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Jennifer

So you hate political mush too? :-)

Nice post, but frustrating just the same becasue it points out the insanity of the party. I just re-read Al Gore's speech from Martin Luther King Day called Restoring the Rule of Law. It was music to my ears. Why couldn't he have been as forthright when running? Do the Republicans have a hidden pair of ball-snippers hiding in every corner? Apparently they haven't gotten to Murtha yet. Listening to Murtha is music to my ears or even Sen. Feingold who seems to be one of the few who speaks his mind and is thinking of running. Why do the rest keep pandering to the moderate right? What about those who aren't afraid to say we are on the left? What about all of us frustrated people who want them to scream that this is bs and that we need to change things? How can someone be afraid of saying more money to Iraq and no money to New Orleans is wrong? Why are they so afraid of saying George Bush broke the law and then lied about it? It'd be nice if we could just clean house. Get all of the sackless, feckless toads out of there and install some people who have a spine. How about taking any donations for election funds and putting them all in one hat and then equally divying them up between ALL candidates. Maybe that would allow for a stronger and better candidate and one who was not so afraid. Maybe that would allow them time to focus on their jobs and not be so worried about fundraising.

Alright, alright, I'm rambling. This just pisses me off.

David W.

Here's some fine anti-mush that comes to mind now, courtesy of historian Carlo D'Este's fine account of the battle of Anzio:

"Let me tell you something and don't ever forget it. You play games to win, not lose. And you fight wars to win! That's spelled W-I-N! And every good player in the game and every good commander in a war, and I mean really good player or good commander, every damn one of them has to have some sonofabitch in him. If he doesn't, he isn't a good player or commander. And he will never be a good commander. Polo games and wars aren't won by gentlemen. They're won by men who can be first class sonsofbitches when they have to be. It's as simple as that. No sonofabitch, no commander."

-- Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, talking to his son about leadership

Linkmeister

"Then when we win in the fall we can start acting like real Democrats again."

By which time they'll have forgotten how, if they haven't already (or if they ever really were).

Rana

What the hell is a "real Democrat" anyway? I've forgotten, if I ever knew.

Kevin Wolf

Good stuff, Lance. The Dems keep acting like losers then, come election time, they do lose.

Maximus

Vilsack is simply reprising a tired vaudeville routine known as “What’s Wrong With the Democrats?”

For some insane reason, no one seems to enjoy playing this game more than... Democrats. But of course, the media and the GOP (the other two heads of the Beltway Hydra) are happy to pile on any time Dems start a self-criticism session.

Note that Republicans almost never engage in public complaining/bellyaching/attacking about their own party. They have learned well Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

When will Democrats learn? The “Dems are (or are perceived as) weak on national security” meme thrives because Democrats help to perpetuate it with this kind of self-sabotage. Cut the on-air armchair quarterbacking. If there’s a problem with the party, work on fixing it, not kibbitzing about it.

And follow Howard Dean’s lead. These days, he is one of the only Dems who consistently refuses to play this game. Watch his media appearances — when interviewers throw him a cue for another round of “What’s Wrong With the Democrats?”, he invariably turns it around and starts doing “What’s Wrong With the Republicans?” instead.

Grand Moff Texan

OK, listen up, 'cause you're gonna wanna read this.

This is a Democrat talking:

“That’s low politics, punk!” a heavy-set man sneers as he marches toward the poll. Hackett wheels around. “Pardon me?” “You know, that radio ad that says, ‘You don’t know Schmidt.’” He’s talking about one of Hackett’s attack ads against Republican Jean Schmidt. The man spews a stream of epithets, and Hackett lets out a crybaby whimper: “Waaaaaaa!” “What’s that, punk?” the big man growls.

A TV crew is setting up nearby, but Hackett doesn’t seem to care. “What’s your fuckin’ problem?” the candidate snaps. “You got something to say to me? Bring it on!” Hackett, all 6 feet 2 inches of him, is nose to nose with the heckler. “Problem?” he taunts. The man turns around and storms away.

“These guys in the Republican Party adopted this tough-guy language,” Hackett tells me, still steamed, an hour later. “They’re bullies. They’re offended when somebody takes a swing back at them.”

This is the culture we live in. Not the black-sock wearing Yankee pansies of the beltway, I mean the real fucking world. And if you can't speak its language, shut up.
.

JR

You don't like the Crowley article but he's right when he says,

"Democrats might have been more receptive had Kerry not been so late to the game. If he were really so appalled by Alito, they say, he should have been working for weeks to rally opposition."

I think Kerry decided Alito was a done deal, and packed his skis for Davos with a shrug. (Don't tell me was going for the conference- all the attendees go skiing. You think they hold the thing in a resort at the height of ski season because they get cheap hotel rates?)

How was his attendance at Davos mrore important than keeping this fascist liar off the Court? He should have been home organizing the filibuster but he didn't care. It was when his phones started to ring off the hook and the email boxes got full- THEN he realized he'd missed the parade, and went running after it from half-way around the world, shouting, "Wait for me!! I'm the leader!!" It was a pathetic performance.

loser


It was an Ad Nags article in the NYTimes, not Time.

cherry flavored

I agree with most of what you say. I think the Dems have a couple of problems though that must be addressed. Famously, Bushco is all politics and no process/white papers to implement eg: homeland security and Kerry/Iran. Democrats do the heavy lifting and Bushco steals it. This is what the cons expected with Social Security reform but Dems didn't bite. There is no incetive for Dems to "propose alternatives."

Secondly, the Rethugs are always 10 steps ahead of the Dems. They have long range, medium range and short term plans. Consider this, Rethugs have to run against an unpopular president this year, they can't look like his yes men. Bushco submits an outlandish budget and the rethugs run from it. See they aren't his yes men. Its the same game they play with the budget deficit; they blow it up at the begining of the year and when it comes in under their outragous claim, they say they have cut the deficit.

Charles

I'm glad Howard Dean doesn't do the "what's wrong with Democrats" thing. But he has been known to do the process talk. Remember his statements during the campaign to the effect of "We need to start talking to the guys with the pickup trucks and the rebel flags"? I hope that's over.

Jim Pharo

Almost there.

The ill you're so ably decrying has but one cure: leadership. Our message needs no honing or re-framing. Our thought processes need no sharpening. What we need is the bracing tonic of a charismatic leader: forceful, decisive, confident, likable, Right now, we're entirely lacking it.

Mike Nilsen

It's the Meta-Politics of Cowardice

Dustin R. Ridgeway

Iowa isn't vital to our electoral prospects?

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