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Glimmers of Hope

Reported by Ellen - February 2, 2005

I have written a lot about conservative anger lately but last night's FOX News Live with Alan Colmes offered a glimmer of hope that we may all be able to live together after all.

Alan's guest for the first hour was Major Garrett whom I have criticized on this blog for his snide nastiness toward Democrats in his news reports. So to be fair, I have to say now that the snideness was nowhere to be seen last night during his lengthy, interesting discussion about the importance of the Contract with America in today's politics. In Garrett's view, the contract, not George Bush, was really responsible for paving the way for the current Republican-dominated politics that we have today. According to both Colmes and Garrett, this view is also shared by Howard Dean who feels the Democrats must mobilize in a similar way. Although Garrett never came right out and said so, he implied that the current deviations from the contract, especially with regard to fiscal over-spending, signal fractures in the Republican party and its strength. Agree or disagree with his thesis, Garrett was informative and worth listening to.

There was one News Hounds moment. At some point during the conversation, Garrett said, "I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I'm a reporter." Colmes laughed in a way that I can only describe as a guffaw. I have always wondered exactly what a guffaw would sound like but I think I know now.

In the last hour, Colmes spoke with the person who sent him one of the angriest emails he had ever received. Since Colmes sometimes reads his hate mail on the air and considering all the misdirected email we have gotten for him, I believe I can state with authority that was saying a lot. But the author, Bradley from Alabama, turned out to be a delightfully pleasant man who was a lot nicer and more polite to Alan than a lot of his callers. Bradley said he wrote the email to get a response and that he was just disgusted with all the criticism of Bush by liberals, especially during a time of war. "I feel that some on the left are just flat out unpatriotic," he said. But he also said, "My remarks were way over the top." At the end of the conversation, Bradley asked if he could send Alan flowers on Valentine's Day.

Later in the hour, another caller talked about the reasons for the backlash against Ted Kennedy and other Democrats. "You (Alan) take a laid back approach. You make it interesting... But when you get 'this president lied'... It's like they're going off the deep end and they're doing anything they can to undermine the president."

Colmes answered, "I think Democrats have to find a way to communicate in such a way that those who are not necessarily disposed to like them can listen to their message... Someone... who might even be open to some of the things that those on my side of the plate might have to say will not listen unless it's articulated or presented in a way that is palatable to the other side."

Comment: I think this is really key. I'm not sure how to do it but I'm pretty certain the solution is not to be Bush Lite, like Kerry tried and failed to bring off. Is it a question of charisma? Master politicking a la Clinton? I don't know. I'll be interested in our readers' comments.

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