But Democrats cannot disguise from the people their bewilderment about how to appeal to a country that is so backward, they think, that it finds Bush appealing.It really is a true catch-22. How do you appeal to people for whom you have no respect? In the good old days the "great masses" would concede politics to an elite. Today, the masses are so empowered by media outlets not controlled by the elite (cable news, internet) that they no longer accept "fancy" leaders whose message is too "complicated".
Another prediction: I don't think the Democrats are going to get it together anytime soon. The logical response would be to emulate the Republicans and select a "simple" candidate. But I don't think they will be able to unite behind such a strategy. It's just too dumb and cynical for the average blue-state liberal to get excited about. More likely, they will introspect and debate amongst themselves like Kevin Drum does already:
"What are we going to do now?"My best guess: Once Bush realizes that big policy initiatives won't fly anymore (constrained by defecit and military over-reach) he will become increasingly disinterested in the mechanics of governing. That will create a free-for-all for corrupt Republicans which will lead to scandals and bad press. The Democrats will take 2008 simply because the electorate will be fed up. If they put forward a strong candidate like Obama or Spitzer they will think otherwise, but in reality it will be Bush's own undoing.
Well, I don't know. The lefties will say we need to stop trying to be Republican Lites, the DNCers will say we need to move to the center, the New Republic will say we need to get serious about national security, Amy Sullivan will say we need to pay more attention to religion, George Lakoff will say we need better issue framing, the Washington Monthly editors will say we need a more potent vision, etc. etc. I'm not sure who's right, but we'll figure it out.