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Niccolò, How To Maintain Connecticut’s One Party State

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.


Anonymous said…
Perhaps the real problem is that the insiders in the Republican Party keep delivering RINO candidates like U.S. Representatives Nancy Johnson, Rob Simmons and Chris Shays. Try running a real conservative to see whether the problem is actually the Tea Party, or the institutional insiders, who are virtually indistinguishable from the Democrats. If you truly bemoan a one-party State, ask the Republicans to start acting like Republicans rather than Democrat-Lite.
Don Pesci said…
I’m hoping the reader will get this one. It’s a little tricky. These remarks are filtered through the brain of Machiavelli, the author of “The Prince.” Machiavelli tried to imagine a world in which there was no ethical dimension to politics. This is meant only to spur discussion. I’ve discussed Connecticut’s Tea Parties in Connecticut Commentary, usually in an approving way. For example:
peter brush said…
A bit of advice for Democrats in Connecticut: First of all, stop worrying.
Last of all, too, I should think.

That is certainly the case in our urban zones; not a chance that any but Democrats will represent the fair city of Hartford in my unborn grandchildren's life times. Machiavelli can dedicate himself to advancing the Dem takeover of Texas, at which point any possible Constitutional reawakening will be exterminated.
But, as a matter of cold political calculation I'm not certain that the Dems are well advised to favor the Tea Party. I see folks like Rand Paul and, my hero, Ted Cruz appealing to the children of Reagan Democrats who are not hot-to-trot on the leftist agenda, but haven't quite figured it out. New England Republicans remain incapable of pointing out the fundamental illegitimacy of, and tragedy of, our present arrangements. Someone(s) like Cruz could knock off Courtney or Blumenthal.
Don Pesci said…

“But, as a matter of cold political calculation I'm not certain that the Dems are well advised to favor the Tea Party…”

Did you mean to write “slander the Tea Party”? I don’t know that there are any Democratic incumbents who favor it. Tea Party slander seems to be hardwired into the 2014 Democratic Party campaign program, former President George Bush having been sufficiently flayed. Senator’s Blumenthal and Murphy already have unfurled their made-in-Washington anti-Tea Party rhetoric. If you don’t want to talk about realpolitic because you may find it difficult to run and win on the real issues of the day – the foundering economy, the Orwellian spy program, the president’s paint-by-the-numbers foreign policy – you’ll need a distraction, and the Tea Party will suit your purpose.

Not sure it’s a winning issue in this state. But then, the Tea Party appears to be slinging most of its stones at faux conservatives in the General Assembly, and that can’t hurt Democratic prospects.
peter brush said…
the Tea Party will suit your purpose
I didn't mean to suggest that the progressive left "favors" the constitutional right in the sense of agreement on the issues. I only suggest that they may mistake if they believe that an "extreme" right winger can't win, or at least stand as good a shot as, for example, the wrestling lady.
I believe there are a lot of Connecticut voters who agree with Ted Cruz on the appropriate use of military force; i.e., for our national interests as opposed to enforcement of "international law." Blumenthal could be beaten.

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