Friday, August 11, 2006


Just My 2¢

By this point, most everyone has chimed in with their thoughts on last Tuesday's primaries. But tonight, after taking several days to think it through, I'd like to weigh in with my own 2¢. Here goes:

For too many years the Democratic party has been campaigning under the guise of Conservative Lite. We were the Mello Yello to their Mountain Dew - the RC Cola to their Coke. We looked the same, acted the same, and tried to sound the same in an attempt to fool the voter into thinking we were no different than the conservative candidate who was getting all the positive press from the traditional media. And just like the Mello Yellos and the RCs of the world, we were running a rather distant second to the real thing. Why buy the knock-off when you can get the original with no extra effort?

But with Ned Lamont's victory, it appears as though the Democratic party may have exactly what it's longed for - the REAL THING. Not some cheap conservative knock-off hoping to pass as an acceptable substitute, but a living, breathing Democrat who is willing to speak his mind and stand up for the Democratic party. One of the things that I love/hate about the Democrats is the diversity of views within the party. I love the fact that we can all be from the same party and yet not be forced to fall into lock-step with the party elite's opinions. At the same time, I hate that all of that diversity often leads to an erratic, unfocused message making us look like a party in complete disarray. It's frustrating, to say the least.

But I think that we, as a party, may have finally reached a point where we are beginning to coalesce into an organized, issue driven, focused party. Taking into account the Lieberman and McKinney defeats, it looks to me as though the Democratic party is coming together right where they should be - in the center of the left. We are ridding ourselves of the extremes. No more conservative rubber stamps for the Bush administration and no more whackos for the conservatives to parade about as red meat for their base. Is Lamont to the left of Lieberman? He sure as hell is, but who among the Democrats isn't outside of Zell Miller? Is Hank Johnson to the right of Cynthia McKinney? Boy howdy, but that's not hard when McKinney is floating her 9/11 conspiracy theories.

No, although the Republicans would have you believe that the Lamont victory is the death nell for the Democratic party, I believe that this actually makes us stronger. We are finally moving to a comfortable place on the left of the conservatives. Right where we belong.

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