August 04, 2005

About those Democrats...

A quick link to Jim Wallis' op/ed in the New York Times today entitled "The Message Thing" along with a few relavent quotes.

"The minority party has been searching, some would say desperately, for the right "narrative": the best story line, metaphors, even magic words to bring back electoral success. The operative term among Democratic politicians and strategists has become "framing." How to tell the story has become more important than the story itself. And that could be a bigger mistake for the Democrats than the ones they made during the election...

"...Democrats must offer new ideas and a fresh agenda, rather than linguistic strategies to sell an old set of ideologies and interest group demands..."

"...Until Democrats are willing to be honest about the need for new social policy and compelling political vision, they will never get the message right. Find the vision first, and the language will follow."

Yup. It's not just about finding the right way to sell the Democrats, ya gotta have a good product.

Now, considering Nathan's post below, I'm nervous to post a link to this article in AlterNet about Democratic voting patterns lest I shake his newly found Green faith. ;) But it does point out that while Dean et. al. may not want to be very specific about what Democrats stand for, Democrats in the House and Senate vote in ways that do differ from Republicans.

Our political parties don't want us to know how they vote on specific issues. And our media don't want to tell us how they vote.

This is bewildering and distressing, and something should be done about it. In a two party system, information about how each party voted should be in every wrap-up story. Yet only the Associated Press, to its credit, commonly includes roll call votes. And newspapers that carry AP stories rarely include that part of the feed.