NVB Chimes in on the new SDDP hires.
It IS about winning

NVB put up a very thoughtful post from his point of view, but there's one fundamental point on which we'll disagree. From his post on why winning is not everything :
The scuttlebutt at the Brown County Democrats' booth at the fair involved the new staff members hired by the state party. Other booths nearby have computers hooked up to the Internet. People go over to them and look at what's on the news and the political web logs. The people who reviewed the blogs this morning said that none of the Democratic blogs have mentioned the new staff members for the SDDP. But the Republican blogs have an inordinate interest, and the blogs shown to me have greeted the new staff members with what can only be described as belittlement. In politics today, the idea seems to be to damage the goods before it can see the light of day. It's called winning by some.

and..

Winning elections are not the issue. Keeping the world's last best hope alive is the task.
Or you can Read the whole thing here.

Yeah, ok. I suppose I'm one of the Republican blogs that has been taking pokes at the new hires. Guilty as charged. But, saying that is the same kind of generalization us GOP bloggers are being accused of. Aside from the views of 1/2 of the communication team being a bit out of step from most of South Dakota, I haven't said much about the rest except that they were hired, and I don't know who the guy from Sioux Falls is. And the snarky yawn comment.

Of course we're interested in who gets hired. It's telling of how tough a time we're going to have this next year. What skill set are we going to face off against? What tactics are we going to have to counter? Can we rattle them? Are they going to make the mistakes of a neophyte, or are we going to have to be prepared for a long tough race.

If we're not intimately interested, we're fools.

And, despite acknowledging their hiring, my purpose is not to belittle or blackball them. They've got a hard row to hoe. I don't envy them. It's the bottom of the 9th, and they're playing for a team that's down by 10. I've worked on campaigns before purely on the basis of principle because I believed in something. Unfortunately, when it's a matter of principle, as opposed to sound strategy, it's usually a losing proposition.

The issue I'm being an armchair quarterback on, (point #1 in my prior post) was neatly summed up by Mr. Newquist: "Winning elections are not the issue."Because from what I can tell, that's the attitude of the leadership of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

Now, before I'm accused of another generalization, I'm sure that's not the attitude of all of them. But to say "Winning elections are not the issue?" What? Are you kidding me? OF COURSE IT'S THE ISSUE! WINNING IS THE ONLY ISSUE!

When a candidate puts themself up to run for office, they invest their aspirations, their blood and sweat and dignity and so much more. I've seen marriages ruined because people put so much into campaigns (not that I'm advising that, it's silly). It can be an all consuming passion, obsession, call it what you will. Tom Daschle didn't run this last time to make a statement, he ran to win. I suspect the guys who worked for him during the election who are now blogging understand that.

The bottom line is that an election is all about winning and losing.

The winner gets his or her shot at affecting public policy. They actually get a front row seat at trying to make the world a better place. Some even rise to great heights of greatness and recognition if they have the right stuff. That's why these battles can be so intense. Because they're that important. The person who loses becomes a minor footnote in a record in the Secretary of State's office.

Certainly the world does not end for these people who lose. Many find great success in business, education, or other aspects of society. But that front rown seat in public policy isn't theirs.

So, sorry to disagree, but I do. To say "it's not about winning" does the people running under your banner no service. It might show commitment to the cause, but when it gets down to it, it's not about the cause. It's about the people who fight that cause for you. If you can't understand that, then there are going to continue to be fewer and fewer people available to hold that banner for you.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Well put!!

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