Eleven years ago, the Republicans took control of Congress - breaking a 40-year Democratic reign in the House - by campaigning as reformers out to derail a Democratic machine that Mr. Gingrich described as endemically, irredeemably corrupt. In fact, as the 1994 election approached, the Democrats endured several ethics scandals, including the fall of a speaker, a majority whip and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Now the Democrats are reaching for the reformers' mantle. More and more, they attack the Republicans as a party riddled with corruption and out of touch with the problems and concerns of ordinary Americans.
Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, telegraphed the assault in an interview on Wednesday. "Their party has run out of both legitimacy and intellectual steam," he said.
A year before the midterm elections, the polls show Congress with a strikingly low approval rating - 34 percent in the most recent New York Times/CBS News Poll, conducted from Sept. 9 to 13. One Republican strategist, who asked not to be identified because of his work with Republicans on Capitol Hill, said of the DeLay indictment: "When you pile it on top of everything else - Iraq, Katrina, gas prices - it's pretty grim. We're still waiting for some sign of good news, something our candidates can run on. This isn't it."
The strategist added: "The Democrats will make the case that Republicans are too busy dealing with their own ethical issues to care about the problems facing the country. And guess what? That charge worked pretty well for us in '92 and '94."
Find a message and stick with it, a message that incorporates the deep corruption, moral AND ethical, that exists within the GOP, but also presents real-life solutions that we can all build upon to create another Democratic dynasty.
The country gets it: Democrats are better for average Americans than Republicans are. They want to vote for us. All we've done is given them reasons not to.
When I played sports, I used to stuggle not to do better, but to find the zone of the game, that place where I could center and focus and do what my body wasa trained to do.
Find the zone, guys. We can do this. My suggestion? Make Bill Clinton more than just a guy the Pubbies trot out to demonstrate that they don't demonize Democrats. Force him to become that demon that the Republicans are absolutely terrified of. I know he can't run again, but he damned well sure as hell can remind people of how good his tenure was for all of us, and how damned good anybody he backs would have to be.
Yes, this may mean basically giving the '08 nomination to Hillary, but so what? Let he choose Edwards or Kerry or Obama as her running mate. Make the Vice Presidency what it was under Al Gore and damn the fact that her Veep might upstage her!
The time has come. Let's have this plan in place now.