Yes, Republicans are experiencing great difficulties right now, but the good news — politically speaking — is that Democrats are in even worse shape. While they can feast on their anti-Bush cuisine between elections, they're eventually going to have to come up with a menu of their own.
Today, they not only have no menu; they don't even have recipes for basic dishes. Their problem is not that they have too many cooks in the kitchen, but none. All of their chefs are in the Republicans' kitchen, and they don't know how to return to their own.
Their negativity alone is not going to get them back into the White House or majority status in Congress. Eventually — by all rights, it already ought to be too late — they're going to have to come up with an agenda.
But so far they can't be bothered. They're busy — doing the people's work in slandering President Bush and nobly ferreting out the "culture of corruption." Their self-appointed function is to undo, rather than do.
Democrats promised to produce their legislative agenda by November 2005, to give voters a full year before the 2006 elections to absorb their proposals. One wonders what they were doing the rest of 2005, or since 2001, for that matter.
But one need not wonder. The answer is that they excused themselves from developing an agenda because Bush-bashing was a far safer, easier and more satisfying pastime. One can only imagine the irresistible temptations they face to delay the unveiling of their sure-to-be earth-shattering blueprint. Once they do, they won't be able to focus the nation's attention as sharply on the evils and incompetence of President Bush. The release of their plan, in fact, will be an annoying distraction. But worse, it will require them to stand behind and defend something of their own.
As it turned out, November 2005 came and went. Dem honchos decided it was too early to release the plan. Too early? Too early for what? Surely not too early for a nation they have been telling us is in dire trouble. No, too early to allow them to best capitalize on the plan's publication.
Not to worry. They said they would have the plan ready by January. Once again, the party with all the answers failed again to give us any of them. They have since scheduled and missed two more "deadlines," but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi assures us the document will be ready in "a matter of weeks."
Just so there is no confusion here, the "plan" concerns their proposed legislative agenda. They can't even get their act together on domestic issues. But they're in even more chaos when it comes to ideas about the War on Terror, especially Iraq.
What do they suggest we do? Withdraw outright? No, that's just the Murtha/Clooney brigade. The Biden faction wants us to withdraw soon, but only if the political conditions in the country don't improve. That's bold of you, Joe.
What does John Kerry want? Who could ever know? The poor man didn't even tell us during the entirety of his laborious presidential campaign. Not long ago, he and his fellow geniuses were demanding more troops, then quickly reverting back to their withdrawal demands.
What about Iran or North Korea? Democrats sure have relentlessly slammed Bush over not discovering a magical solution to neuter these two "Axis of Evil" charter members. On one side of their mouths, they say Bush is not being tough enough and is doing nothing. On the other, they issue dire warnings that he might actually do something.
Meanwhile, they tell us we aren't doing enough to capture Osama, "the tallest man in Afghanistan." Forgetting their childishly myopic view of the War on Terror, this mantra is wearing thin. Do they really believe President Bush isn't doing everything he can to find Osama and al-Zarqawi? If so, perhaps they can tell us where they are, or explain why the military they so love has not yet produced them.
The sad truth is that the Democrats have articulated no plan for the WOT or Iraq because they don't have one. Their worldview tells them — facts and reality be damned — that this war is largely a matter of our failure of diplomacy, international relations, and shortcomings in winning the hearts and minds of the murderers who want to kill us.
Their platitude, "We can do better," is not likely to fool enough voters when they can't even do "better enough" to produce a plan. The only thing they're better at these days is naysaying. But if such empty slogans end up working, this country is headed for worse trouble than even these professional critics can imagine.