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Wes Clark was blogging today about how to win in November...

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Clarkie1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:02 AM
Original message
Wes Clark was blogging today about how to win in November...
Update
Submitted by Wes Clark on October 11, 2006 - 7:01pm.
So, to recap, I've been to Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, Montana, Pennsylvania, Iowa (twice), California, Connecticut, and London.

I'm impressed with our candidates and their chances. No one is out of it - but the biggest problem is money. Everyone is way behind.

The election will rest on whether Democrats can tie local Republicans into the failures and incompetence of the White House and Congressional leadership.

I've been explaining that our base is different than the Republican base, and that the election tactics of Karl Rove, to excite his base and repress ours, don't work for us. Dems always have to work to the middle, because, across America, there are simply more people who identify themselves as conservative than as liberal....and because there is one set of issues that the Republicans use that cause us trouble: national security. When Republicans talk "threat," we have, historically, ducked this issue. As a party we have been much more comfortable with treating people fairly, education, health care, compassion, and strengthening America at home.

Now we have to engage on the national security issue, and this is what I've been trying to structure: that Dems have a strong national security record, that President Clinton did a good job as Commander-in-Chief, and passed on strong warnings to President Bush, to no avail.

Democrats have to speak up with their friends and neighbors, because this election has to be won at the personal level, not just by paid media.

http://securingamerica.com/ccn/node/8972#comment

I think he's right!
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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. hmmmm. yes, we have a different base and need different tactics.
not sure i agree that Americans tilt conservative. they/we certainly shy away from the word "liberal", but the policies they/we support in large margins--universal health care, equality, etc.--are pretty darn progressive.

i think Clark is overemphasizing security/military/macho stuff a little, probably because it makes a case for, say, a retired general to take the lead.

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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Clark is a tactician. That is how to take down the Republicans
Study the tactics that Republicans use whenever Democrats gains traction on any issue. Remember that Bush initially ran as a compassionate conservative? Also as "the Education President" plus as the President who wanted the United States to be humble in the World. Republicans wanted to sap away votes from traditional Democratic strengths. They hit us where we were strongest and attempted to confuse voters by doing so. And Republicans are always scheming up ways to peel votes away from traditional Democratic constituencies. We once could count on "the Catholic vote", and there was a huge push by Republicans to capture more of the Latino vote, even a push to capture more of the African American vote (that Katrina totally undermined).

When John Kerry came out of the box at the Democratic National Convention emphasizing his military service to America, Republicans zeroed in on that like a heat sensing missile. Hence the huge swiftboating push. They attacked Kerry where he thought he was strongest.

Right now Republicans are desperately attempting to hold onto the National security issue as their one trump card to convince voters that they can't trust Democrats to lead. Clark knows that if we can strip that away from them that Republicans are left with a decidedly loosing hand. It is NO COINCIDENCE that time and time again Republican leaders from Bush and Cheney on down keep playing the fear card, because that is always their ace in the hole against Democrats. If it wasn't they wouldn't always keep playing it at crunch time. They would be emphasizing their "pro life" stand, or maybe their energy plan, that could be a winner for them, don't you think?

Clark strongly supports all of those progressive policies that you ticked off. Right now he is concentrating on getting Democrats elected so that we can actually ENACT them. And I don't exactly think that pushing the concept of face to face negotiations with our adversaries qualifies as "macho". I'll tell you something else though. There is a lot to legitimately fear about allowing Republicans to continue to manage American foreign relations. Haven't you seen enough by now? How many more have to die? How many more enemies can America afford to make? How many more hundreds of Billions of dollars can America afford to spend on PNAC wars and still have any hope of someday achieving Universal health care? Republicans have to be exposed as the true frauds that they are at keeping American safe in today's world. It is obscene that any political operative can even think that pushing Bush's "War on Terror" can be used to hurt Democrats, but that is exactly what many of them believe, because there is evidence out there to support it. Clark is determined to change all that. That will help Democrats across the board. It will actually also make all of us safer.
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greeneyedboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. attacking their strengths != imitating their strengths != abandoning ours
i completely agree that we need to show up the GOP's utter failure in their supposed areas of strength.

following the example you raised, the Swift Boat nonsense, we should definitely hit hard on "are you safer now than you were on 1/20/01? or even on 9/12/01?"

at the same time, IMO we should not mimic their tone; we have our own, and we should use it. let the GOP be the uptight brownshirt mean hyena party; our party has a sense of humor and compassion, and we shouldn't hesitate to use both. our party takes care of kids, honors our senior citizens, respects working people; values the contributions of ALL citizens; theirs is the unhinged wealthy middle-aged white male heterosexual individual going it alone.

i like Wes Clark fine, and find him much more charismatic than certain other big names in the party, but i am not sure i completely agree that we need to focus primarily on the GOP's supposed strong areas.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I think we agree. We should never mimic either their tone OR actions
And of course we have to find the proper balence regarding what to emphasize. I think one of Clark's main points though is that, until fairly recently, we have given the Republicans too much of a free ride on their area of strength. We let THEM define what National Security is. Our low point as a Party regarding that was the 2002 Congressional Elections where we got partially intimidated into a position of "me tooism". WE have a better vision of how America can and should be in the world, for the ultimate benefit of Americans AND others, and we need to communicate it. It is our vision that ultimately will bring wanted security to Americans.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Democrats are a shoo in when it comes to issues of Health Care,
the Environment, Human rights and other social issues according to most, including the Independent and moderate voters.

The issues that continue to be used by the GOP (and of course the reason is that it is their last refuge) is national security (values went out of the window with Foley).

Foreign Policy is still the area that is capable of being "manipulated" most by the GOP and the media.

The fact remains that the 2006 elections have to be won in territories which are currently Red. If we win the blue, we stay a minority. So Clark is correct in his assessment as it pertains to the upcoming election, IMO.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. It is simple if the right question is asked: what seats must we win to
gain majority in both houses of congress? That would be seats currently held by Republicans...meaning that those we need to convert have previously voted Republican.

Certainly, as a whole, as a country, we are most likely less conservative and actually more liberal....but the problem is not what represents the whole, but what do those who vote consistently label themselves....and on that point, I believe that Wes Clark is right; although I wish that he wasn't!
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wiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. House by House
Let's do it!
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