It is the first sign of trouble in a play about nothing but trouble. Asked by her father in the play’s first scene what she can say to demonstrate her love for him, Cordelia says, “Nothing.” To which Lear responds, “Nothing will come of nothing.”
Which is a pretty fair summation of the Democrats’ 2002 campaign. They had no message. They were an opposition party that drew no lines of opposition. They had nothing to say. And on Tuesday, their base responded by staying home in droves.
Nothing came of nothing. The Democrats lost the Senate, lost seats in the House, and picked up significantly fewer statehouses than they had counted upon.
On what should have been the Democrats’ defining issues, they endeavored to be indistinct. They could never bring themselves to oppose Bush’s tax cut, his trillion-dollar handout to the rich, though that made it impossible for them to advocate any significant programs of their own. Nor could they bring themselves to oppose the White House’s headlong charge into Iraq, though polling showed over two-thirds of the American people oppose a unilateral war. So Missouri’s Jean Carnahan, Colorado’s Tom Strickland, New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen, Georgia’s Max Cleland and South Dakota’s Tim Johnson — Democratic Senate candidates in close races — backed the president. All of them lost (though as I write, the South Dakota race may go to a recount).
Andy Sullivan (you remember the guy…lonely…unloved in his own country) thinks Myerson is worthy of a “Begala award” (which I assume means telling telling the unvarnished truth);
BEGALA AWARD NOMINEE: “Only the filibuster now stands between the nation and the unchecked rule of the most rightwing, xenophobic and belligerent administration in the nation’s history.” – Harold Meyerson, the American Prospect. They still don’t get it, do they?
So tell me Andrew, or speak to your muse George Orwell, what was the “most rightwing, xenophobic and belligerent administration in the nation’s history”? We’ll wait..but here’s a hint…it’s right in front of your nose.