The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, January 09, 2005

The New Strategy?

I'm not sure how much credence to give this post over at My Due Diligence. On one hand, it speaks to a lot of misgivings that I have about the way the DNC has been handling things. And judging from what we've seen out of Al Gore in the last year, it seems appropriate to argue for the end of the consultant class in our struggles for the halls of power.* On the other hand, the GOP is winning by using the very things MyDD argues against-- test-marketing every utterance of the POTUS, and managing his public persona entirely by focus group. And it's working awfully well. What it comes down to for me is that it isn't working for us, and hasn't worked for us in quite a while. Which means that it's time to give some serious thought to alternatives at the top levels of the party.

*I'm even a little unsure about this one. A lot of us were awed by his new dynamism and fiery rhetoric-- as many were dismayed by his willingness to not be himself during the 2000 campaign, when it was clear that the election was his to lose. The reality in 2004 was that the right's attack dogs immediately settled in to attacking him as "unhinged" and "insane." Could they have done that in 2000 without any media track record of 'reinvention'? That, I can't answer.

One more thought. If we DO make a major strategy change, I suspect that the righties will start talking about how the party has gone from sane to being "in the hands of radicals." In fact, it would be a truly populist movement-- but it would be a hard fight to get the word out in a media controlled by folks afraid to contradict GOP talking points.

My initial conclusion is that one of the most important fights is to demand objective reporting from all media outlets. Neithe Gore nor Kerry was a truly bad candidate-- but the cards were stacked against them, and they both responded by trying to dance to the media's tune. If we field a candidate who isn't going to get a fair shot from the media, we're in serious hot water from the start....