Democrats: What We're For

National political strategist -- and Eugene resident -- Dan Carol has posted a column at Huffington Post (where he regularly blogs) about what Democrats should stand for, proudly.

He argues against a single platform for all candidates:

I think that nationalizing the election is NOT the way to go if we want Congress and subpoena power back, and that any message beyond we need to restore "checks and balances" is pushing it with voters who are sick of both political parties.

In other words, forget one fixed recipe: we just need a solid menu of good ideas, themes and proposals for local Democrats to pick from and run on, in their own voice.

And offers up his specials for 2006 to help Democrats "move from weenies to winners":

Our hearts on our sleeve. A smart war on terror. Starting gate equality. Doing the math on government spending. A new vision of the Commons. Not left, or right, but forward.

Obviously, those bumper stickers aren't enough detail -- so head on over to Huffington Post to read the cogent arguments Dan makes. Discuss there, or discuss the Oregon context here.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Jimmy Carter has started blogging on DailyKos (seriously!), and today he offers a pretty powerful message of framing:

    Early this month, I had lunch in Plains with a family from Panama City, and a high school girl asked me why she should be a Democrat. I asked her a series of questions that all bloggers should use in discussions: Do you prefer peace or war? Do favor tax breaks for the richest Americans or working families? Would you rather destroy the environment or protect it? Do you approve the torture of prisoners? Do you think our government should secretly spy on your family? Do you think we should abandon every nuclear arms control agreement negotiated since Dwight Eisenhower was president? Do you approve of your part of the national debt now being $28,000 and increasing by $300 each month? Do you think we should meld religion and government? She gave me the Democratic answer to all the questions, and I believe that most Americans will agree, no matter if their state is red or blue.

    .

  • true_slicky (unverified)
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    After reading E.J. Dionne's syndicated column a couple of days ago, I wonder why the Democrats don't ask: "Who cares if government is big or small, as long as it's incompetent?"

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I don't see how I could win the election in the 2nd CD if my campaign isn't about the 2nd CD. Sure there are national issues and issues of principle, but they must be framed from the viewpoint of being a 2nd CD sort of person. No, we're not all alike in all respects, but we have a lot in common that we don't have in common with NYC, NY. I realize that waldenbush seems oblivious to that and many pols are, also. I guess maybe some folks in their districts should be trying to make them go home, also. But that's about their districts. We achieve a national consensus through these varying viewpoints, thats why Senators and Reps are each set up the way they are. I don't really care if there's an R or a D after the name of a person with a good policy idea, not if it's good for 2nd CD and then the nation. That seems to miss the pols, if it's good for their district by the time it makes it, it should serve the national interest. A policy that works for NYC,NY and not the 2nd CD must either be amended to work or fought tooth and nail until it fails. Our government has gotten onto the one size fits all band wagon and it's nonsense, that only works on very large and basic issues, civil liberties for example.

    I enjoyed Dan Carol's article and also found the comments illuminating, in particular the aguement against. Those have to be addressed, we'll hear about them in the elections. Answers are a good thing to have. Thanks Chuck

  • LT (unverified)
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    Once again, a wise post by Chuck B.

    Also, TA had lots of wisdom in http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/03/we_dont_need_no.html

    Elections are won district by district. I esp. appreciated Chuck saying "Our government has gotten onto the one size fits all band wagon and it's nonsense, that only works on very large and basic issues, civil liberties for example.".

    Marion County is not Crook County is not Jackson County is not Multnomah County. There is a difference between Congressional districts—could Hooley win in the 4th District or DeFazio win in the 3rd District?

    There are rare instances when Democrats from across the state can come together to debate a major problem--like Hooley, DeFazio and Bluemaneur doing the town hall meetings on Medicare Part D.

    But by and large, elections should be about dialogue with the local citizens, not a “party message” where everyone registered in that party is supposed to repeat “talking points” as if they are robots.

    This state and country deserve the kind of robust debate we see here on BlueOregon, not the brainless “All Democrats believe A, all Republicans believe Z, and if you don’t give unquestioning support to either the Rs or the Ds you should register Independent”.

    If Westlund is successful getting on the ballot and being a serious candidate for Governor, it will because he respects the intelligence of the ordinary voter and puts actual proposals on his website. As opposed to the “Oh you’re a Democrat {or Republican}, therefore you believe.................” or the “all Democrats support anything said by Reid and Pelosi, and no Republican ever questions Bush, Frist, or the House Republicans” marching in lock step so many pundits believe in.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    One thing I'd like to address to the Independents is that by opting out of the 2 party system you also opt out of the choice of candidates in the General Election. It is easy enough to complain about generic candidates running against each other if you've made no choice about who runs. The total opt out by so many elegible voters is bad enough, by itself, but the Independent registration virtually guarantees the continuation of "politics as usual." I don't like it (obviously and maybe insanely) and I hear many others who don't. Thanks Chuck

  • Pavel Goberman (unverified)
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    Democrats, Republicans, Independents and etc. What is difference? Talk too much. We are Americans, and this country gave us an opportunity to live, to work and our militaly is defending us, does not matter what party we belong to. So, we must take care about this country first, and the Code of Ethics for Government Employees says that we must put loyalty to the higherst moral principles, to country above loyalty to the party of government person (department). This political system is so rotten: all MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. In government is bribery, corruption and political prostitution. And the PEOPLE accepted it as normal. Why? Where this country is going to? I do not care what party candidate belongs to, I care aboput what this candidate stands for. He or she must stand for benefits this country and the PEOPLE. I do Election Campaign Reform: I do NOT accept any "contributions, donations", will not lose dependancy on the PEOPLE, and will not be a puppet in hands of donor. Ignore advertisements, read the Voters' Pamphlet and vote for the honest people. Take money out of politics. Change dirty diapers, do not vote for Wu, vote for me and I will work for benefits of the PEOPLE and nation. I'm honest, incorruptible.

    Pavel Goberman - Candidate for US Repres. 1st Congr. Distr.

  • JTT (unverified)
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    CB wrote: the Independents is that by opting out of the 2 party system you also opt out of the choice of candidates in the General Election

    You bring up a very good point. So then do you support Open Primaries? Or should we just keep 25% of Oregon voters disenfrancished?

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)
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    I am a Democrat and a member of DPO (as well as a candidate) so no, I don't support Open Primaries. I support working to put forward the best candidate and that work is best accomplished within a structure. The 2nd CD Caucus is creating great opportunities for the Dem candidates to reach out in Candidate Forums, that opportunity would not exist in an unstructured environment. I takes little effort to put pen to paper to put a "D" or "R" on a registration and it can be changed up to several weeks before an election if faith is lost or betrayed. No voter is disenfranchised by the current system, they choose to opt out, a different thing altogether.

    I understand the Independent registration,the feeling of being unaffiliated with unrepresentative Parties. I choose to affiliate and push my affiliate into being representative and allowing me to be a part of choosing who runs in the General. I do not care to have that choice diluted by people who find no Party preferable. I also vote principles, not Party line.

    I am one of the faces of the DPO and I will tell you bluntly that the other Party would not tolerate my activism in bringing a new face to the Party. Here I am not only tolerated, but encouraged, and have my candidacy, along with my fellows, actively supported. I'd have been cut out of the herd in R-land. And there is no Indie-land to help me and my fellows. Thanks Chuck

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