the democrats’ lost mojo

President Bush was in trouble. Nothing was going right, and the war in Iraq was rapidly losing support. Democrats smelled victory but kept bungling the chance. Their nominee was so unappealing that Bush and the GOP scored a giant victory.

That’s a short history of the 2004 elections, when Bush won a second term and the GOP gained seats, and kept control, of both houses of Congress.

Fast forward and 2006 is shaping up like deja vu all over again.

Bush hasn’t seen 50% approval in the polls for months, Iraq is stuck in bloody neutral and congressional Republicans are under fire for ties to a corrupt lobbyist. With midterm elections in the fall, Dems should be able to take one or both houses and exert much more influence over the last two years of Bush’s term.

But Democrats are still getting in their own way, and could blow their chances again. The most prominent party leaders, including Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy, have become so extreme that their attacks make Bush look good by comparison.

–michael goodwin, “dems are blowin’ it” (ny daily news)

quick. get austin powers on the phone. mojo of a different sort is missing from the party in opposition. they can’t seem to get anything positive out of their attacks on president bush. they can’t seem to find a message that works for them and also is something that the average american can identify with/relate to. in addition, they can’t seem to figure out who is really in charge of their party. is it howard dean? is it left-wing blogs? hillary? john kerry? nancy pelosi? harry reid? the answer is that NOBODY knows. it’s interesting that even the democrats don’t see hillary as a leader or even representative of their party’s views right now. i do think that if the democrats found a unified message and if (this is a big if) it consisted of more than just opposing what bush does, then they would have a much better chance of success in november. i just don’t see this happening.

where are the men and women of vision for the democratic party? who will provide an optimistic view of this country’s possibilities and promise in addition to concrete solutions to problems we are facing as a nation? who will step up and push the democrats closer to the views of most of the rest of the country? i haven’t seen any of them who are willing to abandon the kook vote. none of the potential democratic candidates for president have shown leadership, and they also don’t have a message that’s easy to sell.

but the republicans can’t rely on democratic failure/implosion. we still need to tear down some walls in our own house, and remember what made us successful in the beginning. it’s not enough to be against bush. the opposition needs to present a vision for change, and right now they just don’t seem to have one.

jonah goldberg in the la times:

“Some Democrats are furious that their party doesn’t have its own ideas. Others say they do have ideas, they’re just keeping them secret for now. That sounds a lot like the high school geek who insists that his girlfriend is really hot but lives in an undisclosed location in Canada. “


interesting weekend linkage (related and otherwise):