As everyone who follows the Mets knows, you cannot build a winning team out of aging stars, no matter how many of them you sign. Oh, you may squeak through for one year, two if you're lucky. But if you don't have a minor league system to develop young talent, it won't be long before you're left with a bunch of injuries -- and no players to replace them.
Say what you will about the Republicans' descent into insanity, but the reality is that the Republicans have a strong farm team and the Democrats do not. It isn't just a question of age, though age is part of it. But it seems that the Republican Party always has a new face to put up, while the Democrats have little but scions of old Democratic families, retreads, odious Blue Dogs like Heath Shuler, and low profile progressives like John Hall and Donna Edwards, who have to scramble to hang onto their seats amd who are good solid Democrats about whom you never, ever hear. Yes, there's Alan Grayson, but if you believe for one minute that the DSCC is ever going to let Alan Grayson move beyond Orlando, you'll believe that Barack Obama is going to close Gitmo. And there's Anthony Wiener, but his name is "Wiener", for God's sake. And there's Bernie Sanders who's a socialist.
The Republican team may be batshit crazy, but it's full of ambitious, high-profile crazies. Say what you will about Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio, chicken-lady Sue Lowden (who likely would have won her primary had she kept the chicken-for-chemotherapy barter idea to herself), Scott Brown, Meg "Voting Isn't Important" Whitman, Carly "Demon Sheep" Fiorina, Chris Christie, and the like, but they are out there, they're high-profile, they're largely physically attractive people, and they're ambitious as hell.
The best example of the lack of a Democratic "minor league system" is California, where the Democratic Party is reduced to bringing back 70's icon Jerry Brown. It's entirely possible that Brown will beat Whitman, who clearly doesn't know what she's doing, but I wouldn't necessarily bet my house on it. And you have to wonder, if in California of all places, the best you can come up with is a guy still known as "Governor Moonbeam" long after even Chicago columnist Mike Royko said enough was enough about that, and who was frequently lampooned in the reliable liberal Doonesbury
as a flake.
Where is the Democratic farm team? Is it a question of money, in which only candidates like Fiorina, who nearly wrecked a great company and left with a multimillion dollar severance package? Is it just a question of good looks, in which only female candidates who are attractive enough to make men who think with their dicks forget their own interests in their delusion that they're going to get to fuck Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann? Or one of temperament, in which Democratic officeholders like John Hall and Donna Edwards just don't want to put themselves through the maw of a media that was willing to accept George W. Bush's lies because seeing him in a flightsuit made their legs tingle?
Whatever it is, and no matter what happens in November, the Democrats should be very, very worried about the future of the party, not because of any kind of "center-right country" nonsense that David Broder has declared, but because as the party looks into the future, and continues to embrace the foraging-for-scraps-of-corporate-money-after-the-Republicans-get-most-of-it doctrine, and continues to throw its own foot solders under the bus in a quixotic quest for that corporate money, it will be unable to attract the kind of passionate, idealistic young people to public service.