DeLay. Frist. The purchase of Armstrong Williams, now ruled illegal.. Bush’s response to Katrina. Hell, Bush’s response to just about everything. Bill Bennett’s public implosion (oh, and Matt? C’mon. He’s your enemy. Throw him an anvil). It’s a bad week to be a Republican.
And unless the Democrats step it up, and I mean right the hell now, I agree with John whose post I cited below. It’s not gonna make a damn bit of difference what happens to them.
And here’s why.
The danger sign in America is not a hot national debate over the war in Iraq and its course, but precisely the absence of such a debate – which, as former Senator Gary Hart has pointed out, is largely due to a lack of courage on the part of the Democrats. Far from ensuring a united nation, what such a lack of debate and absence of alternatives makes probable is a bitter fracturing of the American body politic once the loss of the war becomes evident to the public. The public will feel itself betrayed, not merely by one political party, but by the whole political system.
It doesn’t matter how bad things are for them if you’re not out there in a very public fashion making it clear that you are the alternative. What’s the line? If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem? Americans see us standing there, not stopping the ten-a-penny fascisti running roughshod over this country, and they see us as part of the problem.
And we keep waiting for an individual leader to come along, somebody like the Big Dog, who can make people happy to be with him. The trouble is, we have to make people happy to be with US, with the party, with the people who believe in equal protection under the law, who believe in strong communities and security for our families and care for our troops. Oliver, who I cited below, is very right on Democratic branding. We need that party label to carry some weight for all who choose to slap it on.
I had a boss for a while, used to tell me I relied too much on my readers to take a leap of logic with me, to go from one point to another just because I went there. If you want them to go somewhere, he’d say, you can’t just stand there and wait for them to notice the road’s going that way. You have to take them by the hand and lead them, and when that doesn’t work you have to give them a good hard shove in the right direction. Since 2001, the party’s been, mostly, waiting for people to form their own conclusion that the road leads to us. You tell me. Has it worked yet?
Unless we take them by the hand, unless we pull them over to the road we’re on, unless we give them a good hard shove, they’re just going to stand there. They’ve left the Republicans, Americans have. But they’re still standing in the middle of the field, not sure there’s a safe way home for anybody anymore.