Wednesday, April 02, 2003

More Democratic hand-wringing

There's an interesting conversation going over at the Daily KOS about the request by McAuliffe that Dems should ease up on personal attacks against other Dems. This is obviously in response to the mileage Howard Dean has been getting out of criticizing his fellow Democrats for rolling over for Bush. I'm of two minds about this: I think the biggest problem for the Dems is that they are unwilling to be vocal in their criticism and they wilt in the face of said criticism. As such, blanket prohibitions against said criticism will do nothing but leave Democratic candidates weak and unprepared for the coming battle against the GOP. However, there is a tendency, in the heat of the battle, to get to personal in ones criticism of your political opponents and that personal animus can come back to haunt you in later times. As such, I think it is a good idea not to personally attack another candidate, but I don't think it is a good idea to say that Dems should never attack, by name, those whose position is weakening the party. As such, Dean's criticism of the Democrats is to the point and much needed. I think we shouldn't spend a lot of time hand-wringing over these kind of questions (hand-wringing being the second biggest problem the Dems have had in recent years). Instead, try to keep to the simple rule that, for every time you criticize a Dem, remember to criticize a Republican at least 4-5 times (and, for Bush, make the ration more like 20:1).

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