Thursday, November 04, 2004

Why We Win in 2008, and maybe why we don't

I was to depressed yesterday to think about this much. But here's why I think the Democrats win in 2008 and maybe why all of these reasons won't lead to a Democratic victory.

1. Iraq--We're still going to be in Iraq in 4 years. How many Americans will have died? The numbers of people opposed to the war will rise. And disgust over the incompetent way Bush handled Iraq will lead to a Democratic victory.

Why it won't help--People are patriotic and may decide to vote for the Republicans no matter how stupid and futile the war is because they believe that our leaders would not lead us astray in such a matter. Look at Nixon in 1972.

2. Terrorism--Let's face, we will probably be attacked within the next 4 years. This seems especially likely because Bush is creating new terrorists all the time. And an attack would undermine his aura of protecting Americans from terrorism. And if we're not attacked, how long can the Republicans use Sept. 11 as a campaign issue.

Why it won't help--If we are attacked again, it's possible that people will be even more willing to give up their rights to an increasingly fascist regime in exchange for security. And if we're not attacked, maybe people will look to the Republicans as saviors and be even more willing to give up their rights to an increasingly fascist regime in exchange for security.

3. The economy--Outsourcing of middle-class jobs is going to be a huge issue in 2008 I believe. The deficit will be enormous in 4 years and it will become increasingly clear to the nation that Bush only cares about his cronies. Unemployment will likely be up.

Why it won't help--The county in Ohio that had the greatest job losses in the last 4 years voted for Bush. People just don't seem to care that much about the economy unless there is widespread economic disaster. Even when they lose their jobs because of Republican policies, they don't care so long as there is a party that opposes gay marriage. No one cares about the deficit because no one understands it. And will the Democrats have a legitimate opposing position? After all, Democratic lawmakers have been complicit with free-market expansion.

4. Social issues--How much bigger can the evangelical movement get? We're down to a Democratic core. Evangelicals are big in Minnesota, Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin, but either Kerry still managed to win those states or they were very very close and very winnable in 2008. We don't have senators in right-leaning states anymore, except for the Dakotas and maybe one or two others. It's hard for me to see how the evangelical movement hasn't peaked. Plus they look at W as a messenger from God (seriously). It's hard to see how that gets transferred to another candidate easily. Maybe Jeb but maybe not. Plus Jeb has a Hispanic wife and thus non-white children (Bush Sr's "little brown grandchildren") That could cause the latent racism of many Republicans to pop up.

Why it won't help--The evangelical movement is rapidly growing among Hispanics. It has swept through Central America over the last 20 years and with so many connections between the US and Latin America today it is becoming a powerful force across the continent. That will make it harder to win the Southwest than many of us may think. This could be a really big deal. Plus maybe the movement among whites continues to grow as well and the upper Midwest becomes harder and harder to win.

Although I played devil's advocate here, I feel really optimistic for 2008. I believe that we will be in a better position in 4 years on all 4 of these issues.

And remember, for as depressing as this week has been, 49% of Americans agree with us. We don't need that many more for us to win and take control of government again.