Time Magazine’s Joe Klein delivers a devastating assessment of the pitiful performance of Democrats lately, in The Incredible Shrinking Democrats.
The day after the President’s speech, the party’s congressional leaders gathered at the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial to carp. How 70 years ago! “Progressive” Dems – and I use the term advisedly, since liberals seem more interested in preserving the past than in discovering the future – are right to admire Roosevelt. But the Roosevelt they worship is a bronze sculpture, frozen in time. The real F.D.R. was a gutsy innovator. The current Democrats resemble nothing so much as the Republicans during the 25 years after Roosevelt’s death—negative, defensive, intellectually feeble, a permanent minority. There are reasons to oppose this President – arrogance abroad, crony capitalism at home – but undifferentiated opposition is obtuse and most likely counterproductive. The Democrats’ current crudeness is a function of their desperation, and the imminent ratification of Howard Dean, the least charming presidential candidate in recent memory, as their party chairman only serves to punctuate the problem.