The Readers Digest Guide to fixing the SDDP

I had originally intended to include some of this with the post on the party platforms, but then I deleted it. Telling someone else how to fix their house is a bit presumptuous. If someone else looked at me, they'd tell me I was overweight, I was starting to lose my hair, and I should be good and play better with others. And I'd probably intimate a carnal relationship with their mother, and it would go downhill from there.

But, it was Aristotle who said "The unexamined life is not worth living." So, ok. I'm examining myself. I carry extra weight. I have lost far less hair than any of my younger male siblings, but yes, I'm starting to thin. And sometimes I speak my mind a little too freely, and people might think I'm an jerk.

OK, that being said, since it's inception, I've read the Revitalizing the Democratic Party Website with interest. Yes, posting is really, really spotty, but your own self-examination and introspection it's a good read on energizng a base for action. Yes, Republicans like me read it to see what we might expect coming down at us in the coming months.

What am I reading? It seems like some of the Democrat faithful base is saying, we're in dire straits. Then I read in the past few days how you're getting money from the National Democratic Party, and talking about how you need people for your office. Clearly, you are in a rebuilding cycle.

My advice? If you want to rebuild yourselves, it happens from the bottom up, not the top down. We've known that for years. And our ability to field candidates in nearly every race is a sign of that strength.

And to me, that's your problem. We're winning by attrition. Yeah, you got Stephanie on us. But we got John Thune and Dusty Johnson on you. We lost one, but we took 2. You're certainly not gaining any ground in the state offices or the legislature. And why are we taking you two for one? We have the numbers coming up through the ranks. In 2006, it will continue to be pretty hard for you to field 7 or 8 constitutional candidates this next time out simply because your talent pool keeps shrinking. And ours keeps growing.

Your lack of candidates at the legislative level is killing you.

If you filled every last seat, guess what? You are going to pick seats up, and some you didn't expect. The dice sometimes roll in a funny way, and candidates who are total losers can capture the hearts of the public. Our people might drop out or drop dead unexpectedly. It happens. God forbid, on occasion our guys run crappy campaigns and get beat. Every seat you leave open is a seat guaranteed to be ours.

It's just a suggestion offered to cure you of some of your woes. It's not going to be instantaneous, either. You probably have two or three elections before you start to see real progress.

Yes, you can all tell me I'm full of it, and I probably am. But as an outsider, this is what I see. If I'm wrong, tell me what assumption is incorrect, and why. It's the wonderful interactive nature of Blog comments.

One of these days, I'll have to do a post like this for my own party. Hanging on to power is a completely different animal than climbing your way back up. And, I'll be as full of it as I am now.


Erin said…
It's the brain drain, smarty. At least in East River. I have watched many of my high school and college friends who gravitated toward progressive politics leave the state. Then I borrowed the voter registration data from a certain county known as a Democratic stronghold and studied the demographic shift. There are a lot of old Republicans and very few young Democrats. The younger ones who come back tend to be Republicans. The young progressives who are around move toward the Green Party. The state is going scarlet with a vengeance. Frankly, the SDDP does not really have a population base to work on. The people who are progressive activists, or at least vote that way, are already in blue states, and if my friends and classmates are an indication, they have no interest in South Dakota politics or much of anything else. They have left the state behind them. Outmigration is one thing. Utter rejection is another. And that is the factor in the equation that confronts the SDDP.

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