James Carville and Paul Begala were not the only Democrats on morning televison offering advice for Democrats as the midterm elections approach. On the "Early Show,"former Senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart, another democrat who got into trouble for extramarital affairs, discussed his new book, "The Courage of our Convictions: A Manifesto for Democrats." Like Carville and Begalia, Hart maintains the Democratic Party needs to grow a spine. During the segment with Hart, "Early Show" co-host Harry Smith allowed his populist beliefs to shine through, even has he noted the Democratic party is "adrift" and bemoaned the fact that the Democrats don’t really stand for anything:
"...But is there a center of the Democratic party? Is there a definable issue that the Democrats are known for in the country? It seems to me, as we look at it over the last several years, it's a party adrift."
Smith later highlighted president Bush’s poor poll numbers on Iraq, but lamented that the Democratic Party has not put forth it’s own agenda:
"Because the best example right now is the President's approval ratings on Iraq, for instance, could not be worse. But, I'm not sure that if you asked anyone on the streets what the Democrats think should happen next, or should happen, anyone has a clear cut view."
Smith also discussed the political center, inquiring whether it was possible to win an election without winning the "center:"
"Because the center is so important. It seems like in this country you're elected through primaries by your base, but then once you get to the middle, it's all about covering the middle or protecting the middle or winning the middle. Can you do, can you win a senatorial election, a presidential election without the middle, without being centrist?"
An ironic question, given that the positions the Democrats have taken, such as immediately withdrawing from Iraq and raising taxes by repealing tax cuts that have induced job creation and economic growth, are leftist not centrist positions.
Smith’s disappointment in the Democrats, however, did not prevent his populist attitude from showing:
"My own feeling, just as a citizen, not as a reporter or somebody who sits on television everyday, is special interests are so coddled to and so much money is spent on K Street and lobbyists, ensuring that certain pieces of legislation are passed that much of the rest of the Republic is left to fend for itself."
But what about CBS? Don’t they have a government affairs division and lobbyists that promote policy CBS wants passed? If Smith is so outraged at lobbyists, shouldn’t he disclose that the company he works for utilizes them?
For the record, Senator Hart was very tough on his own party, and noted that he wrote the book because no one knows what the Democratic Party stands for:
"Well, this book was written because people would stop me on the street of Denver and other cities and say, 'what do the Democrats stand for? What do you believe?' And it has been that sense of drift I think for 25 or 30 years that has caused people to say, I'm not quite sure who you are and what your core beliefs are."
What do the democrats stand for? That is a question many have been wondering, but media outlets have not been asking. Apparently, according to Senator Hart, the Democrats really don’t stand for anything, not a strong position for a party asking for voters to give them control of Congress this November.