The Dem Majority and The South
Posted on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 08:01:21 PM EST
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This is a long post and not about something that generally interests our readership here at Talk Left. But it is the evening and I want to post it. So here goes.
At mydd, Jerome Armstrong criticizes Tom Schaller for his thesis (it is mine too) that Democrats can not shape their message determined to do better in the South. Like Schaller, I thiink it is not the right approach for Democrats. Armstrong writes:
Stoller's argument ends with a point that might charitably be called a caveat: Maybe there's something I don't get about how special the South is. And that serves as a segue into talking about Tom Schaller's book, "Whistling Past Dixie". It's a point to which a southerner might reply as "typical yankee shit". It's a rather remarkable book though, using statistics to make the case that Democrats can win a majority without the south. And that's probably true, but it's Schaller's first recomendation on "The Path to a National Democratic Majority", that Democrats define the south in the most denigrate ways, to run against the south for an enduring majority, that is morally and strategically wrong.
This is misstatement from Armstrong. The strategy is NOT to denigrate the South, it is to NOT kowtow to it. It is to paint the GOP as extreme and unacceptable. Not to paint the South as anything. It is to use the power of negative branding against the GOP, NOT against the South. Armstrong misuderstands the difference between national branding and the 50 state strategy of devolution of power to state parties. He really muddles the entire subject. Not his best by a long shot. I'll explain on the flip.
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