Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Shooting ourselves in the foot

Ed Kilgore, in this TPM Cafe post, demonstrates once again why he makes it difficult to like what he has to say. He can't seem to help himself when it comes to disparaging the efforts of others in the Democratic movement:

Let's be clear: the unity and fighting spirit of Democrats over the last few months has owed more to Republican provocations than to fiery bloggers, post-election angst, remorse over past compromises, or the legacy of the Dean campaign.

Why is it that Ed feels the need to damage his own contribution with needless comments that do nothing but dismiss the hard work of his would-be allies? Is it true that the unity of the Democrats over the last few months owes a lot to the outrageousness of the Republican agenda? Absolutely. But does that mean that the contribution of bloggers and Deanies must be diminished in the analysis? No!

Why does Ed think that the Democratic cause will be helped by shirking off the work that others are doing?

Comments like this are why DLCers like Ed are often viewed as being more interested in inflating their own egos than in actually addressing the real problems this country faces. Any contribution by non-DLCers must be diminished before real discussion can commence. The contemptuousness of comments like this do nothing to help the cause Ed! Cut it out!

Ed does have some valuable points to make:

[...] the dirty little not-so-secret of Karl Rove's hyper-polarization strategy is that he believes 24-7 partisan conflict in Washington, conducted at a constant high decibal level, will turn into a dull roar to an electorate that's as likely to blame Democrats as Republicans, while creating constant opportunities for the GOP to pick up a clean win now and then. And I'm probably not the only Democrat who's worried about the fact that Republican losses in the polls are not, so far, turning into proportionate Democratic gains.

I am as concerned about this as Ed. I've noted before that Democrats seem to cheer everytime a new poll comes out showing low approval ratings for Bush or the Republicans. Yet those who cheer these numbers often fail to note that the Democrats approval ratings aren't much better. The Democrats have yet to capitalize on the Republican travails and I agree with Ed that part of the reason for that is that Democrats are viewed as contributors to the partisan noise in Washington rather than the party that could bring it to an end.

This is a problem that isn't talked about nearly enough. But that doesn't mean that bloggers and Deaners aren't working to address it. It's just that the media (and people like Ed) tend to hilight the negatives coming from the Democratic camp (Dean said he hates Republicans!) instead of looking into the positive actions that people are taking (e.g., the recent Democracy For Oregon Progressive Leadership Summit here in Portland).

So Ed, please contribute what you can to the discussion. But please leave the snide dismissal of the efforts of others behind. We need to work together to solve our problems. Those kind of comments aren't helping.


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