After Election Defeat, Will Democrats Rebuild or Retreat?
Interview with Karen Dolan, of the Institute for Policy Studies conducted by Between The Lines' Scott Harris
In the aftermath of the Democrat's 2002 election defeat, many inside and outside the party are assessing the nation's political climate and considering new strategies for connecting with voters. By all accounts the Democrats, who lost control of the Senate and saw their membership decline in the House, were unfocused in confronting a popular president and had no unified message going into the Congressional election. Some conservative Democratic candidates who had supported Bush policies on tax cuts and war with Iraq, lost their seats -- underscoring criticism that a strategy of embracing the GOP agenda was a losing proposition.
Shortly after the election, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a member of the Progressive Caucus, was elected to become the Democrat's minority leader (replacing Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.) in the House -- the first woman to hold the leadership position of a major political party. But shortly after becoming minority leader, Pelosi voted for the Bush administration's proposal to establish a Department of Homeland Security loaded with perks for corporations, legislation she once opposed. This flip-flop concerned many progressive activists who are working to establish a more principled and resolute opposition to the Bush policy agenda.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Karen Dolan, co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge Project, who assesses the Democrats' dismal showing in the 2002 Congressional election and the future direction of the party.
Contact the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge Project by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their Web site at www.ips-dc.org/netprogress/index.htm
Related link: Institute for Policy Studies Web site, www.ips-dc.org
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