Let me start by saying how much I appreciated all the energetic responses to my previous post. Time didn't permit me to respond immediately, but I personally read most of them - positive and negative - and found them thoughtful and challenging.
Rather than belabor some of the points I made in the original post, let me just offer a few quick reactions to some of the responses to my message.
I completely agree that the Democrats need to present and fight for a clearly stated set of core convictions, and that we have not done so as effectively as we need to over the past several election cycles. We can insist on being principled about the ends we are trying to achieve (e.g. educational opportunity and basic health care for all Americans, honest and accountable government, etc.), without sacrificing our commitment to open debate, intellectual honesty, and civility. I think its the right thing to do and I also think it will help us win.
I also agree that it is the job of Democratic elected officials to help shape public opinion, and not just respond passively to opinion thats been aggressively shaped by the Republicans PR machinery. I am simply suggesting, based on my experience, that people will respond to a powerfully progressive agenda when its couched in optimism, pragmatism and our shared American ideals.
Finally, some of you wondered whether I wrote the post myself. I did.
Again, thanks for the comments. I look forward to continued dialogue in the future.
(Cross-posted on the Senate blog: http://obama.senate.gov/blog/)