TPM Nails It.

When it comes to strategy and tactics, the current Democratic party is like a drunk in the early stages of recovery or a man or woman who keeps ending up in the same bad relationship again and again with different people. For folks like that, strong medicine is required. Indeed, they usually require steps, correctives, lists of dos-and-don’ts more drastic than anybody would ever need who didn’t have a problem.

Exactly. Go read.

I think that was powerfully, if not eloquently captured by the Bush campaign’s “flip-flopper” label. It could have applied to almost any of the Dem candidates (except Dean.)

I think people realize that the Republicans are going to be friendlier to corporations than they’d prefer, more militant than they’d prefer, but they know that. People think Democrats are going to raise taxes (rightly or wrongly), overregulate small business more than they’d like, and be less militant than they’d maybe like.

Taxes need to be raised from time to time. If you’re trying to sell something and you’re arguing over the tax part of it, you’ve lost. Argue the substance. For example, think we’d have much getting to votes for a tax for national defense if it somehow had to be separately authorized?

After the extremes of the Bush years, Democrats would be well advised to settle on a them and stick to it. Explain everything that way. I’d say “common sense answers, not radical ones” would be a good theme (if not a bumper sticker motto).

Sometimes, we’ll raise taxes; sometimes we’ll lower them. Sometimes we’ll bomb; sometimes we won’t. Whatever’s best for America.