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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Undifferentiated Opposition

posted by Mike at 2/09/2005 11:19:00 AM


Being a legal secretary can be tough work at times, but it does have its occasional collateral benefits, such as when you return from your Christmas vacation to find that every vendor in the darn free world has decided to try to bribe you with Christmas trinkets. Very often, they're absolutely useless (oooh, a cheapo pen that flickers red and green), but one vendor actually gave out some sort of brief discounted magazine subscription to the mag of your choice. Since I wasn't really up for a fly fishing magazine or Cosmo, I ended up subscribing to Time, and accordingly, I've lately been finding myself drawn to Joe Klein's "In the Arena" columns each week.

This week's column is called "The Incredible Shrinking Democrats" — which is unusual for Klein, given that, unless I am wildly off on this, he usually seems to write from a liberal perspective. But in it, he makes an incredibly good point that hits directly right to we "opposition forces" of the blogosphere, too:

The current Democrats resemble nothing so much as the Republicans during the 25 years after Roosevelt's death — negative, defensive, intellectually feeble, a permanent minority. There are reasons to oppose this President — arrogance abroad, crony capitalism at home — but undifferentiated opposition is obtuse and most likely counterproductive.

(Emphasis added.) That one line hit home hard for me, especially the concept of undifferentiated opposition. Why? I — like many, many, many of my brethren — have been so overwhelmed by the onslaught of idiocies coming from the Bush Administration that, indeed, no one in the Bush Administration can possibly do any good, in my eyes. I have definitely grown accustomed to undifferentiated opposition — as did mainstream liberals and Democrats, as shown by Kerry's campaign, which failed, I believe, because it did not take a clear stand on and for progressive values, but based the bulwark of its campaigning on anti-Bush rhetoric. Not that Dubya didn't deserve it, but mainstream America responded more to Republicans' smooth, insincere come-on lines about 'values' than to the important criticism of Bush's horrible first term.

I suppose that's why I've been reaching out for Dean (and Lakoff) — to me, they represents much more of a "we stand for this" platform than a "can you believe the shit this guy is pulling?!?!?" platform. Instead of saying "this is fucked up" to everything Bush says, we need to clash with his crap by saying, "This is wrong, because [conflict with Democrats' positive platform plank]. And what we have in mind is better, because of .

"Undifferentiated opposition." That's the Democrats' biggest P.R. problem summed up in two words.