In deference to the OP I will say the following then let it go. I don’t want to steal the OP and turn this into a Ashcroft/Waco/Reno thread. Its not my thread, and I apologize.
Yes, the Waco reference was intended to be a little sarcastic, but also a reminder to lefties that when it comes to government paranoia, their hands aren’t exactly clean (Out! Out, damned spot!).
jshore: If these people were wackos why didn’t we just let them drink their Kool-Aid and be done with it. Do you really think they were going to rage a holy war out in Waco? Against who? The armadillos? Why did our gov’t feel the need to storm the compound and kill its own citizens? To save the children? Or to save their charred bodies?
rlung: What? No coffee mug link? I feel slighted.
Now to the OP and Dems:
Here’s how I see it. America’s political spectrum is primarily defined as left vs right. But across the spectrum of issues people tend to believe this way or that, half-believe (or believe with reservations) this or that, but taken in its totality you find (I would suspect) a bell like structure with most in the middle and extremes at either end.
Now place that bell curve on a see saw. It tips one way, then tips the other. The problem is that our national agenda (the way the see saw tips) is too often determined by those at the extreme of both ends. I honestly think that if you analysed it you might find that physics rules regarding torque (fewer at the end nullifies many at the fulcrum) aren’t that far off. This, IMHO, is where GWB will strive.
He has a history (in TX) of reaching across the aisle and his presense at the Democratic retreats this week is further evidence of his ability to build bridges. The more he is able to move towards the middle (and here’s the trick: without alienating his rightist friends; and so what if he does, who are they gonna vote for? Perot? Nader? As I see it this year’s “Nader factor” makes up for 1992’s “Perot Factor”.), the more pressure it places on Dems to define themselves as the anti-GWB. A Dem would have two choices: alienate his far lefties and agree with GWB (8 did on the Ashcroft nom) or move to the middle and blur the definition of Dem/Rep to the point where the differences are negligible. In districts where the Dem is not that strong, people will vote more for Bush then the candidate himself. The classic “coat-tail”. This is why I think the GOP will make gains in 2002. That and voter turn out.
Some Dems are immune to this.
Ted Kennedy’s car: 1
My gun: 0
But again, I think before you say which tack the Dems should take, you hafta look at who is up for re-election and how strong is their hold on their constituents.
Again, I apologize to AHunter3 for the Ashcroft injection. I hope your OP is not too damaged.