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November 3, 2004

The Boy in the Bubble

Posted by Mike on November 3, 2004 11:39 AM

Josh Marshall writes:

"Yesterday evening I heard various commentators say that Kerry's defeat would usher in a civil war among Democrats. Tucker Carlson said it would or should lead to a 'Goldwater moment' for the Democrats.

As I've noted above, I don't want to diminish the scope of what's happened. But a civil war over what exactly? Yes, some consultants will get a hard shake. And I'm certain there will be backbiting against Kerry (which I for one will very much disagree with.) But a civil war over what? The right and the left of the party were remarkably united in this cycle and managed to find points of compromise on key issues."

Right. And a united Democratic party lost. Maybe a slightly less cute electoral strategy would have changed things, but we'd still be dealing with a popular loss, or a victory so thin that there'd be no mandate with which to clobber congress.

So it seems to me that if there is a civil war, it should be about how we begin to address where we failed with not only the two million who didn't vote our way, but with the extra two million we'll need to create a convincing win the next time. It's going to take a lot of work, a reworking of the language progressives in the party both use and tolerate, and a titanic effort to destroy the notion of "values" as "pieties you can mouth that the Republicans have a monopoly on."

We'll have to go deeper and further: Everyone agreeing with everyone else doesn't seem to have done the trick. Our leadership needs some new ideas, and like any leadership, some of its representatives won't care for them.