There was no conspiracy to keep Democrats down, and there is no secret explanation for why Obama is winning. He is just running an incredibly good campaign. The idea is so rusty for Democrats and Republicans alike that it just seems like magic.
I believe in competition. John Kerry wasn’t swift-boated–he was beaten by a superior campaign. I guess Al Gore lost because of Nader and the Supreme Court. But why was it ever even that close? What is the use of being a Southern senator when you can’t carry a single state in the South? I mean no disrespect to any of those guys, I really don’t. But this notion that mystical and nefarious forces deprived them from claiming what was rightly theirs is odious and self-serving.
No one has conspired to deprive us of power over the past few decades. The American people aren’t stupid. We’ve sucked at articulating our message. If you have any interest in a more progressive country, we need to be honest. At the presidential level, at least, conservatives have hammered us. Give them their due. Don’t blame Rush. Don’t blame Kristol. Don’t denigrate states you’ve never visited. Give them their due. Give them their respect. Study them, and then get better.
Denial is bad for two reasons. First, if you can’t accept that you lost, you don’t have a prayer of getting better. If you think Kerry and Gore lost because they were too “high-minded,” then you miss the basic fundamentals at work, and spend your days congratulating yourself for being up on the latest Paul Krugman. This is a war, and you don’t lose wars because of abstract principles, but because of hard immovable facts. Is your army bigger than theirs? Are you attracting more recruits? Are you deploying in the right places? Who has more resources? Who has the technology edge? These are the reasons I voted Obama in the primary. I didn’t think he was “more principled” than Clinton, nor did I really care. I thought she was tough, but I knew he was tougher. I thought her campaign was smart, but I thought his was smarter. I thought one person was talking about being a fighter, and another was out there actually being a fighter. The general is bearing all of this out, because right now, Barack Hussein Obama is beating John McCain like he stole something–from Toot, no less.
Democrats are luckier than we have any right to expect thanks to the convergence of two independent events. First, the grisly suicide of American Republicanism is finally reaching a climax. Second, Democrats somehow found a candidate with the raw political skill to make the most of it. Either one would spell a good year; together the two could be an epoch making event.