Friday, May 20, 2005

Note to Chairman

The Moose offers some advice to the Chairman.

Chairman Dean, on Sunday, the political cognoscenti will be tuned in to your smackdown with Tim Russert. Expect the usual attempt by Russert to get you to address some of your more controversial statements (which have been in abundance). However, this is also an opportunity for you to surprise us with a message that defies the conventional wisdom about the party and yourself.

In addition to the expected attacks on the GOP, you should also acknowledge the Democratic deficiencies in addressing the cultural concerns of Red America. You should also make a clear statement that Democrats believe that we must win in Iraq. It is fine to criticize the Administration's policies there, but you must send the signal that there is no substitute for victory.

Make the conservative case against the Republicans. In the past, you have effectively argued for fiscal responsibility. Make that case again and also argue against activist judges whether they are on the left or the right. Speak to those conservatives who were repulsed by the Republican Congressional intervention in the Schiavo case.

It would also be useful if you would clearly articulate a reform, outsider message. Get some advise from Congressman Emanuel who is the best Democratic messenger for reform. The Democratic line should not be one of merely criticizing Republican corruption, but also one of positive change. You should talk about uniting America once again and reaching out to moderate Republicans and independents. Be optimistic about America's future with Democratic leadership.

Mr. Chairman, we know that you can be a heated partisan, but can you also articulate an affirmative vision that will attract swing voters to the party? Recent polls suggest that the American people are becoming increasingly fed up with the behavior of both parties in Washington. Can you make an appeal to these voters with a message that defies the conventional partisan sniping? In your Sunday appearance, you should demonstrate that you are able to appeal to non-traditional Democratic constituencies as well as to the base of the party.

Surprise us.
-- Posted at 8:18 AM | Link to this post | Email this post