Monday, January 10, 2005

New leadership in the DNC

Terry McAuliffe's term as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee is up, and the fight has begun to see who will replace him. Among the forerunners is former Congressman Tim Roemer, an anti-abortion Catholic. Ominous as some pro-choice Democrats might see this to be, Roemer has stated that he doesn't want to change the platform of the party; rather, he'd like to "expand the tent," so to speak, to make up for some of the losses of the Democrats in the recent elections.

I don't think it's a terrible idea, but I just feel like the idea of a "big tent" Democratic Party would probably ring false to the type of people that they'd be trying to reach with such a move. Namely, the social conservatives in "flyover country." I firmly believe that there should be a way to convince them that the fiscal interests of the lower- and middle-class workers are better served by the Democratic Party's economic platform, but I don't know if a symbolic move like having a pro-life Chairman is the way to do that. Already, during the 2004 campaign, Republicans were accusing Democrats of trying to be "too much like Republicans."

It sucks, but I think that the best course right now for the Democrats would be to present a united front and wait for the weakly bonded coalition of conservatives to self-destruct. It's already beginning to fray at the edges, with the ultra-cons saying Bush hasn't been conservative enough, and Schwarzenegger saying that the party should become more liberal, etc. Everyone's been promised something, and not all of those promises can be kept.

If the Democrats can weather the next little while without significant compromise, things should start looking up before too long.