Thursday, March 09, 2006

In Brief

This Slate article sums up - better than anything I have ever read - why the Democratic party leadership has been an unabashed disaster at capitalizing on President Bush's and the Republican-controlled Congress's anemic support:

Pelosi is a conventionally liberal congresswoman from San Francisco who serves as House minority leader. The quite conservative Reid, who comes from a small town in Nevada, is the Senate minority leader. Dean, the former Vermont governor who seemed headed for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 until he yodeled in Iowa, is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Since assuming their positions, the three of them have shown themselves to be somewhere between useless and disastrous as party leaders. Individually, they lack substance and policy smarts (Pelosi); coherence and force (Reid); and steadiness and mainstream appeal (Dean). Collectively, they convey an image of liberal elitism, disarray, and crabbiness.

Read the whole thing.


Blogger Midwestern Progressive said...

Man, oh man, is that a thorough and accurate reflection of my own views. The national Democratic party needs a serious shakeup, and if the middle-management there has any sense at all, the shakeup will be a youth movement.

We had something of a youth movement herein IL - see Madigan, Lisa and Hynes, Dan. The problem with Dems in IL, frankly, is at the top. (See Blagojevich, Rod.)

I predict three things for IL's future:

* - Whatever GOP'er is nominated in the upcoming GOP primary will defeat Blago in the general election, unless it is Judy Barr-Topinka, long time associate of our former governor, George Ryan. (If Topinka is nominated, Blago will be re-elected.)

* - If a GOP'er is in the statehouse in four years, Madigan will run against that GOP'er and will win. If Blago is still in the statehouse, he'll have to seriously consider a run for the White House or some other national office, since if Madigan ran against him, she'd win. Make no mistake, Madigan wants to be governor, and, in my view, would be an excellent one.

* - Dan Hynes will either run against Dick Durbin in a Democratic primary, and win, or Durbin will retire, and Hynes will be elected Senator.

I might need to flesh these predictions out on my own weblog in the coming days.....

1:42 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I have to agree with Midwestern that we need younger blood simply because young people seem to be more ruthless. (No offense, Exile, but I think the Boomer generation was nicer and had more tact - seriously.)

Anyway, my perception of the GOP is that of ruthlessness and a "take no enemies mentality." The Democrats need more of that backbone if they hope to go head to head with them.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Oops, I meant to say no offense Exile - you're always polite and tactful - but my brain moved faster than my fingers!

Of course, Michigan natives have impeccable manners!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Bostonian Exile said...

Kathy - No offense taken (and, you're right, Michigan is "God's Country"), but I disagree with your point about the role of "ruthlessness". I think the Democrats have shown themselves to be ruthless (see the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings), but they have just been bad at executing on those impulses.

Why? Because you have to have the intellectual wherewithal to pull off "ruthless" activities. Pelosi doesn't have it; Dean's emotion clouds his vision too often; and Ried (who I am a little more willing to give some benefit of doubt) has been advised poorly (see the Justice Thomas fiasco referenced in the Slate article).

That said, I think there is some solid youth on the Democratic side. Barack Obama is the most obvious example. He's smart, articulate, and even-tempered. Another example would be Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee (who at the moment is slightly more conservative than Obama). Interestingly, neither has proven overtly ruthless up to the present, but each has commanded respect on both sides of the aisle. The real question is whether the Democratic party will prop up more candidates like these two men.

10:09 AM  

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