Ed Kilgore over at NewDonkey has an excellent four part series on “Lessons Learned” from the previous 12 months of politics. I commend the entire series to you, but I particularly wanted to highlight four points of agreement among Democrats that Kilgore proposed in his first entry to this series:
(a) mobilization of partisans and ideologues is not enough; we need a persuasion strategy as well;
(b) we’re the out-party now, and no longer have any excuse for behaving as the Party of Government;
(c) you just cannot win a presidential election without a clear, overarching message, defined as a theme or two that explain what you propose to do to organize public resources to address the needs and interests of the American people at home and abroad; and
(d) that message must, for the foreseeable future, address the perceived weakness and incoherence of Democrats on national security issues; the perceived elitism and relativism of Democrats in terms of their understanding of the direction of American society and culture; and the perceived obsession of Democrats with a program-heavy, values-lite approach to economic and other domestic issues.
Can we all agree on this? We may disagree on exactly how to address these four points, but we should all agree that these are the points to be addressed. Kilgore provides his basic approach to these points in the other three parts of his four part series; it’s up to all of us to provide our own recommendations in the months ahead.