Timeless wisdom from a Dem strategist, with emphasis added:
"Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter got elected because they were comfortable with their faith," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, a former Clinton aide. "What happened was that a part of the electorate came open to what Clinton and Carter had to say on everything else - health care, the environment, whatever - because they were very comfortable that Clinton and Carter did not disdain the way these people lived their lives, but respected them."
He added: "We need a nominee and a party that is comfortable with faith and values. And if we have one, then all the hard work we've done on Social Security or America's place in the world or college education can be heard. But people aren't going to hear what we say until they know that we don't approach them as Margaret Mead would an anthropological experiment."
That was Rahm Emmanuel assessing the Dem debacle in 2004 but it could be EveryDem assessing the upcoming 2008 adventure.
The good news - in Barack [He Who Must Not Be Middle-Named] Obama the Dems have a man who appears to be comfortable in his faith and in his church. So comfortable, in fact, that he dozed right through all those "God Damn America" sermons.
But as to that second criteria - "we don't approach them as Margaret Mead would an anthropological experiment" - uh, gee, Rahm, could you lower the bar? How about, "we approach them as an anthropological experiment but smile a lot as we do so"?
In Barack, the Dems have found a miracle worker - someone who makes John Kerry look like Everyman.
Can we have some pop sociology from the candidate, please?
You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
By November that will be better known than "I voted for the bill before I voted against it." Heck, I think it will be bigger than "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun." And I made a special effort to avoid learning that, yet years later, valuable neurons remain wasted. Or is it ganglia? See, I would know the answer if not for my little sister chanting the McDonalds thing all the time... Sorry.
Let's move on by moving back - Nick Kristof assessed the Dem Doom in 2004 with words that ring true today:
In the aftermath of this civil war that our nation has just fought, one result is clear: the Democratic Party's first priority should be to reconnect with the American heartland.
I'm writing this on tenterhooks on Tuesday, without knowing the election results. But whether
John Kerry's supporters are now celebrating or seeking asylum abroad, they should be feeling wretched about the millions of farmers, factory workers and waitresses who ended up voting - utterly against their own interests - for Republican candidates.
Baffling - there go those daffy Republicans, embittered, clinging to their guns and voting for Bush in preference to the out-of-touch Harvard fop. Well, maybe Ohio will be close enough this time around that Obama can win the election in court. Keep hope alive!
"I think support for Bush is about not wanting to be led by East-coast pretensions. It is about not wanting to be led by people who are forever trying to force their twisted sense of morality onto us, which is a non-morality. That is constantly done, and there is real resentment.
Those who do not understand the past are condemned to being laughed at while they repeat it to our amusement and gratitude. Can you give me a "God Damn America!"?
Well, what is it we say about Dems who lose yet another election because they offer yet another candidate totally alien to the rest of the country? Ah, yes - it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to explanations involving guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.