Some of what the Democrats must do amounts to little more than accommodating bias. It’s clear that a purely Northern-state presidential-election strategy won’t work; too few states are in play that way, into which Republicans can concentrate their resources. But the Deep South, and the more winnable Upper South and Midwest won’t vote for a Northern progressive. That means the Democrats have to look elsewhere for a plausible nominee — beginning with their Southern governors and then radiating outward into heartland states.
Victories usually contain the seeds of subsequent defeats, and the early signs of Bush’s second-term agenda point to a domestic agenda far to the right of anything the American public would support. In 1964, Republicans in the wake of the Goldwater defeat were in far worse shape than the Democrats today: Lyndon Johnson had won 61 percent of the popular vote, not the 51 percent Bush pulled down this month. Democrats had 60 more seats in the House and 25 more in the Senate than the Republicans have today. But with the wind in their sails, the Democrats enacted anti-poverty legislation that much of the nation rebelled against. Johnson presided over the quagmire of Vietnam. And within four years, Richard Nixon wrested control of the White House from the Democrats.
Now, the military quagmire and the factional domestic agenda are the Republicans’. In its war on social responsibility, the GOP has become the party of risk, which it re-packages as "opportunity." The Democrats can return to power as the party of security, but that means becoming a beacon of global liberalism in the face of both radical Islam and radical (and culturally amoral) global capitalism. That means playing offense while also playing defense against Bush, both squads on the field at the same time. The world is changing for the worse, and this guy wants to abet it. Welcome to the next four years.