Let's face it. Republicans are quite good at framing the issues; and Democrats, well, they've proven quite good at getting framed.
Don't believe it? You need only look as far as Illinois where just this week Iraq Vet Tammy Duckworth fully entertained her opponent's cut and run accusations - so much so, in fact, that she repeated the accusation over and over and over again in her lengthy defense; which, btw, was then repeated over and over and over again in the blogosphere.
Or, just ask Sen. Kerry who is still reeling over how he was framed. And who may again run for President of the United States because, and I quote,
"...I'm saying that I have something to say, I have some unfinished business from the last round, I don't like what they did, I don't like how they framed it, and I don't like what they're doing for the country today, and I think we can do better. . . "
Question is, how many more swift boat attacks and how many more cut and run accusations is it going to take for Democrats to realize that to simply entertain these accusations is never the way to go?
I'm guessing it'll be a while [the reasons for which I'll save for another piece]. But, it truly need not be this way.
So Democrats, don't just defend, offend. Because if you find yourself counter-explaining with the nuances of your position on Iraq, you've already lost the war of words - certainly as far as the media's concerned. Which means, that your message ain't gettin' out anytime soon.
Bottom line: the media is simple. It does NOT give a rat's ass about your lecturing ways.
And yes, as base as it may seem, I am suggesting that you not just eat the press, but that you squeeze the press for all its worth; because if you don't, rest assured that your challengers across the aisle already have.
So next time, before rambling on and on about your theories for troop withdrawal, consider first launching into a messaging offensive. Counter-attack! Nuke! Drop the bomb! Do onto your opponents as they will definitely do onto you.
And in using the media, call it like you see it: like President Bush, my opponent prefers to stay and play in Iraq. Problem is, stay and play strategies may work well in Bush's neo-con experimentation labs, but are utterly useless in Iraq's gruesome battlefields. And, I don't know about you, but I'm just not comfortable with my opponent's desire to stay and play with the lives of our sons and daughters as they battle tirelessly in what is so clearly a failed experiment.
To boot, remind them that when you're fighting people willing to kill themselves in the name of their religion, the Bush Administration's measely stay and play strategy loses every single time.
Will doing this win Democrats the election? Absolutely not. Message discipline is no substitute for creative ideas, thoughtful actions and a real display of kahones. But, having an ounce of message discipline will ensure that whatever affirmative position Democrats ultimately express [so long as it's concise] might actually one day get heard.