Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 12, 2003

by J

Stop Playing Defense

Dear Democrats,

Stop fretting. Stop playing defense. Stop wondering what small percentage point you can tweak here and there to inch your way over the 50% point. Quit being so defensive. Just stop. Stop worrying about what Big Bad Rove is going to do to you and start planning for what you are going to do to him and his candidate who has a list of negatives a mile long. Stop accepting and using(!) Republican talking points and terminology. Refuse to accept their rules. I hate to say it, but, think outside the goddamn box for a change!

Chris at Interesting Times again puts it well (I've flipped the order of his comments here):
Democrats have got to stop playing defense all the time. It just makes them look like wimps. If Clark's candidacy is based primarily on the "he can't be attacked on this, this, and that" than he won't be able to deal with it when he inevitably is attacked on "this, this, and that". It is naive in the extreme to think that any Democrat can be made immune from those attacks.

So far Dean has proven himself to be a strong campaigner. Not perfect, but certainly better than the competition by a long shot. Clark has been iffy on this front (I'd actually rate Gephardt above Clark) and Clark has yet to really tested under fire. Dean has had to deal with multiple hard attacks on him and each and every time he has come out of the attacks stronger than when he went in.

That to me is the surest sign of a winning candidate.
Please. Stand up. Talk back. Believe in the people and they will believe in you. Maybe they'll even give you millions of dollars! Treat them like sliced-and-diced-and-focus-grouped demographics and they will yawn in your face. In the words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, please, give me something to sing about.

Posted by J at November 12, 2003 10:43 AM


I don't like the prevent anymore in politics than I do in football.

Around here we call it the "PREvent yourself from winning" defense.

Posted by: cdmarine at November 13, 2003 06:50 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
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Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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