Monday morning, and I see that the New York Times web site is still flogging Adam Nagourney’s weekend article about how “some Democrats” think it might be better to not win back one or both houses of Congress in November, so as to better position the party for 2008.
I enjoyed Julia’s takedown of this nonsense, including the observation that “that shadowy but powerful group within the Democratic Party, the ‘some’ Democrats” seems to largely amount to no-accounts like disgraced former Congressman Tony Coelho.
Scott Lemieux observes:
The strange thing is that this kind of argument resurfaces all the time. It’s the same illogic behind the fake-Democratic contrarian’s all-time favorite, “what the hell, let’s sacrifice Roe: that will screw the GOP!” The problem, of course, is that there’s no end to it. For that matter, let’s let the Republicans privatize Social Security! Repeal the Clean Air Act! Put Roy Moore on the Supreme Court! We’ll really have a shot to win the 2016 election then! One problem with people who care about their own alleged cleverness is that they forget that the point of politics is to achieve good outcomes.
Elsewhere, Matthew Yglesias reminds us of the full implication of the current Administration’s various declarations about what it’s okay for them to do:
Turns out the NSA, with the collaboration of every phone company except Qwest, is monitoring all of our calls—not to listen in to what’s being said, but simply to gather data about the calls and draw inferences from that. It’s important to link this up to the broader chain. One thing the Bush administration says it can do with this meta-data is to start tapping your calls and listening in, without getting a warrant from anyone. Having listened in on your calls, the administration asserts that if it doesn’t like what it hears, it has the authority to detain you indefinitely without trial or charges, torture you until you confess or implicate others, extradite you to a Third World country to be tortured, ship you to a secret prison facility in Eastern Europe, or all of the above. If, having kidnapped and tortured you, the administration determines you were innocent after all, you’ll be dumped without papers somewhere in Albania left to fend for yourself.
Tell us again why it would be better not to win at least one house of Congress. (A prize that, as we’re reminded with increasing frequency, comes with subpoena power.)
Digby spins out the patent nuttiness of the “let the Republicans stew in their own juices” position attributed by Nagourney to his “some Democrats”:”
In fact, the best thing to do would be to keep losing until everything is perfect so they don’t have to do anything unpleasant and the loud and angry left will have nothing to scream about.
If anyone’s wondering what the Democrats’ master plan has been for the last few years, I think we’ve found it.
Memo to the party mandarins dispensing all this wise advice: If you have a chance to win, you win. Not because you want to do a victory lap but because you care about the country and you will do anything you can to stop the hell these crazy bastards have unleashed and start down a new path. Do you want them to continue to have free reign over the next two years while they pump up this phony threat with Iran? Do you want them to be in charge of another natural disaster like Katrina? More money thrown into the black maw of GOP contributors? What are you thinking?
This is why the establishment is becoming irrelevant. It isn’t a game to us hicks out here in America. These are our lives these people are talking about.
Finally, Atrios nails it:
Shorter “Leading Democrats”: We are losers who fear responsibility.
The plain fact is that if we don’t want to spend the rest of our lives in a science-fictional dystopia, our single most important job is to start kicking the current crazy people out, and to keep them out long enough to start fixing things.