November 27, 2004

What Other People Think

Switzerblog wants to know why Democrats care what Republicans think. Especially when the Republicans so manifestly don't care what we think, and this is crucial, it doesn't hurt them politically at all.

It plays into the narrative of defeat when not even Democrats can be bothered to care about what we think and want as a party. This may be at the root of all the perceived weakness, this dithering about what the opposition thinks of us. Probably why the "permission slip" line worked so well, even though it was untrue. 'Everybody knows' that Democrats practically beg Republicans and the press for the right even to hold their own positions.

Unfortunately, 'everybody' is absolutely right about the miserable DLC style flacks and Lieberman clones running around. People talk a lot about why the bipartisan McCain is popular, but McCain doesn't go around apologizing for his own party, or offering up comment after comment along the lines of 'I can see why Republicans turn off urban voters.' Even when he criticizes other Republicans, it never sounds like he regrets being one. And it isn't that I can't stand conservative Democrats. Our new Senate leader is more conservative than Lieberman, but so far he at least sounds like someone who'll stand up for the party, and that's alright by me.

Frankly, if I saw Joe Lieberman* and Tom DeLay walking down the street together, they'd have long since walked on by before I figured out which one of them I most wanted to flip off.

So let me say this loud and clear: There is nothing wrong with the Democratic party's brand, its base, its platform, or its long history of coming to stand (sooner or later, though sometimes much later) for the side of progress and tolerance. What's wrong is the persistent inability of our most public spokespeople to be unabashedly proud of their party affiliation.

* To mangle Maher, I kid the Senator. It's just that he's the most obvious popular face of Democratic self-flagellation. I remember seeing him at the convention, so mobbed by the press that he could barely move, his aides having to rush him away. I told someone how hard it was to get in to ask him a question (I wasn't anywhere near close enough to the front of the gaggle) because he was so popular. And my friend said, "Popular?" I explained, and the response is, "Oh, you mean with the press."

Which about sums up the media phenomenon that is "Holy" Joe. The media treats him like he's the Democrats' poster child, but Kerry, Obama (an Obama button was definitely the 'it' schwag at the DNC), and Dean are far more representative of the spectrum of party faithful. Certainly, they're the people that everyone hoped would show up at their little gig, which made us bloggers doubly fortunate.

Posted by natasha at November 27, 2004 01:18 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

Re Leiberman and DeLay: You've got two hands. What's the problem?

Posted by: Frank at November 27, 2004 10:58 AM