If I'm Tim Kaine, my next letter to Democrats would read something like this:
Dear Loyal Democrat,
Today, our adversaries in the Republican Party are at a historically low point in popularity and ideas. Their stubborn opposition to the agends put forth by President Obama and the Democratic Congress only reinforces their status as "the party of no."
While the GOP are down, they are certainly not out. Their resurgence could derail and destroy everything we Democrats have worked for over the past few years. The difficulties currently facing our nation are evidence enough that we simply cannot afford to have Republicans back in charge in Washington. This is why we must undertake a bold new political strategy to ensure that the Republican menace is minimized for the foreseeable future.
Looking back through American political history, one valuable lesson is that a divided party does not stand a chance against a united opposition. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt fractured the Republicans so deeply that the incumbent Republican president, William Howard Taft, actually finished in third place. In 1992, Ross Perot ensured that what would have been a close two-man race became a landslide victory for President Bill Clinton.
Under our electoral law, a candidate does not need an absolute majority of the votes to win. In our present two-party system, however, a majority is nearly always won by the victorious candidate. But what if there was a third choice?
Here's an example: take a congressional district where the Republicans hold a solid advantage, with the Democratic candidate routinely taking between 40-45% of the vote in a two-candidate race. As things are now, we would call that Democrat "gallant in defeat" or a "sacrificial lamb."
I submit that the best way to create a truly permanent Democratic majority is if there were two choices for our conservative opponents. We ought to do what we can to strengthen the Libertarian Party, to make it a viable alternative to the Republican Party, which has repeatedly broken its promises to the libertarians within it, both fiscally and socially.
Now let's go back to that hypothetical congressional district. If the Democratic vote remains at 40-45%, but with the remainder split between a Republican who takes 30-35% and a Libertarian who polls 20-25%, that Democratic "sacrificial lamb" or "gallant loser" would have a new title: Member of Congress.
It is my belief that the ascension of the socially conservative wing within the Republican Party, coupled with the GOP's complete abandonment of fiscal conservatism over the last 25 years, gives libertarians no reason to continue to vote Republican, and thus, presents the best chance for such a strategy to be successful.
Governor of Virginia
Chairman, Democratic National Committee