Wednesday, January 31, 2007

John Edwards and a New Populist Strategy for Democrats

Thom Hartmann has an interesting piece titled "Join the Parade For We the People" in which he credits Senator John Edwards as being the first Presidential candidate to "get" that it's just not enough to sit around and wait for our leaders to do things. John Edwards has said that we, the People, must be guiding the leaders, and he's encouraging all of us to do so.

In a new part of a definitive Nation series on Southern politics, Bob Moser suggests that Democrats can tap into a new populist strategy in the region. The "new" poluism will involve getting voters to coalesce around issues of economic fairness instead of white cultural unity. Moser shows how Republicans have been "preaching their divisive cultural populism to Southerners in a virtual echo chamber" while Democrats have barely talked to Southerners. In his words,
Rather than diverging from national political patterns, Southerners continue their post-Jim Crow evolution toward the American mainstream. And Democrats continue to run screaming in the other direction.
Moser talks briefly about NC8's 2006 Congressional candidate Larry Kissell who was slighted by the DCCC and "had to make do with some backing from the netroots and John Edwards." (Even I, an Upstate New Yorker, did my own small part). Bottom line, Moser makes the point that, as long as Democrats continue to "surrender" the South, they'll be abandoning "the old hope of a durable national progressive majority" because the characteristics of almost half of the voters who've embraced populism in the entirety of America are found in voters from the South. Michigan for Edwards has more commentary about the Nation piece, mentioning that the Democrats might also be successful in the Midwest with this strategy.
Moser's new article debunks the myths perpetuated by the DLC and national pundits, skewering John Kerry's "anti-Southern strategy" and Thomas Schaller's "Whistling Past Dixie" and advocating a new Democratic Populism to win back not only large sections of the South, but also solidify the Midwest.


Larry said...

Edwards is the only one who knows that the public is so disgusted with life always the same in Washington, that he gives people the chance to take action themselves.

The worse things get, maybe this will catch on.