Over the weekend, the Boston Globe published a column by Joan Venocchi, who discussed why the Democrats keep losing political races, most particularly the presidency.
Stripped of its excess verbiage and hand-wringing and “hey, look over there!” distractions, it boils down to a few simple ideas:
1) Stop beating up on Hillary Clinton.
2) Start beating up on Republicans more.
3) Leave Hillary Clinton alone.
4) Learn from the Republicans, and beat them up they way they’re beating you up.
5) Really, can’t we just declare Hillary the nominee now?
I think that the most entertaining bit is when Venocchi compares the departures from public life of Karl Rove and Bob Shrum. Rove (who showed a LOT of class last week, when he heard that one newsroom had cheered his departure, and sent them cookies with a note saying “my wife agrees with you”) left doing just what he had all along — tossed out a few verbal bombs that roasted Hillary Clinton. Shrum, on the other hand, wrote a tell-all book that revealed that a lot of what Republicans had been saying about the Democratic candidates was pretty much dead on.
Venocchi won’t say it, but I will: it’s an especially apt comparison of these two political masterminds. Rove was involved in two successful presidential races, Shrum has at last count a 0 for 8 record.
The defining quality of losers is that they lose. The Democrats spend way, way too much time re-fighting elections that they lost, instead of trying to figure out how to win the next one. Hell, one of the biggest factions among them is MoveOn.org, whose name refers to the Clinton impeachment scandal — and that was almost a decade ago. In 2004, I saw hundreds of bumper stickers that read “Let’s Not Elect Him In 2004, Either.” And how many people have bumper stickers that celebrate “1-20-2009” or “Freedom Countdown Clocks” on their web sites that focus on the end of the Bush administration?
Here’s a hint, folks: Bush ain’t running in 2008. Find ways to distinguish yourselves from your rivals, but shredding each other doesn’t do you a damned bit of good.
On the other hand, it is vastly entertaining — and I have a hefty stockpile of popcorn at hand.