Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bring Back the Happy Warriors

I’ll have to side with Andrew Sullivan here on his criticism of a quote from Richard Durbin. The New York Times has an article questioning whether Democrats might be missing an opportunity to gain against Republicans. Should Democrats concentrate on Republican scandals and policy failings, or do more to get out their message:

Some Democrats argued that the party had time to put up its ideas, and that it would be smarter to wait until later, when voters would be paying attention.

“When you bring it out early, you are going to leave it open for the spinmeisters in Rove’s machine, the Republican side, to tear it to pieces,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois.

Andrew Sullivan’s response:

I’m not a Democrat and don’t think I ever could be, but here’s what I’d say if I were in opposition right now. These guys are corrupt and incompetent. They have screwed up the Iraq war, turned FEMA into a joke and landed the next generation with a mountain of debt. We’re for making the homeland safer, winning back our allies, and taking on the Iranian dictatorship. We’re for energy independence, universal healthcare and balancing the budget again. Now, let Rove do his worst. Hey, we need Democrats who relish the fight, not timid ones who cower at the prospect. Bring back the happy warriors.

Sullivan’s statement of principles remind me a lot of what John Kerry has said in several speeches. While far too many Democrats have avoided being specific on the issues, or have tried to compromise principles to move towards the center, Kerry has consistently been speaking out. The New York Times also has comments from Kerry on the Democrats getting out their message:

“We are fighting to find a voice under difficult circumstances, and I’m confident, over the next few months, you are going to see that happen,” Mr. Kerry said in an interview. “Our megaphone is just not as large as their megaphone, and we have a harder time getting that message out, even when people are on the same page.”

If you are looking for a brief summary of Democratic positions, Sullivan’s post also reminds me of a recent statement we quoted from Howard Dean.


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