President Carter’s remarks about President Bush were further out of bounds than… (fill in a metaphor that works for you). In our day and age of political harshness, of the politics of divide and conquer, of everything else nasty going on we need to be able to count on certain people to be sensible. President Carter is usually that. His quotes saying President Bush is the “worst ever” typifies the kind of blind rage that some people have towards President Bush.
That kind of rage is, if nothing else, counterproductive. It is the same kind of rage that some people felt about President Clinton. That rage – of the sort that had people producing and selling videotapes alleging that President Clinton was, literally, a murderer – blinded them to the kind of sense necessary to persuade a majority of American people to join their opposition to President Clinton. They thought that the Lewinsky affair gave them the right to pronounce Clinton a morally lapsed liar with a fervor that suggested they thought he deserved the gallows. In the 1998 midterm elections, the American majority was more frightened by the Clinton-haters than by Clinton himself and the Democrats made electoral gains despite Lewinsky.
The Democrats are running precisely that risk now. The blind anger and hatred is driving the American people from their camp. Little noticed or talked about is that the American people dislike the Democratic Congress more than President Bush. I heard Sen. Dodd say the other night that meant the American people just wanted more Democrats. Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe they are getting as tired of the blind bashing President Bush is receiving as they did over President Clinton’s bashing. Maybe it is time for the Democrats to simply start leading proactively on all sorts of things that need to be done – from health care to the poor to the war on terror and on and on. If they don’t, look for a Republican win in 2008.