I sent this to the NYTimes, but they didn't print it:
Brooks' hatchet history (1/31) purports to demonstrate the shallowness of Democratic voters and the intellectual aridity of the party. Though"electability" is an issue raised and sustained by the media's penchant for bad historical analogies, it is nonetheless important for to address if the party is serious about implementing its policies. Second, the Democratic candidates' positions are all pretty close to the mainstream of the party. As far as policy is concerned, I'd be satisfied with five of the remaining seven. So style and political history have to play a role. Finally, absolute certainty is a sign of intellectual sloth, if not death. So perhaps he should be asking why Bush is the Republican choice, when his administration has done so little on security issues, governed radically instead of moderately, and is on the verge of becoming the most scandal-ridden administration since Harding?
They did, this time, print letters which were pretty similar (by Jan Meshon of NY and Russel Scanlon of Austin), in aggregate. Of course, whether this administration has scandals or not depends a great deal on the willingness of the Justice Department and Congress to investigate the obvious, and on the willingness of an increasingly corporate press to pay attention. The moral and ethical and competency gaps are there. I just hope the Democratic party has some strong prominent non-nominees willing to stand up and take the flack for"going negative" so the nominee can"stay on message." (Did I get it right?)
p.s. I have a new motto, which I made up in the course of discussing Benson's post on Hindu fundamentalism. Josh Greenland was the party it was directed at, though he didn't really deserve it (he's paying attention). But I'm still claiming it as a motto for historians everywhere:
Be interested. Or be surprised. Your choice.
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Ophelia Benson - 2/3/2004
I like that motto. Covers a lot of territory, it does.