Fat Steve's Blatherings

Saturday, January 28, 2006

What's the Matter With the Democrats?

        Stephen Green asks that in these two posts.  Money quotes:
        In the space of 48 hours, the three top Democrats for 2008 proved themselves to have all the staying power of a nervous virgin on the set of a porn shoot.

        Look at me.  I'm pro-choice.  I support gay marriage.  I think porn is OK and that drugs (which aren't OK) ought to be legal.  My tastes in music and movies and entertainers are a lot more New York and LA than they are Nashville or Branson.

        But with the exceptions of maybe Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman, there's not a Democrat today I'd vote for without first chewing through my own forehead.

        Democrats: I'm your target voter!  Appeal to me!  I'm sick of the Republicans already!  Don't make me perform impossible physical acts!  Please!

        Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post (or here, if you aren't registered), Jim VandeHei writes:
        Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience.

        These activists — spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns — have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush's upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war.  In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts.

        One Dem strategist comments:
        "The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections," said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.  "The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left."

        Well, Kos is having none of that, fuck you very much:
        Mr. Elmendorf almost got it right.  The trick, in reality, is to stop appearing like our Democrats are held captive to sleazebag amoral lobbyists.

        Here's notice, any Democrat associated with Elmendorf will be outed.  The netroots can then decide for itself whether it wants to provide some of that energy and money to that candidate.

        There's nothing "extreme left" with demanding Democrats act like Democrats, no matter how much these out-of-touch and self-important beltway insiders think it is.

        We can leave it to history to decide if it's Elmendorf, Kos, or both who are "out-of-touch and self-important."  What I find interesting is Kos's automatic assumption that 'acting like a Democrat' equals 'sharing my political positions.'  It's not at all obvious to me that Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, or John F. Kennedy would have shared the Kos wing's ideas.  Nor is it obvious, to say the least, that a majority of the country shares Kos's views.  But the Kos wing is determined to bully the Democratic Party into going their way.

        And the fact is, the Kossites can do it.  Kerry called for a filibuster of Alito, in order to placate the Kos wing when he tries for the Donks' nomination in 2008.  Hillary immediately went alongFeinstien flip-flopped, following a threat to run against her in the primary by Cindy Sheehan!  When a Sheehan can threaten a Feinstein, you know that the process the Democrats use to pick their candidates is broken.

        If the Democrats are to recover, they need to weaken the influence of primary voters.  An "insider" dominated process will pick people who have a chance of winning the election.  Nothing else will help.

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Google's Motto: Don't Be Evil— UNLESS IT PAYS REALLY WELL!

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