The Seinfeld Strategy

In Memoirs of a Geisha (yes, I read it and it was actually a decent read), the protagonist learns to get even with an opponent by watching a sumo wrestler simply step aside and let his foe's momentum do the work.

David Sirota dubs the Democrats' version the Seinfeld Strategy after the sitcom which was, famously, "about nothing."

The idea is to let the momentum from Republican incompetence and corruption take them out of the ring while the Dems just step out of the way and do nothing.

Sirota believes this is a mistake as it leaves the core ideology of the Republicans unchallenged, allowing them to simply replace their leadership and be resurrected:


In making such a limited critique, Democrats tacitly validate conservatives’ ideological goals and further reinforce the public feeling that Democrats have no convictions of their own. For example, despite the GOP scandals and the political opportunities they present, Democrats refuse to push serious reforms like public financing of elections and instead push half-measures and focus on Republican missteps.
In the process, they are implicitly saying they believe the system that most Americans know is corrupt is actually perfectly acceptable. The same thing on Iraq: The Democratic Party refuses to take a position wholly different from the Republicans, simply saying the management of the war—rather than the war itself—is the problem.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.