The Charlie Brown Syndrome
If you haven't already, I strongly urge you all to check out Digby's blog. Digby's argument throughout this past week, with which I wholeheartedly concur, is that the Democrats' strategy of constantly moving to the center in the vain hope of appeasing the "values" voters is a fool's errand--these folks have a tribalistic revulsion for everything we stand for, and no amount of liberal self-flagellation can overcome this. Here's his latest nugget of wisdom:
We are dealing with an absolutist culture that demands total capitulation or nothing. Compromise will not work and it certainly will not work on these "values" issues. (Indeed, I think it's part of what makes us look weak to some other factions who might be willing to vote for us.) This is the same old [excrement] over and over and over again. We backed off on the death penalty, gun control, welfare, affirmative action and here we are with a new slate of issues about gays. Tomorrow it will be creationism. Until we realize that their condition is that we FULLY EMBRACE their cultural dominance in both word and deed, they will not be satisfied.
It is not enough that they be left alone to do what they choose. We must join them and do it thoroughly and with fervor. No amount of tweaking will work. Their real beef is psychological and tribal. Issues are fungible.
During the past week, I've noticed some libs pointing out that Red State voters are dupes--that is, they vote on issues like gay marriage and abortion, while the Republican honchos give them nothing in return, instead showering their corporate cronies with tax breaks and subsidies. But as Digby astutely points out, "we are beginning to look like Charlie Brown with the football." We may not necessarily be dupes, but the football (that is, the lure of attracting culturally conservative working class voters) is being snatched from us election after election. This persistent wooing of Red State voters is not working--the goal, I think, should be to "grow liberalism," as Chris Bowers at MyDD puts it, while at the same time delegitimizing the American Right every step of the way.