1. Danny Goldberg, whose book “Dispatches From the Culture Wars: How The Left Lost Teen Spirit” should be required reading for all future democratic presidential candidates, has an article on Alternet. It’s about the ludicrousness of holding Hollywood responsible for the failure of democratic politicians and consultants.
Paragraph I agreed with most:
it is pretty silly to ask Republicans for advice on how Democrats can win. They want Democrats to lose and they know that anything they say in the media is part of what political pros call “the permanent campaign.” It is more likely that the Republicans are trying to psyche out their opponents so that they stay distant from one of their most valuable allies.
Paragraph I agreed with least, or maybe just wish Danny had clarified:
A few weeks before the election, Time Magazine asked voters whether each candidate “stuck to their positions.” Bush got the affirmative answer from 84 percent while Kerry got a “yes” from only 37 percent. Bush’s most popular line on the campaign trail had nothing to do with Hollywood, it was “You may not always agree with what I do, but you will always know where I stand.” Until the Democrats produce candidates who can say that and be believed, tens of millions of American progressives will be forced to turn to Michael Moore and anyone else who stands up for a modern, moral progressive politics.
See, I would argue that most people in fact don’t know where Bush stands, because he has a proven tendency to say one thing and do something different. And if Kerry had just said that, firmly, plainly, and with the mountain of incontrovertible evidence he could have cherry-picked, we might not be in this mess.
(Yeah, I know, I know. John Kerry couldn’t say anything firmly and plainly if you pointed a gun at his wife and daughter. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one)
2. From the no good will come of this dept, via Democratic Underground: We’re now using a secret weapon in Iraq. Saddam’s old commandos. What could possibly go wrong?
3. It looks like the Republican candidate for governor has won in Washington state. The Democrats can demand a hand-recount, but at the moment they don’t have the money for one. But it might not be a bad idea, given that they’re trailing by a mere 42 votes.
As noted here before, a Republican victory in WA isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. But it isn’t the best, either. The always-lovely Amy Sullivan writes in Political Animal:
It’s true that Washington is really two states–Seattle and, well, the rest of the state–but it’s not really a toss-up. Kerry won the state by a good seven percentage points, the state legislature is now completely controlled by Democrats, Democrats have ruled from the governor’s mansion for the past twenty years, and Patty Murray handily beat Rep. George Nethercutt this year to hold onto her Senate seat.
4. You’ll need a Salon day pass for this if you aren’t a subscriber. It’s a very sad story about what can happen when the abyss looks also into you. And it scares me, just as what happened to Spalding Gray scares me, because here’s someone who seemingly conqured a lot of the fears that keep me from…that keep me from.
And she was celebrated, and she was the toast of the town, and her books were acclaimed and read. And she shot herself earlier this month.