Ideas for Democrats
Frank Rich considers a few.
It is not easy to be a professional Democrat in 2006. Out of power for six years and widely damned as out of intellectual steam, the party is regarded in nearly every political precinct and publication as a chronic invalid, doomed to obsolescence even though nearly all the stars are in alignment for a national rejection of all things Bush. When others aren't kicking the Democrats, they are more than happy to kick themselves. The former Clinton hands Rahm Emanuel, now a hard-charging Democratic congressman from Illinois, and Bruce Reed, the president of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, set the defensive tone of their election-year policy manifesto by quoting the Beckett-inflected soliloquy of Ross Perot's ticket mate, Admiral James Stockdale, from the vice-presidential debate of 1992: "Who am I? Why am I here?" These days the Democrats would seem to have fewer answers to such existential questions than the sadly disoriented Stockdale did.