"The swing voters, who are key to the fate of the Democratic Party, care most about three things: reigniting the economy, reducing the deficit and creating jobs. These voters are outraged by the seeming indifference of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, who they believe wasted a year on health-care reform. These voters will not tolerate more diversion from their pressing economic concerns. They view the Obama administration as working systematically to protect the interests of public-sector employees and organized labor -- by offering specific benefits such as pension protection and tax reductions at the expense of all taxpayers."
"Winning over swing voters will require a bold, new focus from the president and his party. They must adopt an agenda aimed at reducing the debt, with an emphasis on tax cuts, while implementing carefully crafted initiatives to stimulate and encourage job creation. This is the agenda that largely motivated the Clinton administration from 1995 through 2000 and that led to a balanced budget and welfare reform. It promoted a modest degree of social welfare spending. This agenda is enormously popular with the electorate and could eventually turn around Democratic fortunes. Democrats can avoid the electoral bloodbath we predicted before passage of the health-care bill, but in one way: through a bold commitment to fiscal discipline and targeted fiscal stimulus of the private sector and entrepreneurship."
Schoen and Caddell make some great points, but I think that trying to give advice to the tone deaf is always going to be a futile endeavor. "Fiscal discipline"? Sorry, but I'll believe that when I see it -- frankly, from either party.