Democrats: Get back in the Game

05/25/2011 11:45 am ET
  • Mark Joseph Producer, author and publisher of

Nobody enjoys a football game where one side is running up the score while the other side self-destructs. If Howard Dean keeps this up, he’s not only going to elect another Republican president in three and a half years, he’s going to give the GOP a veto-proof majority in the Senate, making the filibuster a moot issue. Here's how Democrats can get back in the game:

1) Pray really hard that the Republicans give you an opening by nominating Rudy Giuliani or another left-leaning Republican for president. This will alienate the GOP's conservative Christian base who, Pat Robertson’s comments on the Stephanopoulous show notwithstanding, will not be able to bring themselves to vote for him. When millions of devout churchgoers stay home on election day 2008, the White House will be yours again...provided you don't energize them by nominating Hillary Clinton.

2) Change your platform on abortion and make the party officially neutral. Use some vague, noncommittal language like “we respect the views of all Americans on this divisive issue, and understand the heartfelt concerns of those who believe in a woman’s right to choose and those who believe in the unborn child’s right to life. There is room in our party for all points of view and we leave it up to each member of our party to follow their conscience on this difficult and divisive issue.” In a flash you'll win back the hearts of millions of conservative Democrats and moderate to liberal Evangelicals. Remember, Billy Graham, the famed evangelist, is still a registered Democrat. This puts the votes of the Billy Graham’s of the country back in play.

3) Nominate Indiana Senator Evan Bayh for President. Bayh learned from his father, Senator Birch Bayh's defeat in 1980 how to present liberalism with a mainstream face. He’s your man. If he’s the nominee, you win and the Republicans lose.

4) Engage the conservative churchgoing audience, don’t ignore them. Do your best to hide the condescension you feel for them. Meet with their leaders. Go on their talk shows. Tell them about the change in your party platform on abortion. Don’t sneer or condescend. Remember these are voters you are trying to win over to your side and insulting voters is always a bad idea.

5) When you criticize the President, do it respectfully. 51% of the country voted for him. When you call him names, his voters take it personally. Remember that each time you call him an idiot, you're also calling his voters idiots-not a good idea if you're looking for their votes.

6) Do something crazy to shake things up and confuse your opponents. Propose a flat tax that exempts those earning less than 20K a year or use that Social Security proposal of Robert Wexler's and make it your own. Anything will do, just show the country that you have a pulse and can do more than say no.

7) Stop fillibustering judges. If you absolutely must, find a white male to pick on and get off of Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers-Brown's backs. Picking on a Sunday School teacher and a sharecropper's daughter is not very bright and every time their faces flash on the screen, followed by Democratic senators angrily pounding a lectern, guess who the average American is going to side with?

Nobody likes a blow-out. Remember the Whigs. Get back in the game