Yes, there was actually a day when you could use the words fighting
in the same sentence.
Actually, you could have done so all throughout the 20-year Franklin Roosevelt era that had once created a consensus within the Country around progressive values.
Fighting Democrats certainly also applied to John & Robert Kennedy who looked the U.S. War Machine & CIA in the eye and did not blink (both advancing a withdrawal in Vietnam and a peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis).
But was 1992, really that long ago?
We had fighting democrats then too.
I'm still not sure why we then got away from that and retreated down this path of 2000, 2002, 2004, the whole DLC-Lieberman thing.
Maybe it's time for a quick review:
The War Room (DVD, 1994)
Starring: James Carville, George Stephanopoulos
Released as a documentary in 1994 and re-released as a DVD just last year, "The War Room" brings back an era when a Democratic campaign for the presidency manned the battle stations and out-maneuvered their opposition with brain, brawn and speed.
Without a narrator, "The War Room" brings you back to the golden days of Carville and Stephanopoulos, when they were making history instead of analyzing it for the big bucks. Whatever one thinks of the centrist trajectory of the Clinton Administration, they knew how to do battle. They were ready for combat with the Republican thugs, although the Bush I campaign mob squad were pussycats compared to the Bush II hit men.
Nonetheless, it's heartwarming and invigorating to watch Democrats who aren't timid or obsequious in the face of getting mugged. The Clinton crew not only knew how to hit back; they knew how to hit first. Contrast their strategy to the Kerry campaign, which thought the presidential race was a meeting of the Yale debate club.
1992 feels like a half a century ago -- and Bill Clinton let his guard down long enough to let the special counsel investigation get out of hand, leading to his impeachment over an act of fellatio. But he still emerged from the fusillade of the GOP hit squad as president, because he gave as good as he got.
The title of this fascinating and timeless documentary says it all: "War Room." The Clinton campaign team, led by Carville, knew that form was content, and you had to come out swinging or go down looking like a wimp.
Karl Rove learned a lot from Carville and made sure Bush always appears to be posturing from a position of strength. It's all an act for Bush, but, in modern day politics, form is content to many voters. Image trumps the facts.
Bush may be a turnip brain and Karl Rove may be evil, but Karl Rove IS Bush's brain, so George doesn't need one.
Through several elections we haven't seen the likes of the 1992 street smart, hard charging Clinton campaign staff. It appears that cautious consultants who urge milquetoast positions and squishy twaddle are all the rage among Democratic presidential contenders.
So it's nostalgic and reaffirming to watch "The War Room" and know that Democrats can outsmart the party of evildoers. All we have to do is find some of those Democrats again. They must be somewhere. They were there in 1992.