The Pew poll suggests that the Democrats' weakness is neither strategic nor
tactical but emotional. To quote the poet William Butler Yeats: "The best lack
all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
There's not enough passion on the Democratic side, not enough heat. There's
some radiating from the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, too
little emanating from the Democratic majority in the Senate, and not nearly
enough coming from President Obama. Republicans, by contrast, have little going
for them except passion -- but they're using it to impressive effect.
Democratic leaders should stop backpedaling, stop apologizing and show
their followers -- by words and deeds -- that the principle of universal health
care is worth fighting for. They should even allow themselves to raise their
voices at times -- not motivated by anger but by conviction.
Passion finds expression in anger, but also in hope. Democrats knew and
felt that during the campaign. If they forget it, they might as well also forget
about achieving the kind of fundamental change that the country sorely needs.
Friday, August 21, 2009
A Passion Problem
Eugene Robinson suggests that Obama's 'trust' problem is really a 'passion' problem: