Montana Politics

A Call for the Mind Numbing Middle in the Democratic Party

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Richard Cohen received 3,499 angry e-mails, and that means that the Democrats are going to lose the Presidency again in 2008.

The connection? An angry ‘digital lynch mob’ of leftist bloggers represent the strident anti-war, anti-establishment that will sink the chances of Democratic candidates because they will attack centrist candidates. I know. It’s hard to keep track: one day, bloggers are totally insignificant and filled with self-importance, and on the next, they have the power to sink electoral campaigns.

While Cohen perhaps rightly argues that the hard left did help elect Nixon in 1972, his contention that Democrats need to appeal to the middle to win hasn’t exactly been supported by recent history. The search for this mythical, bland, slow to anger middle has generated Al Gore’s catatonic and John Kerry’s Bush-lite campaigns, each leading to electoral losses to one of the least qualified people ever to run to run for President.

It’s unfortunate that Mr. Cohen’s inbox was filled, but not that people on the left are acting like people on the left. We’re never going to win elections in this country by being the milquetoast alternative to the conservative onslaught; defending the values that once defined liberalism, from multilateral foreign policy to compassion for the disadvantaged can. Given what has happened to our country the past six years, isn’t it time for anger, rather than acquiescence?

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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