But there are good losses too, and this is the concept that many refuse to accept. You can lose in a way that makes people sympathize with the principle you fought for. You can lose in a way that sets the stage to make a compelling case later. �If you send a clear message to the American people that “we oppose Roberts because X will happen if he is confirmed,” and then X does happen, now you have your campaign issue for 2008, 2012, and beyond. “Elect Democrats so we can roll back X and make sure it never happens again.”
Right now, we haven’t agreed on what X is. It might be Roe v. Wade, it might be destruction of environmental laws and other protections, it might be a lot of things. I will guarantee you this: if the Dems don’t settle on a unified message, if it ends up being the same old shotgun approach that “Roberts will outlaw abortion, birth control, favor corporations over people, destroy the environment, reverse the civil rights movement, etc.” it’s not going to get us anywhere. We need a straightforward argument that people can understand, and we can use in future elections, not a boundless rant that says Roberts is the spawn of Satan who will destroy everything good about America. Fortunately, we have over a month before the confirmation hearings, time we can use to get the message straight.
However, the President has sent up a nominee that makes it clear he does not want to have to defend such views all summer long. He’s weak, and the country needs to be reminded that this pick represents that.
Emphasis mine, in both cases.
Look, nobody’s giving up. But we have to find a quick, easy way to get across to the attention-span-challenged Bubbas and Bubbettes of the world just what it is we find so objectionable about the present leadership of our country, a self-reinforcing description that at every turn reminds them of the same theme.
I’ve been shouting myself hoarse about this for months: Learn from the Republicans. Kerry. Flip flopper. Dean. Crazy. It’s flash card politics and unless we want to keep losing we need to start making our cards twice as big and twice as bright.
Bush. Weak president. Weakened by every attack in democratized Iraq, by every tiny leak in the Rove case, by every nominee that doesn’t get through, by every potential nominee who didn’t get in because he was too weak to make the case. Weak. Weak. Weak. Keep saying it until they can’t think of anything else when we show them his face on a 3×5.