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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Advice for Democrats

In the comments to the post The Democrats' Dilemma which is about a column written by Bruce Bartlett with the same title, Bruce Bartlett says:

The people writing comments on this blog can either believe me or don't, but I am honestly trying to help the Democratic Party. Readers of my work know that I have been highly critical of Republicans on many issues. But the only thing that is going to make them change is political pressure, and right now they aren't getting any from the Democrats. Right now, the Democrats are simply incapable of putting together a coherent message that the American people find attractive and are willing to vote for. If the comments on this blog are at all representative, the Democrats aren't getting any closer to finding it. Just read the shrillness and nastiness of the comments. The average voter is not going to respond to this sort of thing. It is simply a prescription for continued powerlessness.

The point I was trying to get at in my column is that you have to win first before you can do anything. The bases of both parties are not made up of people who know how to win or even want to. Winning draws in those who are only interested in fulfilling their ambitions, which waters down the influence of the true believers. But such people are good at what they do--which is win elections--and so it is in the interest of the true believers to tolerate such people.

To put this in economic terms, the political prostitutes are the marginal candidates--equivalent to the median voter in many academic papers. Think of what it would take to win over such people and you will be on the road to finding a winning political program and strategy.

    Posted by on Sunday, July 9, 2006 at 08:55 AM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (27)


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