Shouting into the Storm Rantings, ramblings, observations and musings from the insipid to the sublime

Forgetting the Rule

Sunday, December 19, 2004 :::
I've been thinking for awhile just what the hell is wrong with the Democrats. I don't mean just the national party. Those have been well documented in other publications that people actually read. No, I am thinking more about the general foot soldiers. Democrats and those that fall under the umbrella of Democratic groups(they used to be called Liberals until Liberal became a bad, naughty word utter in contempt by the likes of Ann Coulter). Even though I'm not paid a red cent to be a political consultant, here's what I've come up with. The Left has, for the most part, forgotten the golden rule of politics. Tip O'Neal gave it to us back in the day - All Politics is Local.

Almost every single left-leaning website and interest group out there focus on the federal government. The focus is on giant big issues. Can't let a day go by without an article showing one abuse of the Bush administration or another. They love to hunt down and find obscure things the GOP and The Right are doing that will stoke their readership's fury. Is much the same way. They raise money to run adds that reinforce the echo chamber of the already converted. Al Franken? Same thing. He is trying to mimic Rush and Sean Hannity, but all he is really doing is repeating the same leftist drivel about Bush.

What does the Right do? They tie all of their left bashing to small, local items that affect people in a quick and direct way. The current topic is the de-Christ-ification of Xmas. Instead of pointing at the real culprit - our consumer culture - they are going after the Jews, the secularists and of course, the Liberals.

So, what should the Dems and The Left being doing? Here's an example of how I would like to see things happen. In Northern Virginia, there is a tremendous boom is housing development in the collar areas. Places like Leesburg, Virginia. The Washington Post did a piece earlier in 2004 about how smart growth proponents were being voted out of office. The local GOP candidates had one message - it is not the town government's place to tell us where we can build or not build. If they wanted to move out there, buy affordable land, and build McMasions, then by God, it was there right as Americans to do so. And move and build they did. And in the course of that, they took over the local government, removing zoning restrictions and the like. Heck, in Front Royal, Va. They elected home school parents to the school board. Three guesses where they then voted to send public education funds?

Well, here's the flip side. Last weekend the Post ran an article about hunters in these towns. Or more specifically, how these hunters didn't have many places to still hunt. Why? Because of all the new development. One hunter even said, "It's hard to feel like you're in the woods when you can hear a man say good bye to his wife as he goes to work."

What should have happened? The local Democratic party should have been all over this, using it as a way to contrast their policies and vision for the area to the GOP. Did this happen? Not that I can see, although I do not read the local papers in Leesburg.

What would I have done? Used this as an example to show the smarts of using a smart growth and mixed use development. Show how new development not only taxes the town coffers, but dramatically alters the texture of the local community. And for the love of god, have a plan ready. Otherwise you are just complaining, and nobody wins doing that.

::: posted by Chris at 9:28 PM

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