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Thursday, December 18, 2003
The Point

By Steven Taylor @ 12:13 pm

To simplify the point of this post: one of the major problems of the Democratic Party is the ongoing underestimation of George W. Bush, and the Republican Party in general. Instead of attempting to understand the reasons why voters have been sending more Reps to Washington than Dems in the last decade, Dems appear, to me at least, to generically think that the explanations are aesthetic (i.e., image or presentation) rather than substantive.

An emblematic example: when prominent Democratic leaders and party allies stated, after the 2002 mid-terms, that Dems lost because “they didn’t get their message out", not because it was possible that voters actually preferred the Rep message to theirs.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign
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  1. In 1998 (or was it 97?) I had a conversation with a learned businessman and staunch Republican. He felt that the reason Dole lost was because the Republicans “didn’t get their message out.”

    I know this is only an anecdotal example, but it underlines a problem the challenger faces - the incumbant dictates the conversation through actions and words.

    For example if Dean starts tirading today about Bush’s revoking the Presidential Records Act, will any media organization pick it up? No. But if Bush defends that move in public, it’ll make one of the front pages.

    Comment by Eric — Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 2:16 pm

  2. Yes, but my point is that the party leadership itself is offering up this thesis as an explanation for their losses.

    Comment by Steven — Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 2:24 pm

  3. I find it so ironic that the dems place so much emphasis on the “image” and “style” of George Bush, when his image is hardly very polished, especially when compared to his predecessor. This is evident in his halting speech when answering questions and his well-known capacity to mispronounce things. On the other hand, it seems that there’s quite a bit of “substance” that people identify with - tax cuts, moral good, the “rightness” of the U.S., etc.

    As long as dems don’t get that connection, they will remain the minority party - if they exist at all.

    Comment by bryan — Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 4:40 pm

  4. I’m doing my best to appear stupid to all my colleagues so they continue to think that Republicans are stupid, hence continuing to underestimate us.

    Ha! Evil wicked, I am!

    Comment by John Lemon — Friday, December 19, 2003 @ 12:22 am

  5. Heh. Indeed.

    Comment by James Joyner — Sunday, December 21, 2003 @ 10:41 pm

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