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Sure sign

“The best proof that Al Gore wants to keep the door open to a 2008 White House bid is how he (again) back-stabbed 2000 running mate Joe Lieberman by refusing to back his Senate re-election,” the New York Post’s Deborah Orin writes.

“It’s laughable for Gore to claim, as he has, that ‘I typically do not get involved in Democratic primaries’ — since he effusively endorsed Howard Dean for president (over Lieberman) in 2004,” Miss Orin said.

“It sure looks as if Gore is afraid of enraging the anti-Iraq war Democratic left, which has rallied behind Lieberman’s anti-war primary challenger, multimillionaire Ned Lamont. If Gore wasn’t mulling 2008, he’d have no reason to worry about upsetting MoveOn, the DailyKos blog world and the Deaniacs who are all frantic to show their clout by getting Lieberman’s scalp.”

Barking mad

“It has occurred to me that both parties increasingly dislike their bases, but for different reasons and to different degrees,” Peggy Noonan writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

“By both parties I mean the leaders and representatives of the Democrats and Republicans in Washington. I believe I correctly observe that they feel an increasing intellectual estrangement from and impatience with the activists who people their base of support.

“And this is something new,” Miss Noonan said.

Today’s Republican leaders think they “know the higher wisdom on such issues as immigration. They feel less fealty to the insights of the base. They know more than the base, are more experienced than the base, have a more nuanced sense of reality. And as for conservative social issues groups, the politicians resent those nagging, whining pushers-for-the-impossible who are always threatening to stay home or go elsewhere. (Where?)”

“On the Democratic side, it is not just as bad but worse. They don’t only think they’re more sophisticated than their base, more informed and aware of the complexities. I believe they think their base is mad.

“You can see their problem in their inability to get a slogan. Which, believe me, is how they think of it: a slogan. ‘Together for a Better Future.’ ‘A Future With Better Togetherness.’ Today for a better tomorrow, tomorrow for a better today.

“A party has a hard time saying what it stands for only when it doesn’t know what it stands for. It has trouble getting a compelling slogan only when it has no idea what compels its base. Or when it fears what compels it.”

Miss Noonan added: “Democratic leaders in Washington are in a worse position than Republican leaders in Washington. Neither likes their base, really, and both think they are smarter. But the Democrats think, deep down, that their base is barking mad. The Republicans don’t. They just think their base is a bore.”

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