"Our Karl Rove is the blog you should be glad that Democratic strategists don't seem to listen to"
-- what they're saying on Republican blogs

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Here It Is: The Democratic Plan for Iraq


One of the most vexing issues for the party is that you have no single, coherent plan for the Iraq war. Good news: now you do. Please read on...

Our overly-simplistic competitors in the Republican party see the world in black and white: either fight until victory or cut and run. While this is definitely simple to understand, it's also unimaginative, and clearly a losing strategy.

Something you might want to share with your constituents is that Democrats are better at planning, so it's no surprise that you have a better plan:

End the Iraq War Without Cutting and Running

  1. End the Iraq War immediately because the original reasons for war are no longer concerns (no WMDs, Bin Laden isn't there, and global terrorism hasn't been stifled by us being there).
  2. Simultaneously with ending the war, immediately begin a rebuilding coalition with the UN and neighboring nations.

Why is this is a better plan? Because if history started today, and we found Iraq in the situation it's in right now, we all know we would not go to war with Iraq. Instead, if we saw a strategic country like Iraq with such internal instability, we would no doubt engage -- and lead -- the global community in establishing stability and rebuilding the country to make it a functioning nation.

So, should we approach Iraq based on what it is, or based on what we thought it was? It's a no-brainer: We should approach Iraq based on the situation on the ground today, not based on faulty ideas, notions, and decisions that Republicans have made in the past.

The Democratic Party is about the future (which is why you consider yourselves progressives), and the Democratic plan for Iraq calls for looking forward, not looking back. We will win in Iraq if we stop investing in our mistakes and start investing in the future.

With this plan, all Democrats have something simple, positive, and interesting to say when asked by the media what Democrats would do differently than this administration in Iraq. By having a single, coherent plan for Iraq, you can change the conversation about "pro-war vs. anti-war" Democrats into a clear, strong and consistent progressive approach to U.S. foreign policy.

This is the kind of plan the party needs in order to regain foreign policy legitimacy. Americans want choices, and it's your job to give it to them. Stop hedging and start leading by consistently communicating a responsible, progressive alternative to Republican incompetence.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Immigration Discrimination


I don't quite know where this immigration issue came from. Sure, it's a national issue, but with all the things going on in the country and in the world, I'm guessing that this is a situation where their Karl Rove is trying to redirect the national anger toward the administration's handling of the war to border-leaping Mexicans.

Don't fall for this tactic.

Immigration is an issue, but so are a lot of things. Not addressing it directly does not make you unpatriotic or irresponsible. Effective governing is about picking your priorities and sticking with them until there is just cause to reassess them.

Worse, when being directly asked if you're for or against illegal immigration and stricter border control, most Democrats I've seen on TV are hesitating and vacillating. This is ugly, because it's very Kerry-esque and plays into the party persona that you live in a liberal echo chamber of hyper-empathy with no ability to be tough on policies that require enforcement.

Reframe the issue of immigration in terms of your priorities -- the issues that you believe are important.

First, sound direct in your response so it sounds like you're answering the question, but instead of answering, you sound like a patriot:
"Of course Democrats are against any illegal immigration. Most people and almost all businesses agree that immigration is critical to our economy, and continues to make America the best country in the world. It just doesn't make sense for something so important to our country to be so outside the law. Democrats are for updated laws to ensure that law-abiding immigrants are legal, and that people who come here just to exploit our country by selling drugs are shipped back to their home countries."

Next, turn this issue into a wedge that isolates the Republican Party on their failings in keeping America secure:

"There are numerous problems like immigration facing America today, and the number of problems is rapidly rising due to incompetent and misguided Republican management of this great nation. Yes, we're worried about Mexican immigration, but we're also worried about the immigration of dirty bombs through our unprotected ports, and we're worried about the immigration of terrorists through our underprotected airports. Democrats have proposed funding protecting our ports over and over again, and we support advanced technology to make flying safer, but this Republican congress has squashed all port reform bills sponsored by Democrats."

Essentially, you want to communicate that if Americans put Democrats in charge of any part of our government, you promise to focus on all of our immigration issues -- immigration issues that not only keep our country a great nation that invites new immigrants who want to live the American Dream, but "national security immigration" issues that will stop another 9/11 attack from happening.