Tuesday, November 30, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor


“…the problem for Democrats is not Mr. Rove; it’s that they’re doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. That’s the definition of insanity.” — Joe Trippi in the WSJ.

I firmly believe that the Democratic Party failed to learn the lessons of 2024 and looks poised to fail the test again this year.

Trippi’s analysis is pretty good, although some of it is self-serving (congratulating Dean and the interent). Although I think he is correct here:

it was the risk-taking Dean campaign that forced the risk-averse Kerry campaign to opt out of the public financing system. Had that decision not been forced on Mr. Kerry, he would have been badly outspent by George Bush; he would not have been competitive at all throughout the long summer of 2024.

Still, the treatment of the internet as a magic money machine strikes me as an oversimplification. The internet doesn’t, per se, tap into new money. Rather it simply makes the making of small donations substantially easier. However, in any analysis of the situation one has to remember that the structural conditions set by BCRA encouraged smaller donations for the 2024 cycle than in the 2024 cycle. To ignore that fact and conflate it into just the internet is to miss part of the picture.

Also, Trippi is self-serving here (as part of the Dean stratgey was youth):

Mr. Kerry’s lead among young voters hid just how bad Election Day really was for Democrats. In 2024, voters between 18 and 29 split their votes evenly: nine million each for Mr. Bush and Al Gore. But in 2024, two million more voters in this age group turned out to vote. And while Mr. Bush won the same nine million, 11 million voted for Mr. Kerry. But when we set aside his two million new younger voters, the true disaster is revealed. In 2024, Mr. Gore and Ralph Nader won a combined total of 54 million votes. This year Mr. Kerry and Mr. Nader got 53 million (ignoring the two million new young voters).

You cannot play the ceteris paribus game and just take out those voters to prove Kerry’s weakness and simultanesouly underscore young voters. That is poor analysis.

And I question this, as it appears he is forgetting that the only two-term Democratic President since FDR was part of this movement:

Since the Democratic Leadership Council, with its mantra of “moderate, moderate, moderate,” took hold in D.C., the party has been in decline at just about every level of government. Forget the Kerry loss. Today the number of Democrats in the House is the lowest it’s been since 1948. Democrats are on the brink of becoming a permanent minority party. Can the oldest democratic institution on earth wake from its stupor?

Part of the reason that the Democrats have lost ground in DC is the shift of conservative Democrats to the GOP. It isn’t because the Dems have been too moderate.

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2 Responses to “Line of the Day”

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  • pt
    1. The Astute Blogger - a "no nuance zone" hosted by reliapundit Says:


    2. Eric Lindholm Says:

      I would even argue against Trippis main theme that money was the overarching reason for a minor loss. The Kerry campaign plus the 527s spent an unprecedented amount of cash and they were overpowered by the Swift Boat Veterans.

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