The Note is right. David Brooks is today’s must read:
In 2000, John McCain led an insurgent campaign against the Republican establishment. Say what you will about G.O.P. elites, they do not lack self-confidence. When McCain hit them, they hit back, viciously. In South Carolina, they insulted McCain’s honor, caused him to lose his equilibrium and left him battered and defeated.
An election later, the Democratic establishment faces its own insurgency campaign. Howard Dean has launched a comprehensive assault on his party’s leaders. First, he attacked their character, charging that they didn’t have the guts to stand up to George Bush. Then, he attacked their power base, building an alternative fund-raising and voter mobilization structure. Now he is attacking their ideas, dismissing the Clinton era as a period of mere damage control.
So how are the Democratic leaders defending themselves? They are responding as any establishment responds when it has lost confidence in itself, when it has lost faith in its ideas, when it has lost the will to fight.
Read the whole column. You’ll thank me.