November 6, 2002

from joe conason's salon story:

"A party that will not criticize the incumbent president cannot defeat him, now or two years from now. A party that has nothing to say about unfair tax breaks, a vanishing surplus and a looted economy cannot expect anyone to listen when it asks for votes. A party without passion or vision is hardly a political party at all. Even in their righteous defense of Social Security, Democrats too often sounded as if their chief concern was to preserve their own institutional position. Today the future looks grim for them because they blurred the purposes of their partisanship.

As for the Republicans, they will exaggerate the meaning of this election in their usual triumphal style. Their gloating may not last long, however. Leading a one-party government, they will no longer be able to evade responsibility for whatever comes next. Their ideas and ideology are no more plausible than they were yesterday. They have divided rather than united the country, and their worst initiatives will still meet resistance from the many principled Democrats who were returned to office Tuesday night. Even at this low ebb, progressive revival remains a possibility, although much damage will be done during the next two years."

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