The Local Crank

Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States

Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Not As Lame As You Think

Excellent article from the Washington Monthly showing how Democrats are actually better unified, better organized and more politically successful than reported in the media. It brings up an excellent point about how Democrats are more often than not their own worst enemy. If Republicans suffer from hubris bordering on megalomania, Democrats have such low political "self-esteem" they often don't realize how well they are actually doing. Add to that, constant media reinforcement about how "disorganized" and "clueless" they are and, well, you get the idea.


Blogger Eric said...

I still think they've got a long way to go. It's one thing to be not quite as bad as everyone thinks, and another to actually be GOOD. They need a cohesive vision and some articulate leaders to beat that vision into the public's brain. The Democrats should re-examine the presidencies of Grover Cleveland and Harry Truman for some ideas of how their party can be great without running on something as grandiose, expensive and expansive as the New Deal or Great Society. They should make things like thrift, honest government and peace the bedrocks of their vision.

4/10/2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger The Local Crank said...

Okay, Harry Truman I can go with, but Grover Cleveland? Good Lord, man, he triggered the worst economic catastrophe in American history (before the Great Depression) and then did NOTHING to alleviate the incredible harship it produced. When unemployment was at 18%, he sent in the frickin' army to crush a Pullman strike! He turned a blind eye to lynchings in the South and don't even get me started on his plan to forcibly "assimilate" the Indians! And while we're on Give 'Em Hell Harry, you do know he was the first one to propose universal health care, right? That seems pretty grandiose, expensive and expansive. When was the last Democrat since LBJ to even propose something that bold, yet alone enact it? And Clinton's stunted, cobbled-together miss-mash of a health-care plan doesn't count.

4/10/2006 10:26 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Well, I didn't say the Democrats should RELIVE the presidencies of Cleveland and Truman, mistakes and all. I said they should EXAMINE the presidencies for SOME IDEAS (the key word being SOME) of how they can be great. In the case of Cleveland, he was known (and to a large extent elected) for his reputation of scrupulous honesty and interest in government reform, particularly in making the civil service a professional organization rather than a dumping ground for political cronies. Truman, to some extent, also had an interest in government reform, and he had a bold foreign policy vision that seems to be lacking among Democrats today (of course, he also had the benefit of the Cold War, which demanded more clarity and purpose). In sum, I think the Democrats could benefit from:

1 - Developing a coherent foreign policy, since they have none. It could emphasize the benefits of multilateralism, diplomacy, and greater restraint in resorting to military solutions. Rather than blowing with the wind every time a president proposes to use military force, they could actually try (for a change) taking a principled stand against vague, open-ended and unwise military adventures.
2 - Pushing a bold agenda of government reform that will improve the way our government works (take your pick, there are plenty of areas for improvement).
3 - Taking a bold stand against deficit spending, and build themselves up as the party of fiscal responsibility (shouldn't be hard, since the GOP has ceded the field to them).

And while they're at it, it wouldn't hurt for them to go back and read about the Social Gospel movement. They need to start winning Christian voters back to the Democratic fold by a) distancing themselves from the secularist zealots who want to banish religion from public life, and b) harping on the Biblical demands of social justice. Every time the GOP proposes some bad new policy in the name of God and Country, the Dems need to pull out their dusty Bibles, reread the Sermon on the Mount, and respond accordingly.

4/11/2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger The Local Crank said...

I agree with my Right Honorable Colleague on all three points, particular Point Four.

4/11/2006 9:03 PM  

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