New Coke Democrats

I read something by the evil DLC’s Al From and Bruce Reed, The Road Back. It starts out great. When they aren’t busy insulting other Democrats and offering “New Coke” strategies urging Democrats to become Republicans, they do have some good things to contribute:

“Competing nationally — including in the South, the Southwest, and the Rocky Mountain West — is important for more than just tactical reasons. A national campaign would force Democrats to develop a national message that would have broader appeal to swing voters in both red and blue states. That’s important, because presidential elections are won not just by pressing your advantages, but by removing obstacles that keep people from voting for you — and often even from hearing you.

In 1992, Clinton removed roadblocks that had kept voters from voting Democratic in the 1980s by calling for fiscal discipline, welfare reform, and a tough stance against crime. That opened the door for voters to listen to his positions on issues about which they were likely to agree. A narrow strategy, aimed at getting big votes out in Democratic enclaves, makes candidates press their advantage with voters already inclined to vote for them, rather than removing the obstacles that keep otherwise persuadable voters from even considering them.

When Democrats don’t compete on Republican turf, it also makes it easier for Republicans to polarize the election, because we aren’t appealing to their voters. Since there are more conservatives than liberals — 34 percent to 21 percent in this election — an ideologically polarized election is one that Republicans are almost always going to win.”

Sounds just like Dean!

And on “values” :

“Most voters in red states think we Democrats look down on them for worrying about the moral direction of the country. They have no idea that we might be concerned about it, too.

The result? Millions of Americans voted against their own economic interest. Of the 28 states with the lowest per-capita incomes, Bush carried 26. An administration whose overriding motive has been to protect the rich was just given a second term by the very people who will suffer the most for it.

Such a walloping has serious consequences down the ballot, as well. Because so many voters in red states reject the Democratic brand out of hand, we lose Senate races in those states even when we have clearly superior candidates.”

And then, BANG, they just blow it:

“First and foremost, we need to bridge the trust gap on national security by spelling out our own offense against terrorism and clearly rejecting our anti-war wing, so that Republicans can no longer portray us as the anti-war party in the war on terrorism. We must leave no doubt that Michael Moore neither represents nor defines our party.”

They just can’t help themselves. Michael Moore is a hero. I AM AN ANTIWAR DEMOCRAT. Why are fellow Democrats writing stuff like this … intentionally working to split the party… It isn’t even smart from their own perspective because MOST Democrats understand that the Iraq war is a terrible mistake. And it is the informed, activist “base” of the party that agrees with Michael Moore. So if they DO split the party they’re left with very little.

I don’t know how many readers understand what I meant by titling this post “New Coke” Democrats. In 1985 the management of The Coca Cola Company was worried that their competitor Pepsi was gaining ground on them. They actually killed off their main product Coca Cola, the #1 brand on the planet, and replaced it with New Coke, a product that they thought tasted more like Pepsi, the #2 brand! They discovered an astonishing and shocking fact: PEOPLE WHO LIKED THE TASTE OF PEPSI DRANK PEPSI!

Update – Oh yeah, I forgot to add, AND IT ALSO PISSED OFF ALL THE EXISTING CUSTOMERS (“the base,” also known as the majority of the public) WHO DRANK COCA COLA BECAUSE OF THE WAY IT WAS!