Monday, 28 July 2003

Free advice for the Democrats

A few miscellaneous items:

  1. Lots of talking heads seem to be running around saying that it’s a fait accompli that the Democratic nominee in 2004 will be “pro-war.” Either the fix is in or these commentators are letting their fantasies get in the way of electoral reality, which shows that both Iowa (caucuses = activists) and New Hampshire (almost-favorite son) are in the Dean column.
  2. However, running against the war in Iraq is electoral suicide in the general election. As I already pointed out, the Democratic base (not to be confused with Democratic activists and Naderites) believes Saddam was heavily involved in terrorism against America and our allies, and every day Americans die from fedayeen tactics in the Sunni Triangle will only reinforce this impression.
  3. Contrary to the beliefs of Howard Dean, higher taxes do not stimulate the economy, excepting the housing market in suburban Virginia and Maryland. People may not have been gung ho for tax cuts, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be annoyed when you promise to raise their taxes again, especially if it’s to pay for things they already have (like health insurance).
  4. There are real issues to run on against Bush that won’t alienate the swing voters in the South that Al Gore drove off by the busload in 2000. Play up the Saudi connection. Run against the incompetence of the Justice Department and CIA (and shift the “Bush lied” meme in that direction). And keep abortion and guns out of the campaign.
  5. Corollary: continue to whine about Florida in 2000, and you will lose again. Nobody likes a sore loser. Especially when you’ve got real issues to run on, like the Terrorist Connection That Dare Not Speak Its Name.