"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

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Welcome Back; You Did Dem Good.

Democrats in Power,

Welcome back. Yes, the "back" bit is key. The media helped you out a bit here, but it does reflect the cultural blueprint of this nation: America has a blue body and a red cap. In other words, all things being equal, we like our Congress blue and our Executive red. Why this makes sense is the subject of another blog at another time, but for now, let's just be glad that you're back where you belong. As for Rove's Permanent Republican Majority, it's best to just say nothing and let such fantasies remain in his... fantasies.

Since you won, you've done a splendid job positioning yourselves as a force for change. You have correctly interpreted the voters and aptly messaged yourselves to begin the process of regaining respect and dignity. The Democratic brand has been damaged, and you need to slowly but surely rebuild it with the American people.

Now that you have seats of power, the media will be more interested in your ideas, and this will give you the national spotlight required to re-establish what Democratic leadership means. It will give you the ability to brandish your unique set of Democratic American Values.

Here are a few points to keep in mind as you ramp up to national leadership in a tough -- yet moderate -- political climate.

When the press says "you won the elections on the back of the Iraq war, but what are you doing now that you've won?"... you answer:

"We've already done a lot and stand for a lot:
  • The very fact that we won has already forced Rumsfeld out of his post.
  • Have you read the international media? They're thanking America. The American voters want to regain our respect in the world, and the very fact that Democrats won helps us regain respect.
  • We're already breaking up the sinister one-party system that ensured that the people's business would not be done. Congress only worked 3-day weeks because there was nothing to do but to suck up to lobbyists.
  • We'll happily confirm Casey to Replace Rumsfeld, and will happily not confirm Bolton for the UN post.
  • Americans want the Iraq quagmire to end. We promised the voters we'd take action, and we are. Rumsfeld leaving means the whole war strategy will change, and we will continue to pressure this administration -- as we promised -- to make real progress so we can put this war to bed for good."
Keep your words action-oriented, forward-leaning, and feel the mandate of the voters. President Clinton said that the voters did not give you a mandate, they gave you a chance. I would modify this slightly by saying that the voters handed you a mandate -- and it's on you to execute on their mandate.

Executing on your mandate means pushing this President as hard as you can to fix the Iraq disaster, start showing your fiscal responsibility character, and by all means, highlight your democratic values of respect for law, debate, civility, reason, logic, and clarity.

The time is now. It's your opportunity to give this country something to be proud of. Make us proud of our choice.