Dorothy Rabinowitz argues that the Democratic debate in Detroit played right into the hands of the Republicans. After watching the debate, I’m inclined to agree. The Democrats came off a relentlessly partisan, shrill, and did not present one iota of substance in the entire 90 minutes.
The only voters that the Democrats are appealing to are the voters that share their absolute hatred for the Bush Administration. However, that’s completely insufficient for winning the election.
Furthermore, the attitude of the Democrats is hardly Presidential. The whole crux of each and every Democrat’s rhetoric is “it’s all Bush’s fault”. That doesn’t cut it – when things go wrong the Democrats can’t blame Bush for all their problems. They have to be able to come up with solutions on their own. As I’ve said before and will say again, petulance is not policy. Unless the Democrats can drop the Bush-bashing, they don’t have a prayer of attracting enough swing voters to win.
As Rabinowitz notes, Karl Rove can have a field day with this:
Still, it is clear from the unvarying flow of bile emanating from them that the main program on the minds of the Democrats this campaign season is the contest to exceed one another in contempt for the president, for the war the nation has engaged. If the Republican National Committee has any sense, it will be busy making recordings of events like these debates, and cutting them into snippets for airing during the presidential campaign. It will make quite a show.
Believe me, if the RNC doesn’t do it (although they should), the blogosphere will. The Democrats cannot hope that people will forget their race leftwards in the general election – their words will come back to haunt them.