The haunting of the Democrats
The party is caught in an excruciating Catch-22. Whether it chooses the establishment figure or the liberal reformer, history offers many paths to defeat.
By Andrew O'Hehir
Apr. 21, 2008 | History, in Marx's famous dictum, tends to repeat itself: the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. So what do you call it the third time around? A bad sitcom? A bad marriage? A bad dream? All three of those seem like viable ways of describing the Democratic Party's current predicament, locked in an endless and self-destructive struggle with itself, like a would-be Buddhist penitent unable to atone for eons' worth of bad karma.
Even in the annals of Democratic ritual suicide, the 2008 campaign is something special: It's not just that the protracted and painful nomination struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton repeats all the classic themes of intra-Democratic conflict -- left vs. center, reformer vs. the Establishment, pragmatist vs. idealist, call it what you will -- up to and including the fact that the differences between the candidates are mainly semiotic rather than substantive.
I can't say I agree with all his analysis, but he is right about some things. For one thing there isn't that much difference between Hillery and Barrack, policy wise. However, what is really wrong with the democratic party is their chronic political correctness, wishful thinking, statism, and unwillingness to do what's necessary to defend this country. Too many of them care to much about their short term political interests and not enough about the long term future of the country.
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