Friday, January 21, 2005

Take Heart (and update)

There have been worse things than having a fool installed as the leader of a great republic.

In the meantime, think on this:

"Professional politicians depend on victory for their careers, so it isn’t surprising when they panic at the prospect of defeat and abandon core principles; some politicians can even be intimidated by a mere slogan. But for ordinary citizens, this looks like pusillanimous and pointless pandering. Democrats aren’t going to win elections by becoming Republican-lite, or dissimulating a set of beliefs they don’t actually hold. A political party isn’t a business enterprise formed exclusively to achieve success in the marketplace. Naive as it may sound, a political party is supposed to represent a set of principles. Even granted the real-world necessity for finesse and tactical deftness, some principles must be considered sacrosanct or the party has no purpose. It has to stand for something.
The Democrats, the oldest organised political party in the world, have traditionally stood for enlightened liberal governance, social as well as economic. To abandon that stance now would be a shameful abdication. To maintain it, even as a minority party, would guarantee that, should the party eventually win an election, it will be prepared to govern.
This could happen sooner than conventional wisdom allows. The current Republican hegemony can’t last forever. As Lind points out, Bush’s margin of victory wasn’t large (it was, in fact, the narrowest re-election of any sitting president ever). Polling suggests a general disenchantment with his governance. And pigeons sometimes do come home to roost. For the time being, though, Democrats remain the opposition party. To play that role, they should bear in mind how democracy functions. The opposition isn’t there to apologise for its existence and get out of the way. The purpose of the opposition is to oppose."
---Erik Tarloff writing in The Prospect

Never complain, never explain, never apologize. Just oppose.

We have a mandate.

Note: Unfortunately I had to remove the post from yesterday showing the great pix from Rox Populi because they threw my site into weirdness. You can still see them here.

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