I know I'll get flack for this because we are supposed to be pulling together for the good of the Party. But I'm here to tell you, from all outward appearances, there's no one minding the store.
Feeling in a feisty mood, I turned my TV to Hardball last night. Who would be skewered tonight? Oh goodie, I thought, he's got a Democratic and Republican strategist squaring off against each other on the Bolton and upcoming Court nominations. I settled in for a good debate.
The Republican was a chipmunk faced fellow with pasted on plastic hair. The Democratic side was represented by a perky 30 something. Her hair was tastefully frosted. She looked spirited.
What happened next was pathetic. Ok, I know Chris Matthews' job is to lob zingers across the plate so fast you can't catch your breath, but don't they prepare people for this show?
Mr. Plastic Hair was cool calm and collected. The Reps, besides providing a pre-program intensive with Carl Rove or the like, probably have the foresight to slip their guy some valium.
Besides snorting in derision and making faces at Mr. Plastic Hair's comments, "our" girl (and I say that in all deliberateness) took spirited to new heights, twitching and bouncing in her seat as she managed to completely blow questions on the line of "when did you stop beating your wife?"
Here's a virtual transcript of the exchange. Chris Matthews: "Are the Democrats opposed to John Bolton?"
Dem. Strategist: "Well, Yah!" Snort, twitch.
CM: "Oh, so this request for more information really IS a stalling tactic!"
Ms. DS: "Is not!"
Mr. PH: "Well, Chris, as the Republicans have pointed out time and again, if it wasn't a stalling tactic, the Dems would go for the up or down vote."
Ms. DS: "Well, of course, they don't listen to MY advice!"
CM: "Oh, you would advise them to go for the up or down vote?"
Ms. DS: "No."
Mr. PH: "I rest my case."
Ms. DS: Sputter, twitch, snort.
CM: "OK, how about the Supreme Court nominations. What if Bush nominated Antonin Scalia for Chief Justice. Would the Dems filibuster that?"
Ms. DS: "They can if they want to, so there!"
OK, I exaggerate a little. But not much. (Go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8058417/ for the actual transcript.) A 14 year old debate team member could have done a better job. A middle school teacher wouldn't let her charges loose without some advance knowledge of the format.
Or is this the best the Dems can do?
I KNOW we have progressive minds who can keep their heads even in these trying situations. Or is it a Republican plot? Was this kid a ringer masquerading as a Democratic strategist?
Who's in charge here anyway? First the Dems go all Republican lite; then they send in the Valley Girls. If we want to be taken seriously, we have to act serious, even when faced with the ludicrous. Not to say we should go all dull and pedantic. But if this girl was a Democratic Strategist, I'm James Carville.
Speaking of which, where IS the Ragin' Cajun these days? Ragin' is one thing. Twitching and blathering quite something else.
I hope someone is noticing the difference. Dr. Dean, are you paying attention?