September 04, 2003
Media Catch On

The media are finally acknowledging, grudgingly, something that conservatives have been stating for quite some time: The Democratic Party is the party of big-money special interests.

Buried underneath some flattering coverage of Howard Dean's campaign, the last few paragraphs of ths CNN story quietly note which party has a network of smaller donors.

One of Dean's biggest successes has been raising money. When the next reporting period ends on September 30, he is expected to pass former President Bill Clinton's Democratic record of $10.3 million raised in a single three-month stretch.

Much of that money has come through small donations, a huge switch for a Democratic Party that has relied on now illegal soft money donations to help level the playing field with Republicans.

"Historically, our party has raised an enormous amount of money from a few people," Strother said. "Dean is building a base of small donors, which is what Republicans have done for years and we've never done."

Interesting how Democratic Party consultants are only now acknowledging that their party is the party of big money, now that McCain/Feingold has turned off the spigot of soft money contributions. Prior to that, the GOP was "the party of the rich special interests". They are still using that phrase, but if enough people see what their consultants are saying, perhaps the truth WILL come out.

In the same piece, the article notes how identity politics may prove to be Dean's undoing:

Dean's rivals have begun to copy elements of his campaign, beefing up Internet operations and stepping up attacks on Bush. But some party leaders say Dean has not shown he can reach the black, Hispanic and labor constituencies that form the party's backbone, and they question his staying power.

"I just don't see him building support in minority communities," said one activist, adding: "He has peaked."

Translation: In order to win a Democratic primary, you need to pander to a variety of ethnic pressure groups. The GOP has a similar problem (religious conservatives) but they are both less powerful and more flexible than their analogues on the left. Remember, the Christian Coalition publicly supported the Contract With America, despite the fact that the contract had almost nothing to do with their mission. They supported it because it was a popular initiative that resonated with the voters, not because it advanced their ideology.

posted on September 04, 2003 05:33 AM


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