Democrats should take hard look at why they missed the vote in 2004

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Posted: Monday, November 08, 2004

Tuesday's county-by-county vote across the nation shows a sea of red Republican victories from coast to coast, with only occasional sprinkles of Democratic blue here and there.

The map is remarkably similar to 2000's. The big difference: No excuses in 2004.

In 2000, there was Florida and the butterfly ballots and the hanging chads and the court intervention. There was also a less-than-stellar candidate in Al Gore. There were a lot of handy excuses for the Democrats' loss.

This year, there are no excuses. Sen. John Kerry was a more-than-adequate campaigner. There was no "election stealing." No excuses.

Fact is, the national media, big-name entertainers, the United Nations, Europe and other powerful interests did their best to help John Kerry and hurt George W. Bush. Yet, America particularly the South and the heartland again turned away the liberal Democratic agenda. Voters in South Dakota even sliced into their own self-interest by defeating powerful Minority Leader Sen. Tom Daschle.

At some point, you have to wonder if it's you. With no more excuses, Democrats need to come to grips with the fact that they've been on the wrong side on both defense and domestic issues particularly moral values, which utterly shocked the liberal news media by being No. 1 on many voters' priority lists.

"We Democrats better think long and hard about what happened ... and how our party is going to connect with the hopes and aspirations of the people," said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. "We have lost the ability to connect with people's value systems, and we're going to have to work to get that back."

This isn't about cosmetics or strategy. This is a fundamental problem. It's about what the Democratic Party believes.

It's clear America increasingly does not believe the same things.

Augusta Chronicle - Nov. 7

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