Monday, March 27, 2006

This is pretty embarrassing

I'm not sure that Dick Durbin really remembers history all that well. At any rate, when I read this, I wasn't sure whether to scream or bury my head in my hands. Since I wasn't alone where I was at the time, I chose the latter.

In Kevin Horrigan's Sunday St. Louis P-D column, he asks Durbin, supposed tough guy from East St. Louis, whatever happened to the Democratic Party. Durbin's response:
"I understand the frustration," he said. "I tell you, it's hell not to have the pulpit. This man (President George W. Bush) sets the agenda. He moves the agenda. It's always been that way. And we (Democrats) don't speak with one voice. You don't until you have a nominee. The media doesn't treat us in the same way as they treat the president and the White House."

Even so, he said, "to say that we're devoid of a mission or a message, we're not. What we're trying to do is what Gingrich did with his contract, which is to wait for the right moment to strike, and for him that was after Labor Day. If you do it too early, people say, 'Ah, that was last year. What's this year's agenda?' So I hope our timing is right."

Dammit, Dick, that is not what happened. Newt and his boys did not simply roll out their plan on Labor Day 1994 and hoped for press coverage. Their noise machine had been cranking since before Clinton was ever elected, all the way through that election, and they still haven't stopped. Bob Barr was drawing up impeachment articles on Inauguration Day. The House Bank bit wasn't in every paper unless someone from the minority party was screeching about it. The phony Whitewater scandal was openly pushed by an anti-Clinton press, leaving out any story that served to exonerate Bill and Hillary. Does he not remember all that? He was in the House at the time.

Here's a clue - the press doesn't give a crap about any Contract On For America if the party doesn't have the press' attention already. To assume that the press is just going to shout your plan from the rooftops when you roll it out in September is naive at best.

The press needs to be awakened yesterday. At least Russ Feingold is trying to do that.

So, shorter me: Make some noise, already. And don't worry about David Broder snivelling about how rude you are.

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