Friday, June 6, 2008

Cool party...can I join?

I'm in some ways an odd duck -- a loyal, lifelong Democrat who hasn't been impressed with either David Axelrod Project (Deval Patrick and Barack Obama). Both times I was in the minority among younger, plugged-in Democrats...and both times my candidate lost. Deval beat what's-her-name and that-other-guy with 55% of the votes. Obama won a plurality of delegates.

In the exultation of beating that old white guy and that other white guy, Deval's people promptly put up a velvet rope. When I mentioned this over at BMG , it was snidely dismissed. Now, all the spin in the world can't hide the fact that in 2006, 55% for a Democratic candidate against a nobody in Massachusetts is a disappointment. There was only one other Democrat elected governor with a smaller share of the vote that night. Heck, Phil Bredesen got a bigger share than did Deval in Tennessee!

And I will maintain that the snot-nosed attitude of so many of Deval's supporters was a reason. There was more grace in Reilly's and Gabrieli's loss than in Deval's victory on the supporters' part. My feeling was pretty much that of coming to a joint and saying "cool party...sorry I'm late. Can I come in?" I was told "only if you dance the way we tell you, carry the drinks, and not interrupt the cool people--us. Oh, and you're lucky we're letting you in, even though you're expected to want to come in." It was Deval's party, but he was busy, and "his" people at the door were too busy harassing the late arrivals.

Deja vu. How much of Obamaland is having a fit at the idea of Hillary Clinton -- the choice of some 18 million Democrats -- ending up on the ticket? Better a charisma-impaired Kathleen Sebelius (can't "outshine" him, y'know) or misogynist Jim Webb (in case ovular Democrats don't get the message).

When the Axelrod Project Acolytes get snotty, they fall way short of where they should be. Suck it up...invite Hillary's supporters to the party. You won the series, don't throw a tantrum because it wasn't a sweep. Doesn't mean Clinton will say yes -- I don't want her to say yes -- but taking her voters for granted gives you warm self-righteousness...and four years of John McCain. How many of Obama's supporters will read one of the many diaries like this, leave a comment that boils down to "you lost, deal with it and vote Democratic," and pat themselves on the back?

If you want to win, Hillary is your first choice as VP. Can you win without her? Sure. Can you win Monopoly without Broadway? Sure. Doesn't mean you should try to do it the hard way.

1 comment:

Ryan Adams said...

I didn't - and don't - agree with everything you said back then, but the very fact that I've come so far around means that even if you didn't win all the individual points, you certainly won the overall argument.

David Axelrod's brand is like antibiotics. Sure, it's effective, but the more it's used, the less effective it becomes. If we train a generation of democrats to run on hope instead of ideas, this election of change won't be the paradigm shift this country truly needs to become a better place.