Think: America is in the middle of a war, and speakers at the Democratic National Convention can't really address this war in an honest manner. Many can't say what they really believe.
They have to pretend they will go along with positions they detest.
For a campaign to succeed, Domke noted, its energy has to come from both the message and the candidate. "It turns out that with Howard Dean, (the Democrats) would have had not just a messenger they could believe but a message that they obviously do believe in."
It's true that Thursday night showed America a man with a compelling story, a worthy biography and an admirable war record, but his story can't change the minds of those who disagree with his policies.
If the Democrats wanted an anti-war nominee, they should have picked one.
Instead, they chose a man who is committed to seeing the war in Iraq through.
They threw out their principles when they picked John Kerry. They wanted to win so badly that they were willing to stake their party's future on a man whom they must attack in a matter of months, if he stays true to his words of today.
And how united will their party be then?
It's tragic -- I say, even though I support Bush -- to see committed people turn their back on their most cherished principles because they thought it was the clever way to beat Bush.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone