Please don’t miss this brilliant column by Noemie Emery in the Weekly Standard on the Democrats’ week from hell. Focusing on the behavior of Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Ted Kennedy (in a section I found priceless), Evan Bayh, and John Kerry, Emery finds all of the answers to the question Democrats have been asking since November — why wonderful people such as they keep on losing. Here’s what it comes down to:
With a few brave exceptions (a faction of one named Joe Lieberman), the Democrats split into two major camps: the wingnuts–Dean, Boxer, and Kennedy–who know what they think, which alas sets them at odds with the rest of the country; and the caucus of cowards–Bayh, Edwards, and Kerry–who believe in nothing so much as their own career prospects, and change their minds on the gravest of war and peace issues on the basis of what serves their ends. . . .
Republicans want to win wars and spread freedom; Democrats want to save their rear ends. Bush thinks freedom is better than terror and tyranny; Democrats think they themselves are better than Bush. In 2004, Bush made it clear he was willing to lose on the basis of his convictions–and won in spite or more likely because of this. Democrats had no convictions beyond the end goal of winning, and therefore quite properly lost. No party deserved to lose more than the Democrats did in these past two elections, and unless they make changes, they stand to lose many more.
At one level, it seems counter-intuitive that the Democrats would behave so badly so soon after again being chastised by the electorate and at a time when they allegedly are engaged in soul-searching. At another level, it isn’t surprising at all. The Democrats don’t have to face the voters again for two years, so they no longer feel the need to repress their ugliest sentiments, which defeat has made them feel all the more passionately.