Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Winning Strategy

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Ted Rall is at it again and he absolutely nails it with this cartoon and comments from his blog:
Republican Andy Vidak won an upset victory in last year’s special election for a state senate seat representing the San Joaquin Valley, prevailing despite the Democrats’ 22-point advantage in voter registration.

How’d he do it? His explanation: “Our message was that common sense has no party lines.” But as The Times’ Patrick McGreevy writes, his common sense might also have a lot to do with knowing when to shut up. “He sidestepped gay marriage and some other divisive issues — while taking a moderate approach to immigration,” writes McGreevy. ...

A February piece in the right-leaning Examiner lays out “Five things Republicans should just stop talking about already.” Number 3 is social issues. “Republicans should deemphasize social issues. Voters are split on issues like gay marriage and abortion, but they are much more united on the twin issues of the economy and Obamacare.” Number 4 is immigration. “In contrast to the economy, immigration is an issue where many Republicans are at odds with a strong majority of voters.”

The old question is, should a party stick to its long-standing convictions, even if it means losing elections? Or should it accommodate its positions to reflect the changing opinions of voters?

What’s new here is the suggested tactical compromise: maintain your platform as is, do whatever you can to promote your ideals — in this case, opposition to gay marriage and illegal immigration — after you win enough elections to be in a position to do so. But don’t talk about those issues to voters. Because if they knew what you were all about, they’d vote against you.

Count on people’s ignorance. Bait and switch. Your future relies on lies of omission.   [Emphasis added]

If nothing else, Mr. Vidak got California Democrats' attention.  Maybe they will finally start taking elections more seriously and start doling out money to candidates even in "safe" seats. 

And he did run a good campaign.  He avoided discussing the hot-button issues of gay marriage and immigration, and he came across as a man with common sense willing to use logic in the solution of problems.  Who knows?  He might even be such a know, a moderate Republican.  Lord knows we certainly need such a person and for several reasons.

First of all, I like the two-party system (or three-party, etc.) because it keeps the parties in check and on their toes.  Debates, formal or otherwise, are healthy in a democracy, but only if differing views are presented for voters to choose among.

Second, I think a Republican Party with an open moderate wing unafraid to compromise for the good of the state and nation would mean that things would finally get done!

Third, if the "center" of the political spectrum shifts because the Republicans become less Tea Party-ish, then perhaps the Democrats will see fit to shift a little bit to left of center.  If the Democrats hope to maintain their majority in the Senate and to win the House, they have to stop running like centrists ("Republican-lite").  We need Roosevelt Democrats, not Eisenhower Democrats, you know?  The "Third-Way" Dems and the DLC didn't do their party or the nation any good.  None.  Zip.  I keep waiting for the party leaders to notice that.

So perhaps Mr. Vidak's election isn't quite the disaster folks, including Ted Rall, think.  At least I hope not.

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Anonymous Soprano said...

We need Roosevelt Democrats, not Eisenhower Democrats, you know?

Truer words were never spoke. From your mouth to the Goddess's ear.

5:55 PM  

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