Ring in the old

E.J. Dionne has figured out why John Kerry lost — it was because of the viciously negative attacks by the Bush campaign. Why don’t the Democrats respond in kind? Because they’re afraid of being criticized by the MSM. John Hillen at the NRO Corner treats this column with the derision it deserves in a post called “Give Thanks for E.J. Dionne.”
Sometimes I get the feeling that we’re about to ring in 1989. The E.J. Dionnes of that year were convinced that the first President Bush defeated Michael Dukakis due to negative ads (especially the Willie Horton bit that I discussed here). But smart Democrats like Bill Clinton were willing to entertain the possibility that the anti-Dukakis ads addressed real problems faced by the Democrats, and were willing to think about how, at least cosmetically, the Democrats might reinvent themselves.
There don’t seem to be as many smart Democrats these days. Or maybe the deficit is in the courage department. However, the Democrats still have one important figure who is both smart and gutsy. Her name is Clinton too.