Via Pach earlier today, Matt Stoller worried this morning about the timidity of too many Democrats in the face of the
Orwell Bush administration’s never-ending fear tactics, but tried to offer some optimism:
Building a different set of incentives for decision-makers is going to take a lot of work. The problem is a mixture of conventional wisdom, poor judgment, bad values, a lack of coordination with activists by progressive members, and inertia. Fortunately, the ACLU is now getting very aggressive against Democrats, Nancy Pelosi is showing a harder line, Moveon is cracking down on people like Baird, local activists are becoming much less tolerant of flouting our values, and we’re starting the criticism necessary to identify and fix the problem.
When the debate gets down to soundbite to soundbite, as it often does, and the right says, “Destroy habeas or we might all die,” Dems haven’t quite figured out what to do.
The sooner they come up with something, the sooner they’ll stop losing. Any suggestions?
Excuse while I flail my arms again and wonder when someone will finally notice. As many FDL readers know, I’ve been yammering about this theme for years now. Most recently, after Hillary Clinton put her foot in her mouth last week about terrorism, I wrote at Needlenose:
As I’ve been saying for longer than I like to remember, someone needs to stand up and say, “The way George Bush has gone about defending this country is the wrong way.”
It seems simple enough, but when have you heard a prominent Democrat make that assertion… much less make it clearly and often?
As basic as that soundbite may be, it opens listeners’ minds to changing how they think about national security. And you can back it up with one equally simple question: Was losing more than 3,000 American lives in Iraq the best way to defend our country? Then, once that presumption of superior daddy-hood has been stripped away from the Bushites, you can start talking about how perhaps telling the truth about the threats that face us, and doing what works to defeat them, might be a better approach than the bluster-loudly-and-shoot-yourself-in-the-foot approach the GOP seems to love so much.
And then, once you’ve clearly put Democrats on the side of establishing the best way to defend this country, you might find them being a little braver about standing up to the offensive Republican proposal of the moment, whether it’s continuing the escalation in Iraq, extending warrantless wiretaps, or whatever.
But first, someone needs to lay out the basic premise… and, say, aren’t there at least three prominent Democratic spokespeople traipsing around the country with millions of dollars at their disposal to get a message out?
What are they waiting for?