Saturday, April 22, 2006

Perfect storm

DU has an interview with Kevin Phillips that is worth a read. The money quote:
Q. The Democrats are rubbing their hands with glee over their prospects in the November elections. Are the Democrats able to project a compelling alternative to Bush's policies?

Phillips: Once or twice a decade, the Democrats seem to manage. I'm not sure if this will be the year. But if it's not, they have a big problem. As you've heard several times at least, in an eight-year sequence, there tends to be a 'six-year itch' in the mid-term election of the second term. This is historically when the party in power loses a number of seats. Now if the Democrats simply gain just 2 Senate seats and 10 in the House, they will be painted as losers because of the historic pattern and bad doubly because Bush is so vulnerable.

The stakes are very high. It's sink or swim for the Democrats. The Democrats will need to speak with a somewhat unified voice, a hard-hitting voice. They will need to review the long list of vulnerabilities of George W Bush and figure out the smart way to talk about them. It doesn't seem like it should be too demanding, but given their record over the last 25 years, you can't be sure that they will do it that way.

I think that's exactly right. The opportunity facing the Democrats isn't a softball; it's t-ball, with no fielders. And yet they hold the bat as if it was radioactive, convinced the ball will hit them back.

Watching them is kind like watching your kid in the third grade spelling bee: we all know the answer, but our knowledge of the obvious is not helpful.


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