But Is Anybody Listening?

August 10th, 2006at 12:00am Posted by Eli

A fellow Eli (Mr. Pariser from MoveOn) has an interesting and optimistic piece up at WaPo (hat tip to commenter blue e at FDL):

…Lamont’s victory… marks the beginning of the end for an old favorite of Washington insiders — the tactics of triangulation. Originally employed as a survival strategy by a Democratic president in the wake of 1994’s Republican revolution, the policy of seizing the political middle ground no longer makes sense in an era when any attempt at bipartisanship is understood as a sign of Democratic weakness and exploited accordingly.

Had triangulation worked, we’d be in a different moment. But for six long years, it hasn’t. Even Sen. Hillary Clinton has seen the writing on the wall in recent weeks, criticizing the Bush team’s Iraq fiasco by publicly confronting Donald Rumsfeld, calling on him to resign and demanding that troop withdrawals from Iraq begin soon.

With triangulation passing, a new era of bolder, principle-driven politics can begin. Lamont’s success should be the opening salvo in a 90-day campaign to establish the clear-cut differences between Democrats and Republicans. Most independent voters, like Democrats, want change, but many of them aren’t sure yet whether Democratic candidates are capable of giving it to them. Now’s the chance to seize that mantle.

(…)

If the Democratic Party can emulate Lamont’s principled progressivism, a durable national electoral majority and a government that embraces real people’s concerns awaits. Americans want change as badly as they did in 1994…. [T]hey want their officeholders and candidates to hold the president accountable for his failures.

The time has passed for what a New York Times editorial aptly characterized as Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s “warped version of bipartisanship, in which the never-ending war on terror becomes an excuse for silence and inaction.” People don’t want Democratic politicians whose grotesquely nuanced positions on issues make their utterances incomprehensible or meaningless or both. They want a new direction.

The pendulum is swinging, driven by the all-too-apparent shortcomings of the Bush administration. To paraphrase a great Democrat, the only thing Democratic leaders have to fear is timidity in the face of opportunity.

Pariser is correct about the message that Lamont’s victory is sending. The question is whether the Democratic party establishment is willing to hear it. Will the Theodems shake off the poisonous counsel of Grima Moosetongue and regain their youthful vigor? Or will they stick their fingers in their ears like Miracle Max and yell “Lalalalala, not Listening!“?

The key to regaining power is within their sight and grasp, if they have the will to reach for it.

(Yes, I did work a Lord Of The Rings reference and a Princess Bride reference into the same paragraph – what are you trying to say? I’m totally not a geek, if that’s what you’re thinking.)

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Favorites,Lamont,Lieberman,Politics


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