It's become a cliché to state that Democrats will say anything and that truth to them is relative to who it is being spoken about. Here's yet another example"
James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal found an interesting flip flop on the part of liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne last week. In a column titled "Obama’s victory should settle a bitter argument," Dionne takes the position that Obama won a mandate to do things his way and Republicans will be forced to compromise.
But eight years earlier, when Bush won re-election with a 3 point margin, this same liberal columnist declared that Bush had no mandate and that the close election meant Bush would have to compromise with Democrats.
The only thing consistent about Dionne's position is that no matter what, Republicans should compromise with Democrats. If Republicans win, they must compromise with Democrats. If Republicans lose, they must compromise with Democrats. And never, never, ever, does the same apply to Democrats. How predictable. It's like global warming. Whether it's hot or cold it's because of global warming and the only answer is to raise taxes!
After 2004 Loss Dems Doubled Down on Liberalism
The usual left leaning handwringers in the punditocracy have been busy for a week telling Republicans they must become more like Democrats if they expect to win another national election. Many in the GOP establishment are falling for this clap trap. But many others understand that some offering this advice don't want Republicans to win and that by becoming Democrat-lite the GOP would simply become a minority party in perpetuity.
Since the 2004 election was brought up by the flip flop of E.J. Dionne, it's interesting to reflect on what Democrats thought and said when John Kerry lost that narrow election. Jonathon Last writing at the Weekly Standard has some perspective:
A week after the election, a group of African-American journalists gathered at Harvard to discuss the implications of Kerry’s loss. Summing up the meeting, the Detroit Free Press’s Rochelle Riley concluded that “it could be the end of civilization as we know it” because “Bush’s next term is not four years. It is 30 years, based on its impact.” In the Baltimore Sun, USC professor Diane Winston worried that Democrats were “ill-prepared for this new, faith-based world.” A Seattle Times columnist wrote, “after three decades of cultural and religious struggle—including a fair amount of concerted, premeditated political exploitation—the religious right is more mainstream in America than once-mainline denominations. This election confirms the influence and clout of those described by scholars as the socially conservative, theologically evangelical. They are our friends and neighbors, and unlike 18-to-29-year-olds, they vote in big numbers.” All of which led columnist Leonard Pitts to wonder, “Maybe this is where America ends. . . . Small wonder that everywhere I go, people are talking about moving to Canada. That’s the kind of joke you make when you no longer recognize your country.”Two years later Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives and in 2008 nominated the most liberal Democrat ever as their presidential candidate and won. They didn't win because they became Republican-lite. Just the opposite.
At the New York Times the hysteria was even more pronounced. Garry Wills called Kerry’s defeat “the day the Enlightenment went out.” Democratic operative Andrei Cherny wrote, “On Wednesday morning, Democrats across the country awoke to a situation they have not experienced since before the New Deal: We are now, without a doubt, America’s minority party.” Thomas Frank identified the Democrats’ problem as being one of perpetual weakness on the “values” subject:
Democrats still have no coherent framework for confronting this chronic complaint, much less understanding it. Instead, they “triangulate,” they accommodate, they declare themselves converts to the Republican religion of the market, they sign off on NAFTA and welfare reform, they try to be more hawkish than the Republican militarists. And they lose. And they lose again. Meanwhile, out in Red America, the right-wing populist revolt continues apace, its fury at the “liberal elite” undiminished by the Democrats’ conciliatory gestures or the passage of time.
Thomas Friedman swallowed hard and croaked that “what troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don’t just favor different policies than I do—they favor a whole different kind of America. We don’t just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is.”
The lesson the Democrats learned from the 2004 election is that you win by staying true to your values (such as they are). Those suggesting Republicans do the opposite are either misguided or hoping we lose again in 2014 and 2016!