FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Davy Plouffe tries to manage expectations.
Plouffe took some time away from his current job – which is to say, rewriting the Democratic party’s rules so as to eliminate any chance of a successful primary challenge to the President in 2012 – to graciously define the Republican party’s November victory conditions for it. Apparently, according to Davy if we’re not “winning back the House, winning back the Senate and winning every major governor’s race” on Election Day then we’ve failed. Which is an entertaining little argument, and quite clever (for a Democratic strategist), for two reasons. The first is that it’s essentially unfalsifiable: all a Democrat has to do is declare that a particular governor’s race is ‘major’ and hey presto! – the GOP has failed.
The second reason that this is almost-clever is that while most people can see through that trap, not as many might challenge the underlying assumption that there can be a quantifiable definition of ‘victory’ at all. Which is blatantly untrue: you see, you can win any number of seats and still not impose your political will on the civic landscape (something that the antiwar movement learned in 2007*). Put another way: to quote SM Stirling, you win battles not by killing the enemy, but by breaking their hearts and making them run.
Which we are already doing to the Democrats in Congress. That is what victory looks like.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*I’ve also been reminded that President Obama, despite his super-majority in both houses, didn’t manage to impose his own will on, well, anybody. Unless the President is finally prepared to take personal ownership of the ‘stimulus’ and Obamacare? No? No, I didn’t think that he was prepared to do so, either.