Terry Michael, former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, has some advice for Democrats wondering what to do with a Democratic party that can't win Massachusetts -- Jeffersonian liberalism:
We have met the new center, and it is us, the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll baby boomers and our younger Gen X siblings and children. Because of our advanced age, we are the “most likely voters” that pollsters and their political clients focus on.
That is precisely the opposite of what happened in the first year of the Obama administration.
The new center tilts liberal on social issues, like gay rights and abortion. It zigs left on national security, having seen two really bad elective wars in our lifetimes: Vietnam and Iraq. But it zags right on economic questions, empowered with the democratization of information, technology, and finance, eschewing one-size-fits-all fixes from Washington. The new center embraces individual choice in the marketplace....
Democrats need to free themselves from the AFL-CIO, K Street, DuPont Circle, share-the-wealth wing of the party and run to the center on money matters, while passionately playing to their base on social issues and vigorously pursuing a non-interventionist foreign policy.
There's an interesting echo there of something Michael Barone wrote today:
What Brooks has described as "the educated class" -- shorthand for the elite, university-educated, often secular professionals who probably make up a larger share of the electorate in Massachusetts than in any other state -- turned out in standard numbers and cast unenthusiastic votes for the Democrat....
Members of "the educated class" are pleased by Obama's decision to close Guantanamo and congressional Democrats' bills addressing supposed global warming. They are puzzled by his reticence to advance gay rights but assume that in his heart he is on their side.
They support more tepidly the Democrats' big government spending, higher taxes and health care bills as necessary to attract the votes of the less enlightened and well-off. For "the educated class," such programs are, in the words of the late Sen. Pat Moynihan, "boob bait for the bubbas."
Could it really be that a lot of Democratic voters don't really like higher taxes and government-run health care, that they would respond favorably to a socially liberal, economically sensible program? We could only hope.