E. J. Dionne, writing in the Washington Post via WorkingforChange Friday:

“Democrats, unlike Republicans, have yet to develop a healthy relationship between activists willing to test and expand the conventional limits on political debate and the politicians who have to calculate what works in creating an electoral majority.

For two decades, Republicans have used their idealists, their ideologues and their loudmouths to push the boundaries of discussion to the right. In the best of all worlds, Feingold’s strong stand would redefine what’s “moderate” and make clear that those challenging the legality of the wiretapping are neither extreme nor soft on terror.

That would demand coordination, trust and, yes, calculation involving both the vote-counting politicians and the guardians of principle among the activists. Republicans have mastered this art. Democrats haven’t.

Turning a minority into a majority requires both passion and discipline. Bringing the two together requires effective leadership. Does anybody out there know how to play this game?”

On the same day:

CNN’s Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider awards Senator Feingold the “Political Play of the Week” for his bold introduction of a resolution to censure President Bush. Schneider describes Feingold as “principled” while he suggests that other Democrats might need “Spines. Backbones. They help you stand up for what you believe.”

Schneider says “Acting on principle need not be political suicide.”-with VIDEO, from THE BRAD BLOG.

Are these two dots, just waiting to be connected?

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