Framing One-Party Rule
.08 is continuing the discussion
on electability. At the end of the post, sco writes:
Most importantly, they have to make the case to the electorate that it is worth having a Democratic governor, despite the fact that it would throw the state into one-party rule.
There are two strategies for running for Governor as a Democrat in MA. The one we use all of the time is run as an outsider against the Legislature. I think, in part, this is the reason we keep losing. We have a legislature full of Democratic campaign winners, and the candidate gives them no reason to get involved.
The other way, the way Kerry beat Weld, is to run against the National Republican Party. Normally, this would not be a good gubernatorial strategy (something about politics and how they're local usually applies here), but I would argue that Romney's recent actions opens this up as viable strategy. By going to South Carolina and changing positions to placate the Republican's right-wing base, Romney has made it easy to frame him as an agent of Bush-Rove-Cheney-DeLay in our state.
Doing so has three advantages:
- It aligns the candidates with the legislature and gives them a reason to get involved.
- It's a way of changing the framing of one-party rule (MA vs. Federal, not Executive vs. Legislative). The stem-cell debate, single-payer health care, gay marriage, energy policy and more are easily plugged into this frame. Massachusetts could be a progressive haven in a radical-right-wing country, but not with Romney as governor.
In 2004, Montana went to one-party Democratic rule (both houses and Governor flipped from GOP to Dem rule) Look at what that can do (here and here):
Montana is at such high risk for a wildfire "blowup" this summer that Gov. Brian Schweitzer wants at least some of the 1,500 National Guard soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere to return home for the wildfire season.
The governor warned Friday the state is like a powder keg because of persistent drought, a shortage of mountain snow and forests full of dry timber.
- It unites the entire party -- progressives, moderates, even conservative Democrats will get on board with this. Also, the persuadable unenrolleds can be convinced to vote against the Bush Administration and not the legislature.
Along with this, we could get some anti-Bush Administration ballot questions to help activate this frame -- anti-Patriot-act, anti-war (bring back the National Guard), pro-Social Security, etc.