About a year ago today well, exactly a year ago today, now that I think about it I raked the Democratic Party over the coals, taking care to produce the maximum quantity of greenhouse gases in so doing, and came up with this semi-pithy paragraph:
[T]he guys at the top of the party hierarchy can be construed as "leaders" only in the sense that they're spliced to the front of the reel; they've learned nothing in the last two years. And if they learn nothing in the next two years, the nation's oldest political party will be on its deathbed, still wondering why.
We're halfway through those two years, and what have they learned?
Well, they've learned how to blog. This is not exactly a major accomplishment, since complete and utter dunderheads are capable of blogging. The best thing about the Democrats' blog is its name: Kicking Ass. Unfortunately, this is also the worst thing about the Democrats' blog. For one thing, nobody believes for a minute that any of their Presidential candidates would ever do such a thing: actual action is a violation of the Democrats' policy of Peace At Any Price That Doesn't Interfere With Normal Government Spending Or Upset People In Berkeley. Worse, the Kicking Ass logo, while refreshingly literal, suggests that the party is actually, well, asslike. It's way past time, I think, to retire the donkey. (On the other hand, I don't see them moving to something more appropriate, like the ostrich.)
And they've learned how to soak Internet users for funds, which in the Great Campaign Dollars Derby next year should bring them up from distant also-ran status to not-so-far-behind also-ran status.
Beyond that, though, it's hard to see any improvements. "Progressives love stunts," says one commentator: "they'd rather feel clever and righteous than actually make a difference." And indeed, all nine of the Presidential wannabes, in their anxiety to offend no one (which may or may not work), have served notice that their main qualification for the job is not being George W. Bush. There's not a thing in the world wrong with not being George W. Bush, but inasmuch as this is true of all but one of us, it's hardly a selling point.
As yet, the Democrats have yet to demonstrate that they have any real ideas for running (as distinguished from ruining) the country. In fact, it's not at all certain that they know how to clean up the streets of San Francisco. I'd like to see them make some electoral headway one of these days, but they're going to have to do it the old-fashioned way: they're going to have to earn it. And they're not going to do that by recycling the same old tautologies and spouting the same old slogans not in 2004, and, if they're still around, not in 2008 either.
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Copyright © 2003 by Charles G. Hill