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How *TO* Build a Majority Party.

Continuing the discussion from here and here.

Frustrated Democrats Find a Voice

Lawmakers Use Policy Committee to Investigate Issues They Say GOP Ignores

C-SPAN viewers tuning in yesterday morning might have thought they misread the results of November's elections.

There was Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.) -- a Democrat -- wielding a gavel and calling to order a hearing on Iraq contracts. Dorgan presided over a wood-paneled Senate hearing room, complete with water pitchers on the witness table, nameplates for the committee members, and C-SPAN 1 -- live!

But, paying closer attention, the viewers might have noticed that there were no Republicans on the panel, no administration officials at the witness table, and only two Democratic senators in the room. Then, the viewer might have surmised, correctly, that this was not a real committee hearing.

These are frustrating times for the Democratic Party, shut out of power in the White House, the House and the Senate. Democrats don't have power to call hearings, to subpoena witnesses or to move legislation.

But they still have the power to raise a ruckus. And one of their best vehicles for raising a ruckus is the Democratic Policy Committee, a taxpayer-funded entity established by law and given the power to hold meetings, pay for witnesses' travel and, on a good day, get coverage from C-SPAN.

Now, some of you might expect me to mock these people as desperate goofballs talking to themselves... You'd be wrong... Very Wrong.

The Dems stole this technique from none other than Newt Gingrich. For a few years Newt and other Republicans (who where then in the minority party) took advantage of the fact that "Special Orders" were televised on C-SPAN.

Newt and company would use the free air time to bypass the media and bring their message directly to the American people. For years they ranted and raved in an empty chamber. Viewers at home didn't know, all they knew was that the Republicans were nailing Democrats for their egregiously unethical behavior.

I shouldn't have to remind you it worked.

Being in the minority party sucks. But the answer is not gay bashing and spewing hatred. The answer is working one voter at a time to convince them your side is right. Luckily only about 7 Democrats in the country get this.

I think it will be far less effective this time. Back then, C-SPAN was new and many people (especially those on the right) flocked to it. Now, with the advent of talk radio and the internet, C-SPAN is diluted. Also the Republicans had a strong message, just no way to get it out, the Dems have no such message today. But it is still the right thing for them to do.

As I said, being in the minority party sucks. But the ONLY way to gain the majority is hard work. At least a handful of Dems have started the heavy lifting.

AND BTW- Some delusional nitwit accused me of being "scared" of the Gannon story. If I were to worry about anything the Dems were doing, it would be things like this and not gay bashing, that works for the Republicans. I just hope the Nitwits keep running the Dem party.


Comments (21)

excellent post, Air America... (Below threshold)
patrick:

excellent post, Air America and some democrat blogs are saying this very thing. I hope the democrats do band together to take back one seat at a time even if this is the forum we have to use. I do have one question though, if the media was truly liberal why aren't they all over this Gannon thing and why didn't they run the story earlier?

One more reason C-SPAN was ... (Below threshold)
Al:

One more reason C-SPAN was effective:
They generally have the whole speech and are thus a 'primary source'. If you watch C-SPAN then watch how the speech morphs during a day on the Big 3 the shift leftward (or anti-rightward anyway) is almost unmistakable.

They don't have to do _anything_ that talk radio is accused of to highlight this effect.

I don't expect C-SPAN to be as effective for the Democrats - simply because it ends up as either 'one more echo chamber' when there are plenty of others, and/or ignored because 'We know she had to _say_ that, but she's really one of us' thinking.

...if the media was trul... (Below threshold)

...if the media was truly liberal why aren't they all over this Gannon thing and why didn't they run the story earlier?

A sene of proportion utterly (perhaps congenitally) lacking in the left blogosphere?

- Shamelessly OT - Michael ... (Below threshold)

- Shamelessly OT - Michael Jackson hospitalized....

On the way to the court house today to appear for a portion of the jury selection for his upcoming tril Jackson was detoured to the hospital with what has been reported as a severe case of the flu....the judge has give the principles the week off.....

Being in the minority pa... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

Being in the minority party sucks. But the answer is not gay bashing and spewing hatred. The answer is working one voter at a time to convince them your side is right.

Strongly agree. Especially when you say that the answer is NOT gay bashing and spewing hatred. I would add this: maybe Dems should quit blaming Republicans for EVERYTHING that they think is wrong on Earth, and work to find solutions instead. Less Blame, more answers and ideas.

As I said, being in the minority party sucks. But the ONLY way to gain the majority is hard work. At least a handful of Dems have started the heavy lifting.

Agreed again, especially with the hard work part.

Their biggest problem is th... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Their biggest problem is the spokespeople they have chosen. Michael Moore, Al Franken, George Soros, and all the other raving lunatic moonbats are doing them more harm than most of them are capable of imagining. If they run a moderate/centrist candidate that has a chance of being elected th far-lefties scare sensible voters off. A novel approach to the situation would be to denounce the far left and come up with leaders that aren't Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy. The few democrats I know either didn't vote or voted Bush in the last election and they all gave the same reason, the party has moved so far left it scares them and is so riddled with dishonesty they don't feel like they can trust a candidate that claims to be a moderate to actually be moderate. None of them liked or trusted Kerry at all, and wouldn't have voted for Dean either.

You hit the nail on the hea... (Below threshold)

You hit the nail on the head: "the Dems have no such message today." Hating Bush, Hating red states, hating the ignorant bible-thumpers...and being sure that your guy lost because the voters "didn't understand"...if the Dems are going to rebuild, they need to get a positive message, a plan for the future. "We hate the other guys and by the way you voters are stupid" isn't gonna get it done!

I'm really not sure how muc... (Below threshold)

I'm really not sure how much of this is truth and how much of it is conservative wishful thinking. For example ...

A novel approach to the situation would be to denounce the far left and come up with leaders that aren't Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy.

Well, they did - their de jure leaders are Nancy Pelosi and center-left Mormon Harry Reid.

The lefty blogosphere and righty blogosphere are doing a really rotten job of understanding each other. I think the right too willingly accepts the Goldsteins handed to it by Fox/NRO, and the left too willingly assumes the absolute worst from Republicans. The right shouts "Soros! Kennedy!" and the left shouts "Halliburton! Plame!" Both are boring as hell.

Their biggest problem is... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Their biggest problem is the spokespeople they have chosen. Michael Moore, Al Franken, George Soros, and all the other raving lunatic moonbats are doing them more harm than most of them are capable of imagining.

So wait, the Democratic party chose Moore, Franken, and Soros to be their spokespeople? Than I guess Rupert Murdoch, Ann Coulter, and James Dobson are the spokespeople for the Republicans, right? Btw I love the comment about "the few democrats you know". Funny, they don't sound like any of the Democrats I know.

Paul writes: The ... (Below threshold)
s9:

Paul writes: The answer is working one voter at a time to convince them your side is right. Luckily only about 7 Democrats in the country get this.

Wishful thinking... again. This is the "elevator pitch" used by the Democrats For America faction, which was viciously betrayed by the inside-the-beltway Democratic Party old-guard establishment that backed Kerry in 2004.

It's an elite minority of Democrats that "don't get this" [idea Paul is talking about], and they're all about to be spending a lot more time with their families.

Paul should really leave the political analysis to others and concentrate on something he's shown some skill in doing: agitating for the elimination of domestic enemies of the party of ruling elites.

- Somebody should donate a ... (Below threshold)

- Somebody should donate a pile of bullhorns to the DNC and at every Democratic gathering, post one individual to stand up every 15 minutes and say loud and clear: "Its the trust stupid".....

- Mantis - the difference between Coulter and all of the sore-thumb loud mouths on the left is that she attacks the hard line left wingers leadership, not the electorate. Te-ray-zaa just kept cutting LurchKerry's legs out from under him with her obvious distain for the American voter, particularly the Red staters. The fact that you don't "get it" is exactly whats wrong with the Dem party these days....

- Apparently Dean and Hillery "get it" if some of their recent statements are any indication. The "scorched.earth.if.you.don't.accept.everything.as.I.say.then.you're.stupid" didn't work and they know it....

- The problem that the Dem leadership now face is three fold:

1) Rein in the craziness and extreme idea's spewing uncontrollably from the left asshats...

2) Think through the issues and come up with good workable alternatives to the message of conservatives. Forget al the Bush = Hitler and bashing.

3) Accept the hard fact that you can't have evrything exactly the way you want it and admit that other people have the right to differ and reject the "elitist" idea that alternative views automatically label people stupid and beneath you....

- If Hillery does all those things then she stands a chance to emulate Gingritch, similar to the 1994 "Contract with America" turn around for the Republicans, and regain the trust of the Electorate...

- Dean said recently..."We can't win if we base our whole message on the short coming's of the present administration. We have to have positive idea's of our own if we want to turn things around."

- Baring that specific set of changes in attitudes and tactics from the Dem's, things will just get worse...

BigBangHunter wrote:<... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

BigBangHunter wrote:

- Mantis - the difference between Coulter and all of the sore-thumb loud mouths on the left is that she attacks the hard line left wingers leadership, not the electorate.

Thats completely untrue.

Coulter is a sensationalist... (Below threshold)
r.a.:

Coulter is a sensationalist fool, who incites antagonism between liberals and conservatives for a living.

The Reps did this because t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

The Reps did this because they didn't have many options to get their message out. National Review, Rush...and not much else.

Today, this probably won't have the same impact for the Dems. Back then, many people had broadcast only or cable with 30 channels. Today, many more people have The Dish or cable with a lot more channel choices. More importantly, now there are blogs and the internet. There's still a strong MSM that's mostly friendly to Dems. So what's stopping them from getting their message out? Nothing.
People know the same old Dem message by heart. They're going to have to change the message and the face of the party if they want to have a better chance of winning.

Mantis - the difference ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis - the difference between Coulter and all of the sore-thumb loud mouths on the left is that she attacks the hard line left wingers leadership, not the electorate. Te-ray-zaa just kept cutting LurchKerry's legs out from under him with her obvious distain for the American voter, particularly the Red staters. The fact that you don't "get it" is exactly whats wrong with the Dem party these days....

You make me laugh BBH.

- Just keep on laughing man... (Below threshold)

- Just keep on laughing mantis... Its gotten you a big fat goose-egg in the elections so far and you'll make us all that much happier if you continue along the path you've chossen... the train is leaving and you're not on it but keep up the good work.... and yes r.a....thats exactly the problem.... laugh at your own expense.....

- Yes Les... thats the nub ... (Below threshold)

- Yes Les... thats the nub of the liberals "other" problem.... losing a monopoly on the press... high speed communications.... the blogsphere ... talk radio ... FOX .... they're frantically trying to find some way out without dealing.... denial....delusion.... must be painful.....

Just keep on laughing ma... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just keep on laughing mantis... Its gotten you a big fat goose-egg in the elections

That's funny, I don't recall running in any elections. Since I didn't, and am not a democrat, I don't feel as though I've lost anything. And, yes, I think I'll keep on laughing BBH; you just keep on scowling.

- mantis you're truly delus... (Below threshold)

- mantis you're truly delusional...why would any Conservatives being scowling....In case you've been hibernating in a cave somewhere here's a flash for you ... "We won"!... The only scowling I see going on these days is among the loser left....

- The list I posted is pretty easy to read....even for a young turk.... why not respond instead of wasting bandwidth?....

Umm, ok, I'll play your gam... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Umm, ok, I'll play your game, although I don't buy into your philosophy of "We win, you lose!" Last I checked we all live in the same country, and as I said before, I haven't lost anything. So, your list, if it can be called that; what's with the elipses?:
a monopoly on the press - never had one. Very tenuous grasp of history you have.
high speed communications - what? The liberals "lost" this?
the blogosphere - see above
talk radio - also, not something the liberals lost. I listen to news radio myself, much fewer pompous blowhards spewing bile.
FOX - The Simpsons! Oh, you meant the news outfit. What about it?
I'm not sure how I'm supposed to respond to this "list". Apparently you think the conservatives have broken the liberal monopoly on the media like they were Teddy Roosevelt taking down Standard Oil or something. Fine. Good for them. I don't think that's the case but I certainly believe in freedom of the press, so more power to them. In any case, I'm not sure what it is you think you've "won" here, but I hope it looks nice on your mantel. As for the scowling, you strike me as a very sour, unlikeable person, and that's why I said that. I may be wrong, of course; I only have your words to go by. Have fun with your victory dance.

<a href="http://directcat.c... (Below threshold)
soft:



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