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June 16, 2006

Dealing With The Left

Posted by tunesmith at 05:28 PM

Strong words from Eleanor Clift:

There will be an antiwar candidate in ’08, probably Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold, and he’ll get a lot of support and cause real problems for the front runner, whoever it is. Feingold won’t be put on the ticket, but he could well throw the election to the Republicans if the Democrats don’t figure out how to deal with the antiwar sentiment in the party.

There's a solution to this Rove trap: run to the right in rhetoric, and to the left in ideas. It's not a mixed message:

The Bush administration is only half-heartedly interventionist. We can run to the right by calling them cowards, demanding a more interventionist approach in most foreign affairs. The Bush administration causes problems, does nothing while the problem gets worse, and then hides behind bombs.

And that's how this it would actually be moving to the left in content (or, moving south on this graph) - focusing in diplomacy over war. That part of the idea should be de-emphasized when running against the right, and only emphasized during races like the Democratic primary.

(For shorter names for each of the quadrants, I would select: Paleocons, Neocons, Pacifists, and Diplomats.)

There is a caution here for Democrats: the incompetence of the Iraq war is leading to an ignorant truce between the Pacifists and the Diplomats within the party: they can agree on the messed up results of the war, even if they don't have to discuss whether they agree on the philosophy. This fault line can easily be exposed, and that's part of what Rove is doing...

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