Skip to comments.Two months later, the Democrats still don't get it (thankfully!)
Posted on 01/05/2005 12:13:07 PM PST by GMMAC
Two months later, the Democrats still don't get it
Wed 05 Jan 2005
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.
Columnist/Editorial Writer, National Post
Columnist, Edmonton Journal
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!!
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.
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.
I wait for Obama to do something more impressive than make one speech at a convention.
Can we post pay content in full, without excerpting? I would think the copyright owner might object.
Lorne Gunter has done an excellent job of summing it all up. Great article.
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.
Obama seems to be a firm member of the Jessie Jackson/ Al Sharpton wing of the democrat (gay) party.
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.
**How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Democrats**
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?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.
[I would have asked about ANY war.]
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.
They are so ignorant.
Oh, I guess you mean like....Jimmy Carter!...LOL
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