With the post-election navel gazing and the search for a new DNC chair a lot of ink has been spilled over charting the course to victory for the Democratic Party. But what most commentators (as opposed to bloggers) fail to realize is that it is not the direction of the path, but the way we walk down it that will determine our ability to take back power in Washington and the states. (If anything illustrates the truth of this thesis, it is the meandering path the GOP has taken. While their rhetoric has remained decidedly conservative, their actions have been erratic and driven more by a combination of polls and neo-con fantasies of restoring US hegemony.)
The path to victory, as noted by Kos and other liberal bloggers, is one of pure partisanship. It requires a party leadership of people who are not afraid to be Democrats and are not scared into submission by the Republican Noise Machine.
The Democratic Party has, for the better part of the past twenty years, been at best timid, at worst petrified. Instead of standing up for our values, we have tried to appease and move closer to the GOP. In our search for some mythical middle ground we have played ball with Republicans and in the end have moved the middle of the playing field well into the GOP's territory. Not only that, but over the past four years, Democratic efforts to work with this President have resulted in utter policy failures, where Democratic support is used as a coverall for debacle (see, NCLB, Iraq War).
We, as a Party, need to stand firm to our principles. Rather than run away from Roe v. Wade
or internationalism or equal rights, we must explain to the people (in a compelling way) why those are inherently American values that are good for all. We must use whatever means necessary to retake the moral high ground we ceded to the GOP and its minions of hateful "Christians". We must remind people that Christ did not teach us that God hates fags or abortions, but that he taught us forgiveness, charity and justice.
What we need are hardcore partisan Democrats willing to stand up and be counted. We do not need tinkerers who want to "fine tune" our message. We do not need a DLC leadership that cares more about criticizing their own Party on the pages of the GOP's newspaper of choice. By that same token we do not need to drive the Party off into some liberal fantasyland in order to bring home a few wayward Naderites. And, we certainly do not need failed DNC chair candidates lashing out at the Party for not being inclusive enough on abortion.
This is not to say that we ought to silence internal debates over policy. But those arguments MUST be dealt with among friends, not by airing out our dirty laundry for the masses to see and for the GOP to use against us. To those who wish to take cheap shots at the Party in such a way, I have one simple suggestion- get the fuck out and join the GOP. If you hate your Party so much that you think tearing it down in public is better than working together, then we have no use for you. Take your ball and go home.
This Party is one of believers and doers. We are a Party that will work together to achieve common goals. We will not engage in petty internecine warfare over ideological purity. We will no longer tolerate so-called leaders who are driven more by their own megalomania than a commitment to Democratic values. We will no longer bow down to DC based consultants who, despite years of failure, insist that they know better than we do. We, the members of the Democratic Party, are taking our Party back from the emasculated whiners in DC.
And, we, the people, will chart our own way to victory.