They Still Don't Get It...
Read this crap, and then read my rant:
Really now! Does John Kerry still actually believe that he lost the 2004 election simply because the rest of America just didn't understand him? Can the man still be laboring under the impression that what America needs is a democratic party that "addresses the issues that affect people's lives", which is a euphemism for cradle to grave socialism of the kind that has been rejected for near on 40 years now?
Look, there are a few dynamics at play here that need to be discussed. The first is that the democratic party is circling the bowl. There is no other way to say it. It has simply become the party of the reflexive "No". It is merely a shell of it's former self and nowadays represents so many far-flung causes that it cannot reconcile them all into a coherant strategy or platform. It's going the way of the dinosaurs (besides being led by dinosaurs).
Secondly, the party has played divide-and-conquer politics for so long, setting black vs. white, labor vs. management, rich vs. poor for so long that it's become tiresome. While democrats were trying to find more ways in which to create ready voting blocs with built-in grievances, Republicans were advocating things (like lower taxes, greater investment, economic growth, etc) that resulted in lowering many of the wealth and social barriers dems used to expolit. More people have entered the ranks of the middle class (or higher) in the last 30 years thanks to republican policies. Home ownership is at record high levels. An entire class of investors has been created, which has created more wealth and a consequently the means to keep it.
Finally, as long as a John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Hillary, or Harry Reid continue to be the face of the party, a group of ex-hippies, FDR-style bareknuckle brawlers and shameless self-promoters, this party is dead. They're not very nice people -- not to look at, not to listen to and certainly not to vote for. The fact that they manage to cling to some power still speaks more for certain sectors of society being dumber than the typical Irish Setter.
They don't get it. They don't understand. We don't want mollycoddling (at least not total mollycoddling) we want good ideas executed reasonably well. We want policies that look ahead, not harken back to some supposed Golden Age. It always amazes me how republicans and conservatives are always accused of wanting to turn the clock back to the "good ole days" while democrats still to cling to the New Deal, or spew recycled 1960's protest rhetoric--- who really lives in the past?
But they'll continue to trot out new explanations for the continuing process of defeat, and new "ideas" for righting the ship which sound exactly the same as the ideas that holed the waterline to begin with. Do you actually believe that John Kerry or his cohorts actually have a clue as to what to do about "issues that affect people's lives?". He lists these issues as if he's reading a laundry list --- energy, security, the enviornment. The "issues" are thrown out there unsupported. There is no short explanation of what he would do, just an acknowledgement that someone out there might care about this, and so he's mentioning it. This was Kerry's problem in 2004: he hit all the buzzwords but he never had anything to say about the policy implications.
The fact of the matter is that I can hit any of the leading "contenders" for the 2008 nomination of the democratic party over the head with a sledgehammer and they would merrily go about their business oblivious to it. These are no longer people: they are pre-programmed, automous political machines. Wind them up and they flap their gums. Insert the right pre-programmed disk and they'll yack about any subject under the sun. You can have all the Iraq talk you wan't today (24 hours of "we should surrender") and tomorrow all the economics you can handle ("the rich this, the rich that, the rich, the rich, the rich, please write that check out to my campaign Mr. Spielberg").
There is no passion that is not forced. There is no idea that is not engineered to appeal to everyone, and therefore, will work for noone. There is no concept, object, or activity that should not be regulated by government in some way. This is what's on offer from the "other" side. It's why Hillary is running to embrace the right with her pro-war stance and newly-found respect for John McCain, a man she normally wouldn't be seen with for love or money. Votes, however, are a different currency, I guess.
John Kerry is wrong. What the country needs is another republican party in the sense that republicans have proven they know how to put forward good ideas and accomplish them. Republicans have learned from defeat --- something democrats seem unable to do.