Wednesday’s New York Times has a front-page story about the problem I’ve blogged about: national Democrats’ ineptitude at challenging governmentally inept but politically skilled Republicans.
In the article, numerous Democrats concede the party has missed a golden opportunity while Bush & Co. fumbled and stumbled the past few months.
And they blame the party’s current talking heads: Kerry, Pelosi, Reid, Dean, Obama and Clinton. (That’s Hillary Clinton, whose tone-deafness was on dramatic display when she made the mistake of speaking after her husband at Coretta Scott King’s funeral.)
Democrats need two things:
• A leader with the ability of a Reagan or a Clinton (Bill) to articulate a message and a vision.
• A leader with the ability – which no Democrat has shown since JFK – to speak to national security concerns.
In the 1990s, Clinton united a party divided over domestic issues: the Jesse Jackson liberals and the DLC moderates.
But national security didn’t matter in those elections. It matters now.
It will be much tougher for a Democrat today to find a way to speak to both the party’s now-dominant peace wing and Americans concerned about national security.
It’s a daunting challenge. But the vacuum of politics usually creates that leader. Here’s hoping it happens again.