'Democrats Face Problems So Basic and Vexing'

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Arkansas News Bureau Columnist John Brummett says "Democrats face problems so basic and vexing as to seem almost insurmountable.

If they stay to the left to play to their crowded grandstands on the coasts, they perpetuate their alienation in middle America and with it their minority status. If they move to the center, they risk smothering the vital fund-raising passions on the coasts.

Remember that the Republican Party was the embedded minority party in Congress when people like Gerald Ford and Bob Michel led it along a moderate and obliging path. Only after Newt Gingrich brought in flame-throwing did Republicans make their move.

Mr. Brummett argues that, "centrist Democrats got beat across the South because centrism is seen as veiled liberalism or liberal-lite, as mealymouthed imitations of honest-to-goodness conservatives. Democrats, at least the sane ones, always will be to the left of people like Oklahoma's Tom Coburn, unless they're willing to say we need the death penalty for abortion doctors," he added, asking: "What, then, to do?" His answer is here.

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