Monday, October 16, 2006

Glenn Greenwald gets it on political passion

There's a reason Greenwald is so popular. Here he talks about howBeltway Democratic consultants have until recently essentially castrated the Democratic party with their fear of anything that smacks of real political passion:
The single most erroneous and destructive premise among the Beltway political class -- which includes the Democratic consulting class along with their intellectual twins in the David-Broder-led punditry circles -- is that anger and passion are the enemies of successful political movements. They preach a mindset of fear and defensiveness -- never articulate a view too strenuously and never be driven by principle or passion because to do so renders one an unmoderate extremist who will alienate normal Americans.
He points how various successful Democrats have done well by ignoring these kinds of folks and speaking passionately about issues. One of the worst legacies of the Clinton era has been this tendency for all Democrats to try to triangulate the way he did, regardless of how radical the Republicans are or what crazy stuff they try to pull. Triangulation can be useful, but if who you're trying to triangulate against keeps moving to the right, you can be suckered into falling off your base. Fortunately, this cycle seems to be the beginning of a Democratic awakening, assisted greatly by the unfolding consequences of Republican governance. (I'd say Republican "implosion", but that implies that they tried to succeed and failed, when in fact failure of government to do anything, other than line their own pockets, is one of their primary objectives.)


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