool you. The man who's said flat out that the reason he wrote his book was his desire to buy a house, is absolutely the man to craft this winning strategy.

Forget morality. Forget civic responsibility. Forget what we can do for our country. What can the Democrats do for ME? There's your '06 strategy. Reagan's "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" was clever but it didn't go far enough. Eight years of Reaganomics showed us that "greed" works as a political strategy, so why not "total selfishness?" And Democrats could finally win over that 18-34 white male demographic which has so long been a lock for Republicans. While we're at it we could really show the Bush family that they don't have the drunken frat boy vote sewn up. Let's try out some new bumper sticker copy shall we:

  • "Democrats: Fighting For Your Right to Paaaaaarty!"

  • "You Can't Spell Democrats Without ME"

  • "Vote for [insert name of Democratic candidate here]: Because Everybody Makes Drunken Mistakes"

  • "It's Spring Break Again in America."