Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

November 20, 2003

by V

Tell it, Mr. Willis

Party Orthodoxy (Oliver Willis)
When our party leaders are cowed into action because of what they perceive as the power of the opposition, they cease to be leaders. Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt jointly presided over ineffectual and damaging sessions in the Congress... Senator Daschle, Senator Kerry, and Rep. Gephardt are likeable men who have honest beliefs but the way in which they have betrayed their party's core ideals in order to make easy maneuvers (instead of tough decisions) is a blight on the party.

...Frankly, the Democrats need to get rid of this strain within them, the need to be liked by their opposition. On the surface of it, you could say that you bite your tongue and wait for the next election, accepting slow and incremental change. But when the Democrats had control of the Senate by one vote, what the hell did they do with it? President Bush got the slanted budget programs he wanted, got the vast majority of the idealogically slanted judges he wanted, pushed through reams of pro-business and anti-worker regulation and legislation. It makes you wonder what he would have done with a rock-ribbed Republican congress, if he got so much done with Democrats at the helm.

...the politics of [Clinton's] era are over. The 1990s appeared to be a time of coalition building, of working across the aisle - but what he and Al Gore discovered was that there was a machine being built and eventually deployed that threw that notion out with the bathwater. It is a war, and you can't negotiate with an enemy that stabs you in the back again and again.
Posted by V at November 20, 2003 10:37 PM

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