Howard Fineman writes about the Democrats' despair over their dismal political prospects. They recognize that not only does their stable of candidates lack the star power of the Republican lineup, their "idea people" are singularly void of any ideas. They lack, as a party, a unifying ideal for them to rally behind and to stand stoutly for. The only imagination they display is the sort seen in the fellow in the Capital One commercials who thinks up ever more clever variations on the word no.
No to more refineries, no to more drilling, no to social security reform, no to tax cuts, no to Bush's judges, no to the war on terror, no to tort reform, no to civility in our political discourse, no to anything George Bush wants to do for the United States and the American people.
Although Fineman doesn't say it the fact of the matter is that most of the ideas that seem to resonate with voters right now are conservative ideas. The Democrats have defined themselves as an anti-party. Their only distinctive is that they are opposed to Bush and all his works. Because there is nothing for which they can be said to stand they give the impression that their only motive for seeking elective office is the acquisition of power. Power must be an end in itself for the Dems because they haven't a clue what they would do with it if it ever fell back into their laps except use it to punish political opponents.
A platform based on lust for power and sweet revenge may rouse the fringes into a frenzy, but it's not likely to inspire the rank and file to turn out for Democratic candidates. The Democrats seem soulless and forlorn because, quite simply, they are.