Friday, October 27, 2006

One Democrat who gets it

Amy Sullivan seems to be one of the very few Democrats who get it.

Like here:

"Despite the uproar over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction a couple of years ago, most parents don't fret that the accidental sighting of a breast or hearing of a swear word will scar their children. They're more concerned about the unrealistic ideas kids get from popular culture about consumption and body image and violence as a way of handling conflict.

Sadly, too many liberals react to complaints about popular culture as if they're teenagers. They either jut out their chins and growl, "If you don't like it, don't watch it," or they stay silent for fear of looking like prudes. Given the ridicule that Tipper Gore faced for promoting warning labels for explicit music lyrics and the derision that followed Hillary Clinton's effort to keep violent video games away from kids, perhaps it's no surprise that most keep their mouths shut. That silence, however, hands conservatives a victory. As David Callahan points out in his book The Moral Center, "When the right complains about the media's descent into tawdriness, it puts them on the side of most Americans."

And here:

"Even an issue on which Democrats seem to have the winning position can turn out to be a loser for the party in the long run. Most Americans now believe that research on stem cells should be allowed. But as Noam Scheiber recently pointed out in The New Republic magazine, the polls also suggest that they have serious concerns about the morality of unrestricted scientific research. They don't want to wake up tomorrow and discover that we're cloning humans without ever having a conversation as a society about the moral issues involved. By framing the debate as a choice between theology or science, Democrats essentially argued that anyone who has qualms about scientific progress is a troglodyte. That puts them on the losing side of the moral question, even as they win the specific policy debate."

Most of all, here:

"The average American doesn't want to overturn Roe v. Wade or start locking up doctors. But neither does she buy the liberal line that 1.3 million abortions per year are just the price you pay for living in a free and modern society."

All very good points.

I don’t think however that she gets the economic part right. I don’t think most Americans want universal health care once the tax implications are understood. I think there is discontentment with the current system, but there are other solutions. Some liberal policies, like increasing the minimum wage, are so populist that both parties play with it once in a while. But it is far from being a election winner subject. Economically, I think Americans care about 2 things: jobs and jobs. That is why most of the times Republicans win that debate.

But in any case, I think the article is right in the sense that the biggest mistake democrats have been making for the last 8 years is about the culture.

Can they change? I am not so sure.