November 23, 2004

Urban Archipelagos

Some Democrats are advising a retreat to an urban only strategy. This is breathtakingly stupid for several reasons. The first is that the Republican party has an urban policy to go along with its policy for suburbs, exurbs, and rural areas. You might or might not agree with it but Republicans have something to say about improving the lives of all of the people.

If Democrats cede that ground and become an "I don't care" party once you leave the urban core, they will not only get trounced in non-urban areas but will also come under pressure in some of their urban strongholds. An awful lot of people in urban areas want to move to the suburbs. An even greater number of them have parts of their families in suburbia, other parts in the urban core. Saying my party doesn't care what happens to your relatives is a good way to lose those voters.

Other problems are that urban areas are going through their own adjustments and it's not that friendly to Democrats. When did the last mayor leave NYC's Gracie Mansion? It was David Dinkins in 1993. NYC has had a decade of Republican rule. From what I understand, Republican registration has more than doubled during that time to the 20% range. How brain dead do you have to get to lose mayoral elections when you have 80% of the vote registered for your party?

Even as a liberal wet dream, the archipelago strategy of retreat and regroup in urban centers doesn't pass the laugh test. Unfortunately, I think it's likely to gain some adherents on the left.

Posted by TMLutas at November 23, 2004 02:38 PM