The Democrats are hoping to use their time in the D.C. wilderness to put together a think tank opposition, like the reactionaries did through the 60s and 70s. From the power of these ideas will come the progressive/liberal resurgence in the next decade, when everyone will get health insurance, wages will rise and justice will replace chaos in much of the world.
There's an article in the New York Times Magazine by Matt Bai (a great writer who follows insurgent politics) about this in today's issue.
The problem is here (as Bai aptly describes): Podesta and the other Beltway Democrats leading this charge are sticking to self-identified 'elite' Democrats instead of going to the people. Focus groups. Big-donor Dems. blah blah blah. It's the liberal "we know better" establishment trying to get a sense of how to beat the reactionaries who are lowering our wages and sinking us into debt.
They should get angrier. Not at Bush personally. But at the results. Lower wages. Higher debt. A rip-off tax system. A blank check to corporate America. The rich getting richer and the rest of us getting poorer.
What's the liberal bumper sticker message? Here's mine: RAISE WAGES
Or REPUBLICAN RIP-OFFS.
I'm glad to see the investment in new Democratic think tanks, but they ought to keep an angry tone, and they ought to invest in policy and politics for the many governments that Democrats run around the country, instead of pining for the federal government.