The other day I heard Evan Thomas explain that John Kerry’s problem was that he was too high-minded. EJ Dionne is constantly complaining that the trouble with Democrats is that they aren’t willing to stoop to the level of the Republicans. Now there’s this USA Today piece:
WASHINGTON — Imagine a Democratic presidential candidate and his allies assailing the character of the Republican nominee in ads and speeches every day for eight months.
Having trouble? That’s because Democrats generally don’t have the stomach or the discipline to do it. Often they don’t even effectively fight back when under attack themselves.
But with George W. Bush’s second inauguration next week, Democrats are pondering their choices in a Feb. 12 election for party chairman and rethinking what might be called their character problem.
Democrats “as a group are uneasy” about attacking and defending on character, says Harold Ickes, a former Clinton aide who heads the Media Fund, a political ad organization. “But they damn well better get the stomach,” he adds, because “we’ve seen way too many of our candidates taken down on issues of character.”
Isn’t it possible, just the eensy-weensiest bit possible that there’s just the tiniest bit of substance to the charges Republicans level against Democrats? Also for consideration: When Democrats attack on “character” they sound obnoxious, cyncial and insincere and that’s not because they aren’t “good” at it.