Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Death by analogy

Analogies can be useful for focusing the mind. But there is an unfortunate tendency to treat analogies as if they had predictive value. As has been repeatedly demonstrated, you can draw analogies between Dean and virtually every presidential candidate of the last 30 years. All of these analogies provide useful clues about the Dean phenomena. But they do not predict what will happen next.

You know what annoys me the most about the Anybody-But-Dean movement? The implicit (sometimes explicit) suggestion that Dean's campaign is a bad thing. It's hard not to be discouraged when political pundits and analysts react with horror to the news of increased citizen involvement.

Would it be so hard for Josh Marshall, John Judis, Ruy Teixeira, et al. to simply acknowledge that Dean has done something good for the Democrats? All this doom-and-gloom talking isn't exactly what I would call a persuasive technique for winning people over to your side.

The Republicans embrace their base.

The Democrats are afraid of theirs.

That's why they keep losing.


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