Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Two months later, the Democrats still don't get it (thankfully!)
National Post (Canada) ^ | Wed 05 Jan 2005 | Lorne Gunter

Posted on 01/05/2005 12:13:07 PM PST by GMMAC

Two months later, the Democrats still don't get it

National Post
Wed 05 Jan 2005
Page: A13
Section: Editorials
Byline: Lorne Gunter

The year-end issue of Newsweek carries a cover story on Barack Obama, the rookie Democrat Senator from Illinois, entitled "Seeing Purple ... beyond Blue vs. Red."

For some reason no one can explain, about a dozen years ago American network news divisions reversed their traditional practice -- and the standard still followed in most Western nations -- of associating blue with the more conservative party in an election and red with the more liberal one. Suddenly, blue marked a Democrat state and red a Republican one.

Needless to say, America is a now a very "red" nation. Mr. Bush won 31 states; his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, won just 19, plus the District of Columbia.

The Newsweek story -- arguing that the Democrats can regain power if they can just convince Americans to meld into a new "purple" whole -- is more proof that, two months after the election, the Dems and their media cheerleaders still don't get it. They don't get why they lost to George W. Bush last November and they don't get what to do about it if they want to start winning back the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.

The only time Democrats (or their liberal counterparts in Canada, the U.K. and other Western democracies) ever want to "get beyond" the traditional labels of blue vs. red, left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, is when those labels hobble them electorally. They're all about seeing purple when being "blue" relegates them to opposition-party status.

Funny: When they're winning, liberals assume there's no need to get beyond labels, since their mandate is taken as all the evidence anyone should need that electors are united in a common purpose -- liberalism.

You can bet that if the Democrats held the White House and the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives, Newsweek would run exactly zero stories wondering whether and how their friends could pull Americans together and govern for all the people.

As Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes pointed out in The Wall Street Journal last week, "for the first time in more than a century, a Republican president won re-election as his party improved its hold on the House and Senate, while increasing its majority of governorships (28 now) and maintaining its control of a plurality of state legislatures."

Not even Ronald Reagan managed to win the kind of deep and broad electoral victory that George W. Bush did on Nov. 2. The GOP's seat counts in the Senate (55) and the House (232), coupled with Mr. Bush's re-election to the presidency, give it a grasp on power it has not enjoyed in nearly 80 years. If the "blue" Democrats had just won the kind of domineering victory -- top to bottom -- that the Republicans have pulled off, there would be no talk of creating a new "purple" America. The "red" states and "red" voters could go get stuffed for the next four years.

But assuming the Democrats can convince Americans to go "purple" -- even as so many millions of them are more than content to be "red" -- what makes the Democrats think Barack Obama is the man to do it?

He is a liberal Democrat from Chicago: pro-abortion, pro-affirmative action, anti-tax cuts, pro-gun control and so on. He is on the left-wing of the Democratic party, the wing that has dominated the party for 30 years, the wing so resoundingly rejected by middle America two months ago. How can he be the Dems' saviour?

Ah, because, as Newsweek points out, he is a "symbol." With a white mother and a black father, Mr. Obama possesses a "uniquely American heritage" that will help him unite disparate communities and voting blocks.

Oh, yeah, and he goes to church and has "worked with church-based community organizations" a lot. That'll satisfy those "moral values" voters who carried the day for Bush, won't it?

Never mind that most of Obama's affiliations are with the kind of social-justice-oriented church communities that already vote Democrat. And never mind that those communities typically espouse the very left-lib values Americans so resoundingly rejected last fall.

Because Mr. Obama is a "symbol," Democrats are sure voters will not bother with his stand on issues. Liberals are suckers for symbolism over substance, and because they are the smartest people they know, they are sure everyone else will be equally impressed with veneer.

But American voters have shown themselves of late to be unimpressed by such hollowness, at least; and at worst, contemptuous of it. Unless and until the Democrats stop throwing up such meaningless imagery in place of substantive policy alternatives, they are destined to remain the minority party in the U.S.

Lorne Gunter
Columnist/Editorial Writer, National Post
Columnist, Edmonton Journal

TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: democrats; liberalism; obama
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-29 next last
Note: as the National Post operates a pay-to-view website, the url cited merely confirms source.

BTW, as far as I know, the red/blue reversal in the U.S. only dates to the 70's when the liberal MSM decided to no longer associate "communist red" with their political fellow travelers.
Along with Lady Thatcher and many others, I remain a "true blue conservative"! - GMMAC
1 posted on 01/05/2005 12:13:13 PM PST by GMMAC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]



2 posted on 01/05/2005 12:16:51 PM PST by spodefly (This message packaged with desiccant. Do not open until ready for use or inspection.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


I Can't wait till 2006, so that I can watch the Socialist Rock back like a stunned boxer after a blow to the head and swoons before falls heavily to the Mat!!

3 posted on 01/05/2005 12:17:01 PM PST by 26lemoncharlie (Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum,Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum! per ómnia saecula saeculórum)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

"Not even Ronald Reagan managed to win the kind of deep and broad electoral victory that George W. Bush did on Nov. 2."

Apples and oranges. Reagan carried 49 states. The realignment of the South had not happened, though Reagan did much to move it along. Bush was fortunate he was not running against a more capable candidate.

4 posted on 01/05/2005 12:17:39 PM PST by Meldrim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Good article. Too bad we can't read more like this in our local papers, etc. But, I agree. The socialist continue along the same roads. The republicans need to be IDing someone now to get ready for the Beast attack in 08.

5 posted on 01/05/2005 12:18:20 PM PST by RetiredArmy (DEMOCRATIC PARTY : Enemies of the Republic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Just got this email from John Kerry -
Dear Al, No American citizen should wake up the morning after the election and worry their vote wasn't counted. No citizen should be denied at the polls if they are eligible to vote. And, as the greatest, wealthiest nation on earth, our citizens should never be forced to vote on old, unaccountable and non transparent voting machines from companies controlled by partisan activists.

Tomorrow, members of Congress will meet to certify the results of the 2004 presidential election. I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors

Despite widespread reports of irregularities, questionable practices by some election officials and instances of lawful voters being denied the right to vote, our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.

But, that does not mean we should abandon our commitment to addressing those problems that happened in Ohio. We must act today to make sure they never happen again.

I urge you to join me in using this occasion to highlight our demand that Congress commit itself this year to reforming the electoral system. A Presidential election is a national federal election but we have different standards in different states for casting and counting votes. We need a national federal standard to solve the problems that occurred in the 2004 election. I will propose legislation to help achieve this.

Florida 2000 was a wake up call. But the Republicans who control Congress ignored it. Will they now ignore what happened in 2004?

There are nearly 3,000,000 of you receiving this email. We accomplished so much together during the campaign. Now let's use our power to make sure that at least one good thing comes from the voting rights problems of the 2004 election. If we want to force real action on election reform, we've got to demand that congressional leaders hold full hearings. Make sure they hear from you and help hold them accountable.

Speaker Dennis Hastert: 1-202-225-0600
Leader Bill Frist: 1-202-224-3135
6 posted on 01/05/2005 12:20:29 PM PST by ProudVet77 (Beer - it's not just for breakfast anymore.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


I wait for Obama to do something more impressive than make one speech at a convention.

7 posted on 01/05/2005 12:21:57 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (Annoying wussies since 1965)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Can we post pay content in full, without excerpting? I would think the copyright owner might object.

8 posted on 01/05/2005 12:22:14 PM PST by proxy_user
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Blue was traditionally used to represent the incumbant party in the White House. In 2000, that was the Democrats, so Republicans were red. After the Bush Country map in 2000, the networks kept Bush red this year.


9 posted on 01/05/2005 12:23:27 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Mr. Obama has a white mother and a black father. The black father abandoned him at an early age and he was raised by his mother, alone.

But Mr. Obama shameless promoted himself as the what...?
10 posted on 01/05/2005 12:25:27 PM PST by 2banana (They want to die for Islam and we want to kill them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Lorne Gunter has done an excellent job of summing it all up. Great article.

11 posted on 01/05/2005 12:26:27 PM PST by VRWCisme
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Meldrim

Frankly, Bush reaped the fruits of Reagan's political successes. Had there been no Ronald Reagan, the Republican Party would still be a mish-mash of "moderates," and the congress and White House would be in the hands of the Democrats. But we have to give Bush credit -- his efforts and victories in the mid-term election of '02, and his own victory together with solidifying the majorities in both houses of Congress, are historical. But without Reagan's political legacy, we wouldn't be talking about "historic" gains.

12 posted on 01/05/2005 12:26:31 PM PST by My2Cents
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Darkwolf377

Obama seems to be a firm member of the Jessie Jackson/ Al Sharpton wing of the democrat (gay) party.

13 posted on 01/05/2005 12:27:22 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Meldrim
On the other hand, Ronald Reagan was fortunate in 1980 both that he was running against the most inept and disingenuous American President in at least a century (if not of all time!) and that, by comparison, the liberal media kept the gloves on.
But, hey, "the Gipper" and "W" - God Bless 'em both!
14 posted on 01/05/2005 12:29:10 PM PST by GMMAC (lots of terror cells in Canada - I'll be waving my US flag when the Marines arrive!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]


Yeah . . .that color reversal always struck me as a transparent attempt to disassociate "liberals" from their commie buddies. Never did look right to me. What surprised me was nary a peep when the reversal took place. . .it was like no one noticed.

15 posted on 01/05/2005 12:29:23 PM PST by Gunrunner2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


**How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Democrats**

16 posted on 01/05/2005 12:30:36 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Political Junkie Too
Real Clear Politics had the best column I've seen on this subject a couple of days ago.

In essense it all came down to this:

The question that Americans want Democrats to answer with clarity is this: when and where is the use of military force justified in the war against terrorism?

[I would have asked about ANY war.]

Bingo. They nail the Dems' problem and why it won't go away until they've answered that question to the voters' satisfaction. Read the whole thing.
17 posted on 01/05/2005 12:33:47 PM PST by Timeout (Cheese-eating surrender monkeys----Yum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Gunrunner2

The MEDIA is the one that uses the colors, and decides which party is assigned to what color. The MEDIA knows (and has tested over and over and over and over) that BLUE promotes tranquility, calm, peace. The color RED produces anxiety, fear, anger, hostility, flight, heightened blood pressure, you name it.

Telling that the color assignment is a stamp of support by the OLD MEDIA.

18 posted on 01/05/2005 12:34:15 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (>The government of our country was meant to be a servant of the people, not a master.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: All

They are so ignorant.

19 posted on 01/05/2005 12:36:40 PM PST by theconservativerepublican (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Meldrim
Apples and oranges. Reagan carried 49 states. [] Bush was fortunate he was not running against a more capable candidate.

Oh, I guess you mean like....Jimmy Carter!...LOL

20 posted on 01/05/2005 12:37:56 PM PST by NilesJo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-29 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson