More on the Democratic Reagan
Kevin makes the point that Reagan "changed the terms of the debate". I think the point I wanted to make in my previous post was that a new ideological paradigm (the "bigger themes") is not the necessary requirement to "changing the debate". Of course it helps to have a "big idea" to work with, but we mustn't fall into the trap of thinking that politics is about ideas.
Politics is about selling ideas.
Reagan was not an intellectual heavyweight. But he had the force of personality needed to sell the Republican program to the muddled middle. For the Democrats to succeed, the "Democratic Reagan" would need to have a similar force of personality.
I think Dean has that personality and his message is Democracy itself.
Whether it will come together I don't know. But the material is there for greatness.