Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oh, those tremblin' Dems

We interrupt all the reports about a GOP meltdown in the 2006 elections to bring you this reality check about the loyal opposition:

Here we are on the cusp of June, and still we find that the Democrats (a) still haven't agreed on what they stand for, (b) still haven't decided whether to highlight those issues where they do agree on what they stand for, and (c) still haven't decided, if they do choose option B, whether they should act now, or in September, or maybe they're waiting for the end of the World Series.

As reported here today, the ongoing internal debate continues. One camp still thinks that everybody should shut up and wait for the Republicans to implode, so that the Democrats can essentially win by default. But another camp still thinks that it might be a smart idea for the party to tell the voters what it stands for, so that people can make an affirmative choice, and so that the Republicans won't be free to simply paint the Dems as the party of tax hikes, "cut and run," and impeachment (which the GOP is already trying to do, as evidenced by the emails I receive from party headquarters).

Here's the most revealing quote, from an anonymous Democratic aide who hails from the shut-up camp: "If you start to [discuss] big government programs … you open yourself up to criticism in all directions, and there's no reason for Democrats to do that now."

You open yourself up to criticism...There's the Democratic syndrome in a nutshell: a fear of taking hits, a lack of confidence in their ability to advocate and persuade.

Just asking: When was the last time Republican strategists voiced any concern that standing up for what they believed would expose them to criticism?