In 2001, E. J. Dionne had the following to say to Democrats:
The lesson to Democrats? They need to combine greater boldness (on, for example, work-and-family issues, political and voting-rights reform, the global economy, child poverty and health care) with a rhetoric that emphasizes practical and achievable goals. Simply waiting for Bush to fail would not only be uninspiring politics. It would also amount to a concession by progressives that they lack faith in their own ability to govern differently, and better.
Liberals should not act outraged when conservatives heed the words of a liberal writing to liberals 8 years ago, and do exactly what he told them to do: not just “wait for Obama to fail” but aggressively pursue an alternative agenda that would hasten the failure of the opposition party’s agenda. That is EXACTLY what Democrats endeavored to do for the last 8 years: make Bush fail. That is what the opposition party ALWAYS does. For Democrats to all of sudden decry “partisan politics” on the grounds that we all need to “pull together” for the good of the country, or to “give Obama a chance” is just as disingenuous as it was for Republicans to accuse Democrats of being “unpatriotic” when they opposed Bush’s anti-terror policies. Opposing the other party’s agenda on ideological grounds is what the opposition party ALWAYS DOES. To NOT do so is to admit, as Dionne says, that you don’t have any ideals you believe in strongly enough to fight for.