Thursday, October 14, 2010

Basic High School Civics Required

Republicans v. Democrats. Fear v. Hope. These are generic yet oft-used characterizations, and a debate over their merits is for another day. The Dems should've flipped strategies and commandeered fear, making people afraid of a Republican takeover. It's too late now, but this nationwide, concentrated effort starting a couple weeks ago could have paid big dividends. There are a couple caveats to my approach. The first is that it would only work on the base. The second is a basic demonstration of civic knowledge is expected of the base. (This could prove problematic.)

Gerrymandering, errr, redistricting will take place in 2011 and be determined by the legislators elected next month. Dispassion surrounding the status quo is one thing, but the prospect of being cracked and packed into obscurity over the next decade is another. A solid month of telling Dems they'll be permanently stuck in obscurity has to be more effective than the current method: promising to fix an unsavory health care bill you were responsible for.

I guarantee you redistricting is on fewer than 5% of voters' minds. I also don't see how the strategy backfires. You can't flip the strategy, because the Red base is already fired up. Only the Dems are searching for a way to get people excited about voting, and I don't see them coming up with anything better. A battle over who controls the next decade wouldn't even the balance of enthusiasm, but would help smooth the imbalance between the two sides. Then it boils down to who can sway the independents, which would at least give the Democrats a chance.

One more caveat: Democratic leadership has to act competently whilst pursuing this tactic. This proviso likely the most insurmountable of all.

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