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Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Thought I'd pass along these two interesting posts over at Cotton Mouth.

One looks at the (possible) contenders for the new Mississippi Democratic State Party Chair (and it looks as though Jamie Franks is the strongest contender in that race). If I'm remembering correctly, the vote will be this weekend at the state convention in Jackson. I'm not sure whether every state delegate will vote, or as John suggests in the comments of that thread that it is only executive committee members. And if that is the case, I'm wondering whether it's limited to the state executive committees members, our those of individual county executive committees. Any TP readers happen to have insight into that?

The second post is a pretty interesting recap of the Stennis-Capitol Press Luncheon the other day in Jackson. The featured speaker was Brad Chism of ZATA 3, "a direct voter contact company committed to helping Democrats win elections" that worked some ground game for the Childers campaign in the MS-01 special as well as on Don Cazayoux's winning campaign for the LA-06 seat. Jeff Walters at CM took some good notes and shares them in the post. Go check the whole thing out yourselves, but there are five points in particular that I firmly agree with, and am glad to see being discussed:
  • The name of the game now is bottom up politics (see Obama), especially in the fundraising arena. Online fundraising has done more to level the playing field than McCain-Feingold.

  • In the tech world he made mention of the power of YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and the blogosphere. He pointed out that people might not read a transcript you forward them, but they will more than likely watch a one minute YouTube video, and then forward it to their friends.

  • The progressive blogosphere is the political counterweight, albeit a decade later, to the right wing talk radio echo chamber.

  • The Democrats have benefited by moving away from the social wedge issues and running on kitchen table issues.

  • We have seen the high-water mark of wedge issue politics that have allowed shoddy Republican candidates to win elections hollow on political answers but instead on guns, gays, and abortion.
Yes, we have indeed seen the high water mark of the social wedge issue strategy, and the GOP's one-trick play book has been thoroughly played out. While that sort of strategy may work when times are relatively good and folks are paying less attention to the issues of true import to America, when things go bad (because of the success of those who ran on that strategy, it should be noted), those issues move much further down the list of concerns for the public.

Most importantly, it's crucial that from here on out - even in the most conservative areas of the country - Democrats refuse to take the bait on those wedge issues, cease to fear the smears of the GOP, and stick to the hardcore populism that will not only win us elections, but also finally allow us to address the issues which are of the greatest concerns to Mississippians and everyone else in this country.

As to the recognition of the strength of a bottom-up strategy for building this party: Hallelujah. That strategy needs to be played out in every district in every county in every state. Obama's campaign has been brilliant in this regard. And while this is crucial in fund-raising, as Jeff notes, it's equally important in fundamental party building.

Anyway. Just wanted to share.

*Oh yeah, the boys at Cotton Mouth are also taking recommendations for a state blogroll for the site. And while the Thorn Papers has historically focused more on national issues rather than solely Mississippi ones, this is a Mississippi blog. Just sayin', is all.

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