Punishing the Frat Boy

Democrats just can’t punish the frat boy. Bush smirked at them in Florida in 2000. When they did their fancy lawyering, played the race card and commissioned “spontaneous” demonstrations in the Sunshine State, Bush out lawyered them, ignored the race card and organized demonstrations of his own. When they talked about his lack of a mandate, he behaved as if he won a landslide. Bush passed his tax cuts, stole their issues on education and senior drug benefits and trounced them in the midterm elections. He was invincible. Then in true Greek tragedy style, George Bush overreached -hubris, ate, nemesis. Things fell apart.

Democrats savored the knowledge that George W would be laid low. “Everybody” hated him. He would soon be driven from office in ignominious shame. Exit polls on November 2 confirmed that the hour of reckoning at hand. It never came. Bush won not only reelection; he won a majority of the popular vote, something no Democrat did since 1976. George W. Bush might forever escape retribution.

Democrats just don’t get it. Bush is a dunce surrounded by a closed circle of narrow-minded, out-of-touch advisors. The man can't count past five or put two sentences together without saying something unintentionally comical, yet each time they corner him, he not only slides away, but also takes something of theirs with him. Maybe he is not as dumb as they think.

Democrats are “hipper” than Republicans. They were the popular kids in school and ridiculed future Republicans as nerds, rubes or hicks. The roles haven’t changed much. At a Democratic rally you see Bruce Springsteen and some really cool stars. Republicans are lucky to get the Gatlin Brothers, or other refugees from the geriatric ward. The Democrats are also better at creating a buzz about themselves and their candidates. If you just watched TV or saw demonstrations, you would think everyone was Democrat. It is not until you actually count votes that you learn the truth. Being cool and “popular’ is a mixed blessing, however. Cool people often see their opponents as unworthy. They just can't believe these guys could beat them - until it happens. Then instead of real introspection and self-assessment, they find hundreds of explanations why it didn’t really happen, was a trick or why people are just stupid, misinformed or manipulated.

Democrats have a problem. It is not that they don’t have smart people or that these smart people don’t have good ideas. It is because they think that they have all the smart people and all the good ideas. It is impossible for many Democrats to recognize that the reason they have not won a majority of the popular vote since 1976 and Republicans are taking away their places in Congress and Governor’s offices is because Republicans are doing something that appeals to intelligent voters. Bill Clinton’s flexibility in adopting opposition ideas and making them his own made him a rare Democrat. We shall not soon see his like again. The Democratic train has run out of steam. The first step in getting it going again is to recognize why it stopped.

J(ack) Anthony Matel

Posted by Jack at November 4, 2004 12:38 AM