Democratic Nice Guys vs. Republican Assholes
What a great analogy:
So while I’m making these points, Charlie from Atlanta writes in with this much more entertaining take:
“One of our problems for too long is that we want to please "the media" so much that we lose our courage and we lose their (the media's) respect.
Let me digress for a second, and offer this analogy: I know as little about women as any man on this planet. But one thing I do know is that they really, really like the "nice guys," but they don't respect them and they don't have sex with them.
Well, let's stop being the "nice guys" (the Liebermans and Bidens of the world, the guys the media "really, really likes"). We care so much about what the Tim Russert's of the world think that they've lost respect for us. They treat the Republicans well because the Republicans treat them like shit.
So let the media complain about Howard Dean. Let's be strong and support him and ignore them. If we do that, then the media will come around naturally anyway.”
The only problem with this analogy is that if things go well you wind up getting laid by Tim Russert. Other than that, it’s perfectly sensible.
Being a recovering Nice Guy I know precisely what Charlie is talking about. You don't earn any respect by being nice. But that doesn't mean you have to go to the opposite extreme and be an Asshole. You just have to learn what it is about being an Asshole that attracts people. After many years of contemplation on this question I think it comes down to one thing: toughness.
An Asshole is tough. An Asshole won't take shit. An Asshole appears to be the guy who will protect you when the truth is they will be the first to cut and run when the going really gets tough (that's why they are Assholes).
The happy medium here is being a Tough Guy: someone who is nice, but knows how to get dangerous when it is needed (as opposed to the Asshole who gets dangerous only when it will make them look tougher).
Dean is a Tough Guy.
Reid is a Tough Guy.
We need more Tough Guys.
(standard caveat: "Guy" here includes both genders)