I would just like to add one key point: While I don't know how many Democrats this sort of thing applies to, it applies the most to elite party leaders. They're the ones who are actually afraid of winning. Of course, "leader" is something that can be debated - are they really leaders, or did they just find themselves at the top? The answer matters because these so-called leaders, as Joan Vennochi points out, tend to have the leadership qualities of a gerbil or a rat.
Republicans think positive and go negative -- especially against Democrats.
Meanwhile, Democrats fret about electability. They should stop worrying about it, and make the real case for change that Bush is handing them, complete with footnotes and bibliography, from Iraq to Katrina, from Vice President Dick Cheney to Attorney General Gonzales. The GOP presidential candidates can't separate themselves from that sorry brief -- unless the Democrats let them.
And they just might.
Look at the difference in how each party's big shots go about their business.Vennochi, today, makes a great point. Wouldn't it have been nice if Shrum, instead of writing a book trying implicate John Kerry, Al Gore, John Edwards and every other campaign he worked on and subsequently lost, tried to implicate Karl Rove and the Republicans who used dirty tricks to hoodwink a country? After all, there's a lot to talk about: illegal phone calls in New Hampshire, Presidents who wouldn't condemn hate groups like the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," and so many others. Instead, we have a guy who cashed in and would say anything to
Bob Shrum leaves the consulting business to write a book about Democrats he advised on the presidential campaign trail; in the process, he discloses confidential information that makes his fellow Democrats look as craven as possible. Karl Rove is essentially chased from his White House policy berth. On the way out, he lobs bombs, not at Republicans, but at exactly whom you would expect him to go after: Clinton. Rove called her "fatally flawed," but Democrats beat him to it.
It's well past time for Americans to get over this question of "electability." Unless a candidate has a criminal past, it's almost impossible to decide which candidate in the primary can beat the other party's eventual - and unknown - nominee. Furthermore, we need to be the party that exudes confidence and says what we believe in. We need to return to being the party of the people, not worrying about what Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh will lob at us. We need to be the party that focuses on the rest of the American people. We need to be New Deal Democrats, not quasi-Republicans, running to the right and afraid of taking any position of strength and character. We need to be the party of vision and not the one who gives in to Mr. 26%.
The people will come to us if we show real leadership, knowing that we want to make America a better place for everyone. We can and we will win. Why? We believe something that goes against the Republican mantra: we are not a people who are all out for themselves. We're in this together and can create a country that is not only better for you and me, but better for everyone. Convince the American people of that and Republicans have no chance, regardless of who wins the nominations.