A Plan For Victory
Peter Daou really gets the heart of the problem the Democrats face right now.
The tools for Democratic victory are there, its just that there is little sign of a will on the part of Democrats to actually use those tools to their fullest extent. This is either because they don't understand what is available to them or, more likely, they have been cowed into not taking up arms when it is necessary (WTF!).
Fortunately, Peter does more than diagnose the problem. He gives a prescription for how Democrats could use those tools if they were willing to take up arms. The list is specific to the Alito case (and, as such, is an example of 20-20 hindsight), but it could easily be adapted to any future battles we might have:
1. Coordinate messaging with the grassroots weeks in advance to lay the groundwork for the battle to come.
2. Attack on perceived strengths instead of just going after weaknesses.
3. Pre-empt right-wing shills in the media by predicting ahead of time how they will shill. The idea being that if the predictions are out there in a press release and the shill expresses outrage at the suggestion that they are a shill (and they will) then they will have a tougher time actually shilling and not come off looking like an obvious hypocrite.
4. Rapid Response to any and all appearances of right-wing spin in the media. Think bazooka against an ant as the scale of appropriate response.
5. Democratic leaders must challenge, openly and loudly, perceived biases on the part of media people. That means going hard after Blitzer in the way that Dean did on the Abromoff case. Don't pull punches. Hit them even when the person you are hitting is someone you happen to like (rule #1: the media is not your friend).
There have been more brief shining moments amongst Democratic leaders in recent months. We have all cheered them when they have happened. But I'm not going to cheer them anymore because they aren't enough. Drop the "brief" part of that and maybe I will begin to congratulate them. Until then they should know that this is the kind of behavior that won't be cheered because it is the kind of behavior that should be expected
And remember: sometimes you just got to say, "What the Fuck!"