Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Empty Dems

Don’t miss David Ignatius in today’s Washington Post. Money graph:

So where are the Democrats amid this GOP disarray? Frankly, they are nowhere. They are failing utterly in the role of an opposition party, which is to provide a coherent alternative account of how the nation might solve its problems. Rather than lead a responsible examination of America’s strategy for Iraq, they have handed off the debate to a distraught mother who is grieving for her lost son. Rather than address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems, they have decided to play politics and let President Bush squirm on the hook of his unpopular plan to create private Social Security accounts.

Because they lack coherent plans for how to govern the country, the Democrats have become captive of the most shrill voices in the party, who seem motivated these days mainly by visceral dislike of George W. Bush. Sorry, folks, but loathing is not a strategy -- especially when much of the country finds the object of your loathing a likable guy.

Discussions - 8 Comments

The Dems are simply not a serious opposition party, and the trend line in this area seems to be getting worse for them, not better.

I happened to hear Howard Dean on one of the Sunday talk shows last week. He was asked about the 2006 elections. Instead of describing a Democratic agenda for governance, he began predicting that the GOP would ’scapegoat’ immigrants in 2006, much as (or so he claimed) the GOP had ’scapegoated’ gays in 2004. Behind Dean’s usual venomous tone, it sounded very much as if he was setting up an excuse for the next Democratic failure at the polls ("Don’t blame us for losing! Those nasty Republicans are ’scapegoating’ people again. Boo-hoo!"). Ugly, and also more than a little pathetic.

I could also mention the slavish, brain-dead, and self-destructive way the Senate Democrats have obstructed President Bush’s nominees for two election cycles running now, despite the hurt Bush has put on them with voters via the (well-warranted) obstructionism charge.

The Democrats are circling the toilet bowl of political irrelevance. Resentment and blind, rage-o-holic hatred of George Bush are not an agenda. If they’re not careful, the Dems may flush themselves completely.

PJC,



I think you’re jumping the gun a little too early. The Democrats are not going to "flush" themselves. They might change their leadership around. They might have to change their official position on a few polarizing issues. But they’ll never be gone for good. Keep in mind that President Bush didn’t win re-election in any sort of landside . . .



Sure, some Democrats have a "blind, rage-o-holic hatred of George Bush", but a lot of Republicans follow Bush with that same kind of ridiculous reasoning and passion you seem to see in so many from the Left.



Yeah. These are gonna be some hard times for the Democrats, but I think David Ignatius and you are really only looking at a very small (but unfortunately elite) part of the Democratic party. Give it ten years, and the Dems will be in much better shape . . . I hope. :(

True, Matt, they might pull out of it. But then again, parties have fallen apart and/or faded into irrelevance before. Remember the Whigs? But I probably do need to be wary of speaking too soon. I have no clue who the GOP will put up for the White House in ’08 (tho’ I’m pretty certain it won’t be McCain, Cheney, or Condi). Hillary Clinton will be very hard to stop in the race for the Dem nomination, and she is no fool. In fact, she’s a ray of light for the Dems right now, as she seems to have grasped the importance--in a party that seems to be having real trouble in this area--of being serious about matters of war, defense, and foreign policy and avoiding the self-destructive carnival of Bush-bashing.

The democrats are like a phoneix, they keep destroying themselves and coming back to life (though perhaps not as strong). They have been around since Jefferson. They took the wrong side in the Civil War, even in the North (copperheads), and then continued to oppress for the next 100 years. Any party that could do that and survive is a very tough party to kill off.

I do not think they will be going anywhere.

Matt,

It may not have been a "landside" but over 3.5 Million votes does it for me.

Sparks, I know the Republicans love to tout that "Party of Lincoln" BS, but it’s a bit specious to say "democrats took the wrong side in the Civil War." Modern-day Democrats have little in common with the racist, states’ rights party of the 1860s, just as modern-day Repubs are the same party Lincoln was a member of in name only.

I’m also curious as to whether or not those of you with right-leaning political views would actually be HAPPY if the Democratic Party went the way of the Whigs. Do you really think we’d all be better off if there was just ONE party, and the only national-level debates were disagreements like, "Should the homeless be wasted on plants and used as fertlizer, as my opponent insists, or should we follow my plan and use this valuable meat to feed our beloved pets?"

Oh, and "..." (how about you call yourself Cletus or something?) You say "3.5 million votes" like it’s out of 10 million total. It’s all relative, amigo, and 3.5 (that number is dubious, anyway) isn’t much out of about 120 million votes total. It was one of the closest Presidential elections in U.S. history, whether you want to grasp that fact or not.

The angry phil is back. Maybe you should look at this map or perhaps this one. And why exactly is the 3.5 million dubious. Oh what because Phil and the conspiracy theorists said so. The Dems got demolished in the house and senate (losing even their MAJORITY leader I might add). The dems also lost governorships and state legislator seats. It is no landside by any margin but I do have to say that a victory of over 3% points and 3.5 million votes is not weak EVEN WHEN PUT IN PERSPECTIVE of about 116 or 117 million votes. I don’t know if you will grasp the fact that your party is in the toilet and flushing down quick.

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