Thursday, May 11, 2006

A slate divided...

There's a story in the Post about the "group" of local Republican candidates working together to promote their property tax portability proposal; they really don't want you to call them a "slate" or a "ticket," but for that matter, they don't even know what to call themselves.

So what should people call them?

"I don't know," [District 5 candidate Greg] Fox said. "Do you have a suggestion?"

I'm not writing this poke fun at them for not coming up with a good name for their cooperative efforts, though it is funny to see their collective squeamishness over their collectivity. Instead, I'm writing to chide the Democrats for not working together as effectively.

Tony McGuffin, chairman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee, said the proposal -- which he called a "half-baked idea" that is "just way too complex" -- was not likely to have much effect.

"Apparently what they're trying to accomplish is that they have teamwork and can rally around a single idea, and that shows their strength," McGuffin said. "To organize around a bad plan is not a good sign."

As I've said, I'm no fan of the plan, but that doesn't mean that their strategy is a bad one or is worthy of scorn from the Democrats. The plan may be irredeemably flawed, but it addresses an issue that is a concern for many voters and is right in the Republican wheelhouse -- namely, taxes.

Rather than focus their energy on discrediting the work of their opponents, I'd like to see the Democrats, or at least a good number of them, come out with something that will resonate with voters -- perhaps a better affordable housing policy, a smarter transportation program, a new approach to land preservation, or a better system for approving and controlling development. To be sure, addressing any of these in a substantive way would require a large, complicated proposal, but they are all important (and progressive) issues that have to be addressed anyway.

Why wait until next year when, for some, there might not be a next year?


Evan said...

There is that old saying: "I am not a member of an organized political party, I am a Democrat." I have been saying it would be nice if the Democratic candidates actually held conference calls at least once a week to coordinate their message for a long time. I doubt they will do this. The Democratic Party is a party of great ideas and competant government, but their campaign strategy leaves a lot to be desired. For anyone interested in knowing what is structurally wrong with the Democratic Party ability to campaign they should read "Crashing the Gate" by Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga. They are two of the biggest Democratic bloggers and Markos runs which is the biggest political blog in the world with over 500,000 daily readers. Though the non-Democratic activist may not like the first couple pages of their book, the rest does a better job describing the structural problems of the party than anything else I have seen.

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