Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions -- Niccolò Machiavelli
A bit of advice for Democrats in Connecticut: First of all, stop worrying. You outnumber opposition Republicans by a margin of two to one, and there is no viable third party on the horizon, just a few Tea Party groups vowing to end the public careers of middle-of-the-road Republicans.
These insurgents are your secret weapon, for any number of good reasons. Republican moderates in New England have been very successful in bumping themselves off. In Connecticut, the entire U.S. Congressional delegation is composed of progressive – read, far left – Democrats. Within the last couple of decades, no fewer than three moderate Republicans – U.S. Representatives Nancy Johnson, Rob Simmons and Chris Shays – had been soundly skinned by Democratic progressive wolves decked out in moderate Democrat camouflage. What used to be called “the vital center” in Connecticut politics has shifted very far to the left. Because the new orientation is so obviously left of center, Democrats have chosen to convince the general public that they are never-the-less moderate by labeling the Republican opposition as extremists; this is little more than a rhetorical devise, but a useful and effective one. If you label the opposition effectively, you don’t have to argue with it.
The ruling one party Democratic state should not spurn help from Tea Party insurgents. Among Democratic progressives, the most effective strategy for winning office should be: Use the principled opposition to dethrone the moderate remnant in the Republican Party.
So long as the Tea Parties – there are more than one in Connecticut -- are sniping moderate Republicans, progressive Democrats need not fear their assaults. And, of course, everyone knows that the effectiveness of a vigorous opposition is measured in the ballot booth. Any movement, to be feared or loved, must successfully elect politicians to office. In Connecticut, the Tea Parties, even among their supporters, are negative forces for our good. Their idea is to purge the Republican Party of its moderate or pragmatic or unprincipled elements and so refashion the party. Your effort should be to assist them in their efforts – until the opposition party has been reduced to an ineffective political nub that can be neither loved nor feared.
Take stock of your assets and utilize them to the full, the most important of which is a media that needs a GPS system to distinguish the right from the left from the absent middle.