Spotted the following on Kevin Drum's site, in reference to the Dems' "what's the matter with Kansas" bit:...exactly what economic interests are they voting against? Forget the Krugmanesque (or Drumesque) arguments about regressive taxes or rising income inequality. They may be true, but they're way too abstract. If you want to convince these guys that their economic interests lie with Democrats, we need to offer them something real: local clinics, free healthcare, tax rebates, something. Right now, I don't think these voters believe that Democrats are actually promising anything that would make a genuine difference in their lives.
Translation: "these people are voting Republican because we don't bribe them enough".
Well...in one respect that's correct, they don't see Democrats as "responsive", which more often than not means nothing more than a request to be pandered to. Problem is, people like Drum don't realize that the pandering includes
those "cultural issues" they run the other way on: slapping at gays, for example, for the purpose of winning elections, is no different than promising pork.
This is where "liberals" screw up that libertarian types truly "get it". Democrats can't convincingly give an arguement for less strict civil liberties policy by saying "it's none of the government's business" because on economics they scream at the top of their lungs "that IS the gov't's business, and anyone saying otherwise is a heartless puppy-kicking bastard". The two don't add up.
If we can step in, and fill in the blanks w/ that "libertarian values"
stance that I mentioned here before -- explaining how a neutral government does not mean anyone has to give up their values, and how cultural issues are better served at a devolved level where liberal folks in liberal towns can follow their liberal norms & conservatives in conservative towns can follow their conservative norms with no problem -- that
will be the moment that marks our rebirth as a legit political force.
There's an opening here, we'd better get prepared to take it.