Then go look at what Robert Kuttner wrote a while back. I commented on his article here. Among other things he describes how Democratic Consultants tend to push candidates to take the positions that are more popular in the polls. These are positions candidiates need to take in the short run to win the election they are involved in. The difference is that the conservatives have a long-term well-funded machine to shift the views of the voters, so that the entire political spectrum is being pushed away from progressive views.
"Let's examine why on the Right the elected officials all voice the RW talking points in unison and ours do not. Look at where the Right's people get their media training and those talking points from. That's how the RWers all know what Progressive ideas they aren't supposed to reinforce. They're educated, and that takes money and effort. They are provided with seminars on that very subject. Ours are not.
It is not that their candidates are so good. Jeeze, Bush better than Gore? I think that the Right's organizations out there "educating" the public-at-large on the Right's issues and ideology for decades paves the way for them to insert their clones into the election process. Their candidates just repeat the talking points. On the right it is the funded conservative movement that leads the way, not the party or the candidates.
Meanwhile, candidates on our side are largely on their own, and start from scratch at the start of election season. They have to "come up with issues for the campaign" and educate the public on those issues, from scratch, in a short campaign season. Their campaigns are largely independent of other Progressive campaigns, while the Right's are all coordinated.
The decades of the RW pounding away on their underlying ideology has a huge effect on the viability of candidates."
This is the result of a Democratic Party which has no national policy organization and few funds with which to extablish one.
An example is the current effort by Bush to destroy Social Security. Defense of Social Security is a long-range mission-critical progressive function. The main umbrella organization working to do this is Americans United to Protect Social Security. AUPSS has run short of funds, and is starting to lay off staff.
If a conservative long-range mission-critical function were to be short of funds, instead of laying off staff they would call Tom DeLay's office.
Tom's office wouild call a K-Street lobbyist who got his job because he was a staffer for a conservative Republican who referred him to Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay approved his hiring by the K-Street frim.
The lobbyist would call one of his clients and tell them to donate funds to the mission-critical conservative organization. The client is happy to do so becuse the lobbyist has shown that he has the ear of the politician, probably Tom DeLay or someone DeLay supports.
Long-term continuity of high priority items are never shorted funds for the conservatives.
Who does a progressive call??
What are progressives doing to change the overall attitudes of the voting public? More important, who is funding such actions? The main source of funds used to be unions, but especially since 1981 the Republicans have made America very unfriendly to unions and union organizing.
This needs to change.
And while you are trying to decide how to make such changes happen, click throught to Americans United to Protect Social Security. and donate to preserve their organization. The Repubicans are going to bring bills out of committee to create Private Accounts in July. This fight isn't over yet, and it is only one small fight in the overall battle for progressives to take back America.