Eliot Spitzer Employed the Classic Donkey Strategy: "My Tail Fell Off... Again."

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Don’t just blame Eliot Spitzer. The [Democratic response to his driver’s license plan] is a case study in the singular ability of the donkey party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mistake number one: Cowardice.  The moment Eliot Spitzer started taking heat, his fellow Democrats ran for cover like Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail.  Of course, if Democrats are folding under pressure from opinion polls, you can bet Hillary Clinton is somewhere out front, [method-acting as a pretzel].  FYI, there are Republicans out there that still, against all manner of fact and logic, support the war in Iraq. The concept of a fire line was invented by Republicans.  Democrats?  We like water.

Democrats should have supported the most powerful liberal governor in the country. Eight years of George W. Bush has left the country on bended knee, begging for somebody to stand up to the Republican party. Whether you agree with the plan or not, Spitzer came to this debate ready to fight. His fellow Democrats came ready to run, ready to equivocate. Democrats were afraid of the issue. Not only did they lose, but they managed to alienate every possible constituency in the process: soccer moms, legal immigrants, die hard liberals, social conservatives, everyone. You know why? Because cowards never win.

Mistake number two: Compromise.  Once Spitzer compromised to a three-tier system, the proposal was [dead in the water]. The compromise was a signal to opponents that they could stop the proposal, and wound Eliot Spitzer in the process.  Spitzer’s poll number are now at [historic lows](http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2007/11/siena_poll_precipitous_spitzer.html), which means more to his enemies that the specifics of any particular proposal. His agenda is stalled and despite winning just a year ago with 69 percent of the vote, he has no mandate. Thanks Mr. Compromise.

But the compromise plan was not just a strategic mistake. Americans, even New York-Americans, say they want their leaders to compromise, but time and time again we vote for the most stubborn politician in the bunch. You can talk about George W. Bush, you can talk about Theodore Roosevelt, but America consistently votes for men and women who stand their ground. Compromise is what intelligent people do, it helps you govern effectively.  But we don’t vote for intelligent people who can govern effectively, we vote for the guy with the biggest testicles.

Mistake number three: Ceding the Debate.  As usual, Democrats accepted the premise of various questions that made no logical sense. Democrats should never have answered “does the plan pose a threat to national security” question.  They should have stayed on message and said, “I think the war in Iraq poses the greatest threat to national security” or “National security has nothing to do with the documentation of those who use our roadways” or “Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor not a terrorist.”  I mean, a guy who was on the 9/11 commission [supports this plan].

“National security” does not mean “whatever Republicans think will help them win elections.”  Is there any liberal left that can articulate this fact?

The next false choice Democrats idiotically accepted were the people running around saying the plan will allow illegal immigrants to purchase guns, if they [lie about citizenship]. Breaking news people: You can get a gun in this country if you lie! FYI, you can also get a gun in this country if you: live in Texas and are all the way out of your mother’s womb; have an Internet connection; have $10 and know a guy named Pooky.

Compromise, cowardice and ceding a debate, these have been the markers of the Democratic party for far too long. Terrorism and gun ownership have nothing to do with immigration. But, once again, Democrats couldn’t help themselves from acting like Democrats. They employed the classic donkey strategy, “My tail fell off … again.”

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