Americaca: Why Republicans beat Democrats
Just read the most sensible analysis of why Republicans do so well in elections and Democrats don't. By Bill Bradley, of all people, the basketball player who was too smart to win a presidential nomination. He imagines the Republicans as a pyramid. 'Big individual donors and large foundations--the Scaife family and Olin foundations, for instance--form the base of the pyramid. They finance conservative research centers like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, entities that make up the second level of the pyramid. The ideas these organizations develop are then pushed up to the third level of the pyramid--the political level. There, strategists like Karl Rove or Ralph Reed or Ken Mehlman take these new ideas and, through polling, focus groups and careful attention to Democratic attacks, convert them into language that will appeal to the broadest electorate. That language is sometimes in the form of an assault on Democrats and at other times in the form of advocacy for a new policy position. The development process can take years. And then there's the fourth level of the pyramid: the partisan news media. Conservative commentators and networks spread these finely honed ideas. At the very top of the pyramid you'll find the president. Because the pyramid is stable, all you have to do is put a different top on it and it works fine.' The Democrats, he says, don't have a pyramid; every four years its presidential candidate has to build his own pyramid from the ground up, which only works if the candidate is extraordinarily charismatic, like Bill Clinton. Click for full piece here.