The Washington Post has an interesting piece today. There isn’t a lot being written these days that postulates a Republican win in November. While this piece still doesn’t predict an outright win, it does offer a lot of reason why the Democrats may not be able to pull it out after all.
Perhaps the most interesting piece of the article is this:
Some things have changed. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) long ago gave up trying to sound like a centrist. But although few people remember it, Kennedy gave a move-to-the-middle speech in March 1985 that would have brought a smile to the face of Al From, founder of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council.
“We cannot and should not depend on higher tax revenues to roll in and redeem every costly program,” Kennedy said. “Those of us who care about domestic progress must do more with less.” And he added: “The mere existence of a program is no excuse for its perpetuation, whether it is a welfare plan or a weapons system.”
If only Kennedy had stuck with that line of thought, a lot of people might still support his party. My dad, for instance, is a life-long Democrat, but has grown tired of the liberal wing of the Democratic party calling the shots. He’s grown tired of watching the special interests, trial lawyers, and left-wingers run his party. While he’s not yet looking to change his registration, he’s one of those Ds who find themselves splitting the ticket in almost every election.
Democrats should pay attention to this article and Balz’ message. If they continue to squeal like a stuck pig every time a bloated, useless government program hits the chopping block, then people will always see them as out of touch, and in favor of more, and less effective government.
Against that backdrop, it’s easy for the GOP, despite its penchant for constitutional amendments on very individual concerns (marriage and procreation), to portray themselves as favoring less government.
Despite my party affiliation, I really would like to see the Democrats succeed occasionally. If nothing else, it may pull both parties back to the middle and away from the fringe.