Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Had Enough?"

The Bull Moose quotes a Time Magazine piece crediting Newt Gingrich with creating a campaign slogan for the Democrats:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who masterminded the 1994 elections that brought Republicans to power on promises of revolutionizing the way Washington is run, told TIME that his party has so bungled the job of governing that the best campaign slogan for Democrats today could be boiled down to just two words: "Had enough?"
But I recall somebody beating Newt to the punch. It was none other than James Carville, the guy who came up with "It's the Economy, Stupid!" It was the title of his 2003 book. Here's my favorite part of Carville's "Had Enough?" He's giving a speech to a large group of Democrats at an annual dinner:

Then just when I had them whipped into a good frenzy, I hit them with: "And I'll be got-damned if we are going to let them stop us from passing the transgender amendment."

Cheers and applause. People were out of their seats. It was thunderous.

There's only one problem. There is no transgender amendment. I don't even know what would be in a transgender amendment.

That's when it really hit me. People went wild because it sounded like something Democrats are for. I almost felt guilty. After all, it wasn't that audience's fault for being gullible. It was our fault for sounding like a party that is a sum of different things targeted to different groups. Maybe someday someone will write a transgender amendment--and we will stand for it. But we need to stand for more than that.

A footnote states that Carville subsequently heard that there was a transgender amendment, in New York and in Australia. He had no idea what was in it, and said that his point still stands.

Update: Here's an excerpt from which the foregoing was taken.

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