Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Will, The Plan, The Numbers

There is a failure of will within the Democratic party that is apparent even to those who still say that now is not the right time to man the barricades.

But there is also a failure of strategic planning that is exacerbated by the crowds of people screaming in our leaders ears to "do something!"

The tools for victory exist within the Democratic party today. What is missing is the will to use those tools and the plan for how to use them. What is missing is a rapproachment between the advocates of both sides that could produce both of these essential ingredients.

I am not a lawyer, but I know from my amateur understanding of the law that by the time a case comes to trial what will happen is pretty much already known. The dramatic courtroom revelation and reversal of fortunes is a fabrication of TV and movies. It is in the pre-trial period, the discovery period, where most cases are won. No lawyer worth their salt wants to go into court without knowing exactly what is going to happen and how it will benefit their case.

Surprisingly, considering how many politicians are former lawyers, a lot of our Democratic leaders don't follow a similar principle.

The Alito hearings were never going to bring about any startling reversal. The time to defeat Alito was weeks before the hearings even began. The way to do so was to build a narrative that undermined his case for being on the court. The Democrats don't know how to do that.

The Republicans do. Case in point, ironically, was the Harriet Meiers nomination, which was undermined not by the Democrats but by the right-wing of the Republican party, using the very same tools that the GOP has developed to defeat Democrats.

The Will, The Plan, The Numbers.

We have the last of these three. We just need the other two.


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