Stan Greenberg can take his polling memos and shove them up his ass. In fact, when they have time to get their heads out of their own asses, James Carville and Bob Shrum can take whatever they find up there and shove it up Stan Greenberg's ass too. The latest polling memo [pdf] from their group, Democracy Corps, reads, "To become the agent of change in the year ahead, the Democrats will have to be reformist, populist and nationalist, armed with new ideas for renewing the country."
Oh really? You think? Isn't that the same reason you all whispered behind the scenes that nominating Howard Dean would mean a certain loss for the Democrats? I thought being too reformist and too populist was just too darn "angry" for America. I thought a year and a half ago you had polling that showed people didn't want that. Hell, you showed it to anyone who glanced at you. Now it is a strategy to win? Gee, thanks Einstein.
I agree with this premise, though. I've been saying it for a long time. Flavia Colgan has written about the need to have a united reformist message on this blog. Lord knows that my friend and former Progressive Caucus colleague, David Sirota, has written about it for years. Bill Hillsman, who is a message genius, in my estimation, wrote a book about it, but has the DNC called him in?
So the premise is finally right, but the best you can come up with is "a Democratic agenda centered on health care, education and energy, followed by a top-end tax cut repeal and homeland security?" That's a laundry list of things that don't exactly meld together into a vision. Just off the top of my head, I could whittle these things into three large themes: Security, Prosperity, and Opportunity. If you want to make it into a positive, reformist, populist message that works outside the beltway, try "Your Party, Your Government," if you want to make it a party message, or "Returning Government to You," if you don't, and put "Restoring Security, Prosperity, and Opportunity for America" in the subhead. Then get to your laundry list of changes.
That was three minutes worth of work, and while not much better than average, it's a hell of a lot better than what Democracy Corps is heading towards. Why these chuckleheads can't sit down for a couple of hours together and come up with something even better than a single idiot on a keyboard like me is not a surprise. When you bury your head in polling data and don't head out into the heartland to talk to people, face to face, you come up with a message that satisfies your tabs, not flesh and blood people.
So, Stan, James, and Bob, once everything is rolled up nice and tight and stored up Stan's ass, how about getting out of Washington, sitting in a diner or two, and listening to what people are talking about – REALLY listening.. Maybe you'll finally get what we, the infamous "populist reformers" have been trying to get through your thick skulls for a while.
What do YOU all think the Dems message should be? Think of the top-line theme, along the lines of "Contract with America," and then sub-themes, etc. I'll personally send all of them to Democracy Corps.