Sunday, September 18, 2005

13.5 Months

With just over a year to go until the 'Midterm Elections' I have some initial thoughts I would like to put down.

To start with I want to do a 'review' of factors since the last election.
After the election Jr. was going on and on about how he had a 'mandate' and 'political capital' that he was planning on spending to promote the adgenda that had gotten him re-elected.
The 'mandate' that he had was greatly overstated at the time, he had very little real support outside of his 'political base.' Yes he won the election, but I believe his re-election was due more to a bad campaign and candidate on the Democratic side rather than a great love of Jr. himself.

He blew his political capital on the his 'Social Security Reform' plan and the Terry Shivo situation.

His lack of a realistic outlook for how to resolve several issues in and around the Iraq Conflict also is continuing to erode his little remaining political capital.

He has further hurt himself with his inability to fully grasp the situation along the Gulf Coast until long after he should have. ( I will also point out the obvious, he rushed back to Washington over Terry Shivo and was doing fundraising appearances for the first two days after Katrina.)

Now looking forward. I believe the above has begun the process of waking up a large portion of this country to what the reality of our current situation. This President has ballooned the Deficit completely out of proportion. We have severly damaged our standing in the world and has appointed inappropriate people to important posts. (Does Michael Brown and John Bolton sound familiar to anyone?)

The fact is that All of these things have made things difficult for the Republicans in the next year. The likelihood is that the stresses on the economy will quickly force us in to another recession. The economy, despite continuing signs of improvement has been weak since the recovery began, and has been more due to natural cyclical factors than anything that the current administration has done. The aftermath of Katrina has, as we all know, raised the price of gas, but will also have an affect on the price of many of the other items, such as plastics, that are made from petroleum. Additionally the rise in the price of gas will also cause a rise in most, if not all, other consumer products by making the transportation of those products even higher.

The view from Little Wolf's World on this point is that this will spill us over in to a recession and this will make for a rough election for the Republicans next year.

The Democrats need to do several things in the next year to capitalize on this situation.
1. I think they should allow the nomination of John Roberts to go through with out incident, but to fight tooth and nail if the get an extremist candidate to replace O'Conner. (It is our belief if the President wishes to avoid a huge fight on the next nominee he should choose someone along the lines of Alberto Gonzalez, who has shown at least moderating, if not moderate, tendencies on the bench in Texas.)

2. I think the Democrats need to put together a unified national campaign strategy. This is the strategy that the Republicans used with the 'Contract with America.'

3. I think that the Democrats need to reframe what some of the words mean, and not to shy away from attacking the 'Religious Right' head-on. For example the idea that social programs that help support the poor is a bad thing is the Religious Right's stance, they apparently missed the religious moral imperative that they should be helping the poor, and the best way to assure this is done properly is with some government involvement, we are not suggesting it should ONLY be the government, but many of the people involved in the Religious Right need to step up and fund the other organizations with the same vigor that they oppose things of limited long term political value such as abortion and other 'Culture of Life' issues they create. (I also notice as an asside that many will are against abortion but in favor of capital punishment. How is Capital Punishment a positive 'Culture of Life' issue)

4. The Democrats need to pick social issue fights in Congress, and at this point find ways to raise revenue for pay down portions of the debt rather than necessarily 'raise taxes.' Also they need to watch what the President/Republican leadership proposes to cut to pay for the Conflict in Iraq and the Hurricane relief.

5. They need to find appealing candidates that have the ability to speak to their constituents. (Barak Obama comes to mind as an example. Yes he essentially ran un-opposed, but he is a very charismatic speaker who can communicate with his audience.)

6. I also find the fact that Republicans like to use the term Tax and Spend Democrats, and they through around the world liberal like it should be a word on the FCC's dirty word list. The Democrats need to begin to paint the Republicans as Spend and Spenders without worrying where the revenue is coming from begin to through around the terms Conservative and NeoCon the same way they through around the term liberal.

7. As a follow-up to point 6, I think Democrats need to begin to reframe the term liberal. How you ask? By reminding the American people of one very important thing that seems to be getting lost in the current re-write of American History to reflect the NeoCon ideal, and that is that the founders of this country were as liberal as could be at the time. They overthrough a sitting government, created a country (This Country) out of whole cloth with a government that was different than anything that came before it, and they did it because they saw a better way to approach human governance that didn't involve the status quo. Remind people that being a patriot is not going along blindly with someone, just because they were elected. It is time to reframe the way this country looks at what it could be, and not what it is. This all being said, this needs to be done with the idea of asking "Not what the country can do for me, but what I can do for the country." Unfortunately this concept has been lost since the death of JFK, and it need to be refound to be improve this country no matter who is in control.

One final note that I have to get off my chest that is partially related to the issue. I have heard the statement from Rush Limbaugh when I listen to him for short periods. He is saying that the deficit isn't a bad thing. Seems to me that if it was a Democrat in office he would be singing a different tune.

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