Back to Work + Don't Give Up the Fight
Democrats are now, understandably, engaged in self-examination. But while it's O.K. to think things over, those who abhor the direction Mr. Bush is taking the country must maintain their intensity; they must not succumb to defeatism.
Because if we don't it's goodbye, New Deal. Goodbye, separation of church and state. Goodbye, Roe v. Wade. And that's just the beginning.
Krugman also cautions the left not to abandon their support for gay rights and abortion rights in a misguided attempt to appeal to the religious right:
So what should the Democrats do?
One faction of the party is already calling for the Democrats to blur the differences between themselves and the Republicans. Or at least that's what I think Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council means when he says, "We've got to close the cultural gap." But that's a losing proposition.
Yes, Democrats need to make it clear that they support personal virtue, that they value fidelity, responsibility, honesty and faith. This shouldn't be a hard case to make: Democrats are as likely as Republicans to be faithful spouses and good parents, and Republicans are as likely as Democrats to be adulterers, gamblers or drug abusers. Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country; blue states, on average, have lower rates of out-of-wedlock births than red states.
But Democrats are not going to get the support of people whose votes are motivated, above all, by their opposition to abortion and gay rights (and, in the background, opposition to minority rights). All they will do if they try to cater to intolerance is alienate their own base.
Does this mean that the Democrats are condemned to permanent minority status? No. The religious right - not to be confused with religious Americans in general - isn't a majority, or even a dominant minority. It's just one bloc of voters, whom the Republican Party has learned to mobilize with wedge issues like this year's polarizing debate over gay marriage. Rather than catering to voters who will never support them, the Democrats - who are doing pretty well at getting the votes of moderates and independents - need to become equally effective at mobilizing their own base.
Yeah, what he said. As for me, I already had more cartoon material than I knew what to do with... sigh.