February 8, 2005


Vapid Response Team (Charlie Cook, Feb. 8, 2005, National Journal)

It's difficult to say which was more frustrating last Wednesday, watching the president's State of the Union address or the Democratic "response."

While President Bush's speech was well crafted and well delivered, it begged so many questions that I suspect I wasn't the only one talking to the television set during the speech.

But the Democrats failed to ask any of those questions.

That the word "response" is in quotation marks is no accident, because what Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., delivered on national television was not a response at all. They were merely speeches that were written and rehearsed in advance. In fact, if the networks allowed such things, Reid and Pelosi could have taped their remarks a week or so in advance. It's ironic that the Democratic Party is taking so many hits for being the party of the trial lawyers yet seems unable to make a convincing case of its own.

In an effort to come across as smooth and polished, Democrats have abandoned any sort of effort to act as rebutters of the president's arguments.

Are you kidding? If Ms Pelosi's facial skin had been smoothed and polished any more her eyes would dangle in her lap.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 8, 2005 3:40 PM

Cook's deeply groved narrative construes politics as a sporting event: exciting, engaging, superficial, trivial. A fan of one team, surely, but when his team is so incompetent it brings out the churl. Perhaps he should take Red Sox Fan Coping lessons to mellow out?

Posted by: Luciferous at February 8, 2005 5:01 PM

First Gephardt, and now Pelosi: Is it a requirement of the position that the Democrats' Leader must appear in these "responses" as if they are about to peel back their face to reveal they are really a Space Alien Lizard?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 8, 2005 5:28 PM

Red Sox Fan Coping lessons

Now renamed to "Yankee Fan Coping Lessons."

Posted by: Brian (MN) at February 8, 2005 6:55 PM

I first discovered Cook when following the 2000 elections. It became clear he was one of those Beltway types who despite obviously being pro-Democrat had obtained the "independent" label. Haven't paid much attention to him since.

Posted by: AWW at February 9, 2005 12:00 AM

It's nice to know that in SF, there is a significant constituency that believes Pelosi has caved too far into the center. If Little Kim survives the inevitable coup d'etat, it's nice to know that he always has a job as a San Francisco city councilman.

Charlie Cook is a good analyst but is a partisan Democrat, a fact about which he makes no bones or apologies. Unfortunately, because he doesn't visibly froth or mince, the MSM tries to foist him on us as 'independent.'

Posted by: Bart at February 9, 2005 11:55 AM