Watching the Democrats stumbling around in search of a "message" is the only thing more agonizing than watching the Republicans destroy this country. Five years of Republican-controlled government have brought us an unwinnable war, a global reputation in tatters, incomprehensibly irresponsible fiscal policies, shameful neglect of our neediest citizens and a government incapable of coping with either natural disaster or terrorist threats.The above is from Rosa Brooks' commentary, They can't even win a war of words, in the LA Times this morning and pretty well sums up my feelings about both the Democratic and Republican party. Brooks continues:
Yet somehow the Democratic Party still can't do any better than "America can do better."
"You can do better" is what you say to a dim child whose grades were even worse than expected. Is this really the Democrats' message to the nation: that we don't need to be quite as pathetic as we now are, though excellence is certainly beyond our reach?This line says it all " Part of the problem is ambition and cowardice, which together make a lethal combination." This describes both the Democrats and Republicans in Washington and it is proving to be lethal for the United States of America. If the Democrats retake the House or the Senate in November it will not be because they have offered an alternative policy but because the Republicans have self destructed. So that leads us to this question; what will they do with their new found power? Judging from what we've seen so far, not much. They will be cowardly jocking for position in 2008 without a message or at least without a message progressives can be proud of. The conventional wisdom seems to be that John McCain will be the Republican nominee in 2008. Not because they like him but because they need his clean image. Attention Democrats! John McCain will beat Hillary or anyone else you put up that doesn't have a message, a real message that offer a real alternative. That won't be anyone who listens to the DLC.
This slogan speaks not of hope but of hopelessness, of scaled-down ambitions, of dreams deferred and dreams denied.
It's the smallness of it that kills me. This nation began with a dream — a crazy, risky, breathtaking dream of freedom, justice and equality. Sure, we've never truly achieved that dream, but for much of the last century, it's been the Democratic Party that has helped keep that dream alive. So how can it be that, today, Democrats don't seem to stand for anything at all?
Part of the problem is ambition and cowardice, which together make a lethal combination. Too many would-be Democratic leaders think that "playing it safe" is the way to go. They're fine with criticizing the administration, but the minute they take any flak themselves, they go scurrying back into their holes. In place of a willingness to take risks and speak from the heart, they offer a craven and misguided dependence on polls, focus groups and "expert strategists."
Over at Running Scared layne has a related post.