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Hullabaloo


Monday, October 30, 2006

 
Bizarroworld

by digby

From The Democratic Strategist

In the final three weeks of the campaign, longtime leading Democratic strategists such as Stan Greenberg and James Carville urge the party to maximize the once-in-a-generation opportunity the 2006 election offers Democrats by reaching out for every seat that is even conceivably contestable. Netroots newcomers, however, are not so ambitious, preferring to see the Democrats focus their attention on locking in their potential gains rather than reaching too far and "blowing it."

That reflects an ironic turn of events for internal Democratic Party strategic debate. Netroots newcomers, throughout 2000, 2002 and 2004, complained bitterly about the cautiousness of Democratic campaign insiders in Washington. Now the tables are turned. Political guru Charlie Cook calls it a generation gap in perceptions of what is happening in 2006. Old-timers who lived through 1974 and 1994 have felt all year that 2006 could develop into an enormous, earthshaking Democratic sweep -- they'd seen this kind of thing before, and this felt like that. Netroots activists, in contrast, have not seen that kind of sweeping election victory before?their experience has been largely a series of narrow, nail-biting elections with winners and losers determined by a handful of seats in a 50-50 political world.

Because of their different experiences, netrooters have dismissed talk of a sweep as so much old-timer mysticism. Old-timers have been unable to believe the netrooters do not see what is clearly before their eyes. As a result of their different experiences, netrooters are also more focused on carefully bringing home every victory that's clearly in reach and leaving nothing to chance in any race, while the old-timers are wondering whether a bank would loan the DNC $5 million or $10 million against future contributions to expand their reach from 30 targeted seats to 50. Old-timers are also speculating about whether they should count as won the top ten prospective take-overs and shift resources from those seats to the Tier 3 opportunities.

Whichever direction the party takes in the final weeks -- whether a cautious, button-down strategy designed to make no mistakes and lose no birds in the hand, or a more "all-in," go-for-broke strategy that seeks every possible bird in every possible bush -- one outcome is certain: A very different, more mainstream, more suburban and small-town, greatly expanded House Democratic caucus will present a new face of the Democratic Party to the country as the 2008 Presidential election gets underway on November 8.


Huh?

Well, that sure is going to come as a helluva surprise to all those netroots leaders who have been begging the establishment to expand the field for some time now, raised a bunch of money for candidates the house and senate election committees had given up for lost and then initiated a successful campaign to pry last minute money out of some cash hogs who refused to step up. If anybody objected to the party borrowing 10 million dollars it was only because there were a bunch of safe Dems sitting on cash they weren't using. WTF?

I'm not quite sure what to think about this freakishly incorrect scenario. Part of me thinks it's better if it continues, since it portrays we ignorant netroots as being a staid "buttoned down" faction. The last I heard we were the unhinged hippies dragging the party over the leftist cliff and the good boys and girls of the DLC choir were valiently beating us back.

But I don't think the other half of this will fly for a moment. The "old timers" are a bunch of swashbuckling risk takers? It's hilarious. These are the same people who were telling candidates not to talk about Iraq just a couple of months ago.

I have to assume that this is some sort of positioning for credit although it's not even slightly believable. But it does indicate that the establishment is now trying to hook themselves some of that hot and sexy netroots image. And who can blame them?



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