Why Do the Dems Always Play it Safe?

What I'm wondering is, why does the Democratic Party feel compelled to be the political equivalent of Poland every four years?
Historically, the country of Poland has always been assigned the same role in the theater of international politics.

Its kinda like the unnamed actor in the red shirt who beams down to the planet with Kirk and Scotty and the rest of the regular gang. He’s only there for one (fleeting) reason. You know he’s gonna get zapped by the local evil alien.

If you’re Poland, you’re expected to do two things. One is to get smashed by one or perhaps even several of your vastly more powerful neighbors. The other is to then be occupied, or perhaps even simply swallowed up wholesale.

Over time, the Poles even got good at this themselves, sometimes assisting in their own annihilation with techniques like the liberum veto, an innovation which allowed any (and every) member of parliament to unilaterally bring the legislative session to a close and vacate all legislation already passed to that point. Sort of like the veto-driven ineffectiveness of the UN Security Council on steroids.

Except for one difference. When the UN gets it wrong, there’s little chance that someone will sail up the East River, invade mid-Manhattan, and occupy Turtle Bay. Poland, on the other hand...

What I’m wondering is, why does the Democratic Party feel compelled to be Poland every four years (and often in-between, as well)? What’s up with nominating one wholly cerebral, completely unflappable, painfully careful, mind-numbingly deliberative, thermostatically-controlled, cool-customer candidate after another, eh?
David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles ([email protected]), but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be found at his website.
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Election 2018