I bolded a word up there for ya.
I wasn't saying that your dislike of Brown doesn't make sense (I know why you hate him, and it isn't necessarily because of his political beliefs)- I was referring to communitarians in general. Image really does matter. Sad, but true.
Well, I wanted Ryan to run myself.
This is a fascinating article, but I don't entirely agree with it. I see no reason why the old-school communitarians ("lunch-pail Democrats") shouldn't be able to coexist with the social liberals and doves that McGovern brought in. What will unite them? Economic populism. Hell, for US Senate in Pennsylvania, I supported some joker who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade
and opposes embryonic stem-cell research (albeit with serious misgivings
I'd also note that while liberals may be intolerant of communitarian Dems, they often have the same attitude toward us. They should recognize that they are now a distinct minority in the party, and admit that social liberalism has netted impressive gains for the party across the Northeast and West Coast.
Ah, but what the article pointed out was that it was the lefties who decided to end coexistence (something I think they've been paying a price for for decades now
Actually, that is not quite true. (source: 9-23-2006 National Journal, sorry, paid site so no direct link) Among (before this election, anyway) Democratic voters
Democrats) were mostly two groups, 60% "the socially and economically" disadvantaged, and 40% "upscale Democrats" (who are via PEW only 19%** of all registered voters) who wield highly disproportionate influence in the party (i.e., pro-abortion or bust on judicial nominees). This puts the Dems at a bit of a disadvantage* usually (2006 was a very big anti-Republican backlash year - whether it changed the underlying orientation isn't certain until 2008
) because those two groups are not enough to win majorities.
*For another take on the Democrats' need to shift the underlying partisan leaning of the country, go here
and, when the site is working, click on Ten Stories About Election '06. The examination of Dean's 50-State Strategy is the most salient part.
The strength of social liberals is also overstated by redistricting and the bloc voting of a great many non-social liberals amongst minority communities. If the Democratic party insists on remaining staunchly social liberal and doesn't agree to more of a social moderate position (note I am not suggesting they become social conservative) they risk losing the blue-collar votes that were responsible for their victory this year.
Or to put it another way, as a whole
the Democratic Party members
are moderate-with-a-liberal-wing, whereas the Democratic Party leadership
**And I'll bring up another point, how I see the balance of the four ideological quadrants amongst the American voters. I will compare my estimate with what Michael Barone did in the 1982 Alamanac of American Politics, since it turns out I am not the first to have done this.
Ideology - My % - Barone's %
Communitarian/Populist: 30% - 30%
Libertarian: 25% - 25%
Conservative: 25% - 35% (note: Barone, in his Retrospective 20 years later, said he overestimated this)
Liberal: 20% - 10% (note: Barone also said he underestimated this)
If the liberals don't realize that in a two-party FPTP system the Democratic Party needs to be a coalition
and instead insist on dominant rule...you won't establish a lasting majority. I am waiting to see how pragmatic the Democratic leadership is going to be after 12 years in the wilderness.