Thingish Things

The San Francisco Sound

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Sep• 24•11

The Democratic Message. from psychology today

I woke up thinking about that old Ronald Reagan quip explaining why he became a Republican.  “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” Reagan said. “The Democratic Party left me.” That line rang true for millions of Americans in the 1970’s and 80’s who famously became known as Reagan Democrats.

Today’s Democratic Party strikes me as being in danger of another hemorrhaging.  Its rhetoric has become snarly and Trotsky-esque.  To my ear, that’s not going to appeal to voters en masse.  

The 2011, poll-tested Democratic Party script goes pretty much like this:

“Help us stop the extremist, right-wing Tea Party agenda that threatens our  progressive values and hard-fought social gains in favor of oil-rich corporate millionaires and billionaires who don’t pay their fair share in taxes and are fighting to reverse 100 years of middle-class union progress.”


It doesn’t matter who the Democrat is running against, that’s basically the message. Those of us working in Republican politics are running into those words as often as McDonald’s line worker runs across pickles.  Pardon me for the cliché, but it’s a class warfare message that has never appealed to Americans in numbers (just ask Gus Hall).   This is a capitalist country at its core.

I don’t blame President Obama. His message is too disjointed to be so disciplined. The neo-Trotsky sound is pure Haight-Ashbury Nancy Pelosi, with a loving spoonful or two of  Harry Reid thrown in.  Their staffs are polling their themes, not the themes most Americans care about — private-sector job growth and debt reduction. In doing so, the Democrats are falling into the same trap Republicans fell into during the Bush 43 presidency – they are talking — screaming — to the base at the expense of everyone else.

One Democrat who is not succumbing to the hard-Left siren happens to live down the road from me.  He is the new governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.  Governor Cuomo is as cut-throat and wily as any politician in America – maybe more so — and he has a great ear for politics. He, almost alone among Democrats, has found the right centrist tone.  His 73-percent job approval rating reflects it.

I have feared, professionally, a Democratic Party in Andrew Cuomo’s mold since he began campaigning for governor two years ago. But it seems the Nancy Pelosis and Harry Reids of the world fear it more.  Lucky for the Republicans – if they can capitalize on it.

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