Welcome to Weenie World
I’ve been surfing around, reading blogs and opinion pieces covering Bush’s State of the Union and Kaine’s We’re-Not-Republicans Response. I found one of the best at Huffington Post by Bob Burnett, and thought I’d share the salient points:
Tuesday night brought us another example of the weenie effect. George Bush gave his State-of-the-Union Address. Newly elected Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine, followed with the Democratic response. Kaine may be a dynamo as Governor of Virginia, but as the national spokesman for the Democratic Party he was instant weenie.
Having observed this phenomenon for the past five years – it reached its nadir with John Kerry – it appears that Democratic speakers are obligated to follow four rules of weenie world.
The first is Never, never reveal what the Democratic Party stands for. Apparently, since the end of the Clinton Administration, Party insiders have decided that speakers should under no circumstance say what the Dems stand for. They believe that it is sufficient to state, “We’re not Republicans.”
The second rule is Pick a wimpy slogan and say it over and over until everyone knows that it sucks. On Tuesday night, Kaine repeated “There is a better way.” In doing so, Kaine implied he actually knows this better way, that managing the US is just like managing the State of Virginia. “In Virginia… we’re moving ahead by focusing on service, competent management and results… That’s how we in Virginia earned the ranking of America’s ‘Best Managed State.'” Hmm, I haven’t been in Virginia recently, but I don’t believe that managing it is like running the US. Virginia doesn’t have to worry about little things like an imminent Al Qaeda attack.
The third rule in weenie world is Don’t push back. Apparently, Democrats feel that it hurts their public image to go after President Bush when he goes on the offensive. They seem to believe that the public expects Dems to be passive, intellectual, even effete. (That’s why John Kerry won the hearts of Americans.)
The fourth rule in weenie world is When in doubt, imitate the Republicans. Tim Kaine was selected to give this response because he’s an outspoken Christian; the Dem “brain trust” thought that he’d convince the electorate that Democrats actually have values.