David Sirota is absolutely right.
Because Democrats are only in the hunt thanks to gross Republican missteps—and they are going out of their way to make sure their potential election to the majority is about nothing. Call it the Seinfeld strategy.
Los Angeles Times columnist Ron Brownstein reports, “Democratic leaders are drifting toward a midterm message that indicts Bush more on grounds of competence (on issues such as Iraq, Hurricane Katrina and prescription drugs) than ideology.”
As a short-term electoral tactic, the Seinfeldian “competence” strategy allows the GOP to right itself with new management. Sadly, it is not a strategy based on ideological differences that puts a boot to conservatives’ neck when their hypocrisy trips them up and they fall down.
This is the reason I cannot embrace the Democrats, and I assert my independence as a liberal. Because we have no liberal party. Individual Democrats might proudly wave the progressive banner—people such as Dennis Kucinich, the late Paul Wellstone, and to a lesser extent Harry Reid. But by and large the Democrats are a timid bunch lacking much to distinguish themselves from the GOP. We have the conservative party and the slightly less conservative party. The Democratic Party will talk the talk occasionally, but rarely walk the walk.
I’ll work with them for lack of any other viable option. But if they want to get us energized and eager to jump on the bandwagon, they had better start substantively differentiating themselves from their friends across the aisle.