As the left almost-half-of-the-political-spectrum continues the postmortem, I'm getting a sense that we are approaching a very dangerous fork in the road about now. The weasels are learning how to talk the talk. I'm not going to name names because it is still just a very impressionistic feeling I have at this point.
The temptation, as I see it, is to adopt a freshened up version of the same old approaches, and with essentially the same culprits running the show. Robert Axelrod's book, "Evolution of Cooperation," is not a great book, but he does offer some insights that the Left tends to neglect, the main one being the importance of punishing cheap talk.
What strikes me as the most serious failing of the leftist cause of late is its general unwilingness to do what it takes to embrace a truly participatory process. The reason that Bush is in power right now is far less about message than about mobilization.
It's not enough to talk the talk. We have to walk the walk.
Right now that means not buying into smooth talkers who've read enough blogs to know how to sound like they're grassroots. Democracy is not a consumer choice. We need to not follow whatever Pied Piper who comes along and tells us what we want to hear.