August 04, 2005

Boston Globe: Democrats Must Stop Obstruction And Figure Out How To Win Elections

A good column from Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe:

IT IS TIME for Democrats to stop moaning about John Roberts and John Bolton and start doing something productive -- such as figuring out how to win elections. Even though Democrats continue to resist the outcome, George W. Bush won the 2004 presidential contest. His reelection triggered a time-honored cliche: To the victor, go the spoils. Bush selected a Supreme Court nominee and an ambassador to the United Nations who reflect his philosophy. Any Democratic president would do the same. The Senate has the responsibility to press Roberts on his views and philosophy. But it should come as no shock that Bush would select a conservative thinker as his nominee. So far, activists' effort to paint Roberts as an extremist looks silly. Here is a candidate whose first written response to questions from lawmakers states that judges should possess ''modesty and humility." Roberts understands how to market himself to the masses in a way the abortion rights lobby never learned.

This week, Bush bypassed the Senate and installed Bolton as emissary to the UN. In doing so, the president broke no law; he merely used a procedure that allows him to fill vacant positions when the Senate is in recess. If Bolton is as unsuited for the position as opponents insist, that will become clear soon enough. Ultimately, any failure on Bolton's part will help Democrats in what should be the party's main goal: winning back the voters who now view them as the powerless party of the petulant.And powerless the Democrats will remain -- unless more of them win office....

Democrats continue to fight the last campaign, while Republicans are planning for the next two. While the Democrats are busy bashing Bush -- a second-term president who is not running for anything -- the Republicans are working on their strategy for victory in 2006 and 2008. Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, continues the GOP outreach to Latino and African-American voters. Dividing up the Democratic base and conquering even a small piece of it helps Republicans in future elections and hurts Democrats....Sniping about Bush's vacations and workout schedule is not a long-range strategy for Democratic success. Winning on election day is what it takes to derail nominees like Bolton and Roberts.

I agree. However, I have belabored on this point endlessly, so I shall forego regurgitating my standard rant (however, feel free to check my archives).
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