Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What's Wrong With Democrats Continued...

Thanks to Michael and Jennifer for noticing my post about the role of the abortion debate in elections. Their comments point at the greater picture of what's wrong with the Democratic Party in general.

Jennifer's right that Republicans deliberately try to sucker their opponents into rhetoric about abortion rights, and gay marriage for that matter. The problem is that noble as these causes might be, they are issues on which Democrats just can't win. Why? Ask a conservative what he thinks about abortion. "I oppose it," he'll say. Now ask a Democrat running for statewide or national office. "I support it... well sort of but not always... except in cases W, X, Y, and Z."

Now imagine you're an uninformed tank top clad average American voter downing a can of Bud on your way to the NASCAR race in your pickup. Who sounds more authoritarian? More like a leader? It's no wonder that the media always pins Democrats with the "flip-flopper" tag. It's no wonder that Republicans keep wanting to talk about these issues.

In a perfect world, Democrats would just go ahead and say, "Yeah I'm totally pro-choice, deal with it," or "Yes, gays should get married like everyone else, who would they be hurting?" But let's face it. That's not going to happen. The problem is that the Al Gores and John Kerrys of the world give off the impression that their agenda is just to get into office. Their actions and words say, "I want to get elected." It should be "I want to get elected so I can..."

But short of coming up with actual inspiring candidates, what Democrats CAN do is not let Republicans carry the debate away from the pitiful job that they and their President are doing. Next time a Republican says, "My opponent wants to deface the sacriment of marriage," don't respond with the usual "But... er... I... uh..." Let's hear something like, "What I'm worried about are the millions of MARRIED FAMILES living below the poverty line in the Bush economy."

Michael's right that the Democrats need a more unified message. I remember New York City Mayor's races where the Democratic candidates would bicker over who was the most pro-choice or anti-death penalty. Meanwhile the office they were running for has absolutely no say over either of those issues. It's time for Democrats to stand up and be a real opposition party instead of Republicans-light. Tell the people why the guys in power are doing a bad job and why you'd do better.


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