Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Democrats' Disease

I can't help my brain going round and round, like a squirrel on a wheel, trying to understand the deeper meaning of the Democratic party's overall strategy of trying to look like neutered wingnuts, even though it's a pointless exercize. But within this context Ari Berman's piece in the Nation is interesting. For example:

On the advice of top party consultants, the Democrats in the run-up to the 2006 midterm vote are either ignoring Iraq and shifting to domestic issues (the strategy in the 2002 midterm elections) or supporting the war while criticizing Bush's handling of it (the strategy in the 2004 presidential election). Three years into the conflict most Democrats can finally offer a cogent critique of how the Bush Administration misled the American people and mismanaged the Iraqi occupation, but they're unwilling or unable to suggest clearly how the United States should extricate itself from that mess.

To be sure, some highly visible leaders of the party, including Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, have publicly advocated an end to the war. "We do need to make it clear to the American people that after this savaging we've taken at the hands of [Karl] Rove, we are going to stand up for the country and that we have a better plan," Dean told The Nation. "We're not going to make a permanent commitment to a failed strategy, which is what Bush has actually done." But even Dean and Pelosi have done little within party channels to push for a change in position among their prowar colleagues. For now, many prominent Democrats continue to follow the advice of the party's risk-averse consultants and foreign policy intelligentsia--a cautious tack that is unlikely to satisfy voters' desire for change on the crucial issue of the day.

Bolds are mine. So it could be that the Democrats are out of touch, or it could be that I am out of touch. I'd like to think the latter, because we really need a new administration if we want to save this world, but I don't really think that I'm as clueless as all that. Sure, the majority of Americans don't follow politics very much and sure, we have a fairly large wingnut minority, and sure, it's even true that people on the liberal and lefty blogs are not a cross-section of the country. But facts are facts. Iraq is going down the drain and Americans don't want the troops to be there any longer. And I don't believe that the majority of Americans want to hand this country completely to corporations. The majority doesn't want a banana republic with a polluted environment or a Taliban type theocracy. The majority doesn't want a bloated government which still can't cope with the aftermaths of a hurricane, which keeps sucking up all the money and keeps telling us that it must go to refunding of estate taxes or back to the pockets of the superrich and that we have no money left to cover retirement or health care or the education of our children. And the majority is not happy with the total incompetence of this administration.

Which parts of this are the Democrats going to use when they run later this year? Any of it at all? Help me out here.