Monday, August 22, 2005

Politics: Today's Reading Assignment

The always excellent Digby has a great post up today, and it leads to an even better comment thread. Basically, Digby's sick and fucking tired of the Democrats being led around by the faction of the party that not only been losing elections and been wrong 100 percent of the time, but also condescending to the rest of us. His conclusion:
I am not a pacifist. And I never said that we should not respond to the threat of global terrorism. But I disagreeed with the way this administration and the Democratic hawks went about doing it --- especially this enormous mistake of invading a middle eastern country for inscrutable reasons, at this time, in this way. And I was right. I don't know if I represent the zeitgeist of the rank and file, but I do know that I and others of "the left" who saw this debacle for what it was have earned a little fucking respect.

Unfortunately, Digby, it ain't fucking forthcoming. The DLC's never-ending pursuit of the mythical "middle voter' and the circular firing squad mentality proves that the lessons have not been learned up top. They continue to blame the "left" as if we've been making the decisions or holding any power.

It's not really fair or effective to try and boil down Digby's post, just go read the whole thing, but I will highlight one of the comments. One of the best, and most damning, pieces of analysis of the failed "success" of the current Democratic strategy I've ever read:
I was thinking about the "we were right and you were wrong" argument. And while I agree wholeheartedly, I wonder if this couldn't more pragmatically be rephrased as "the Democratic support of the Iraq war was a political disaster." That's all anyone needs to say about it because it's indisputable.

And the reason it was a disaster is that the Democrats continue to use what business managament consultants call a "fast follower" strategy. That's when you don't actually take any risks in the marketplace but instead watch what the successful guys do and then mimic them as fast as possible. Instead of paying attention to your customers you pay attention to the other guy's marketing presentations. In a hot market this strategy can work--but when the economy goes sour you're the one holding the bag.

The same is with the Democrats. They're always a half-step behind the GOP, and the difference is that politics is a zero-sum game and there's no benefit to being a fast follower. You get none of the rewards for being ahead of the curve and you get all the risks of being behind it.
Halfdan Adonais | 08.22.05 - 2:22 pm | #

Exactly. And until one of the "hawks" admits they fucked up and comes clean, I will never truly believe in/support them. They aren't leading, they're still following.


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