Saturday, March 25, 2006

Why Can't Democrats Win?

That's the headline of a book review by Peter Beinart of "Crashing the Gate," the new political book by by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, in the NYT today. Beinart says,

Armstrong and Moulitsas are self-conscious outsiders, successful liberal bloggers determined to overthrow the "Beltway mafia" that runs the Democratic Party in Washington. And yet they have written a manifesto devoted almost entirely to political procedure. Behind their indignant, even revolutionary rhetoric, Armstrong and Moulitsas seem angry about just one thing — that the Democratic Party continues to lose.
He points out that:

During the 1980's, the Democratic Party tried to reinvent itself by concentrating on procedural changes. In 1984 and 1988, Democrats addressed their post-Vietnam weakness by limiting the influence of liberal interest groups in the nominating process. In the run-up to 1984, the party created "superdelegates" — politicians who were presumably more in tune with average voters than the issue activists who had dominated Democratic conventions since 1972. In 1988, moderate Democrats instituted Super Tuesday, a bloc of mostly Southern primaries intended to steer the nominating process to the center. Both these reforms failed.


And ends up by saying

Armstrong and Moulitsas may well be right that the next great partisan transformation will be theirs. In "Crashing the Gate" they have written an insightful guide to how the Democratic Party can retake power. Now all they need to do is figure out why it deserves to.
Read it here.

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