If you're concerned about outspending your opponent and still losing being a sign of weakness, maybe you shouldn't be looking away from Pennsylvania just yet. After all, Obama outspent Clinton drastically there -- no surprise, he had more money. "Narrowing the gap" to "only" a ten point loss is a pretty tough victory claim.
Still not sure what losing a vote has to do with a metaphor on dictators. Pretty sure everybody loses votes, dictator or not. The dictator issue probably has much more to do with what you do after that happens.
Hating on academics and the related anti-intellectualism message got Bush reelected against an intellectual. I'm not sure the negative frame you name really exists in quite the way that you put it forward. It sure as hell should -- but I think that's more a point of the Democratic paradigm than a generalized meme.
And yes, it's probably easier for a Senator who didn't have to make the choice to criticize others. Particularly one from a predominantly blue area, as opposed to one from a red state. But seeing as he wasn't there, that rings a bit hollow.
"...an (ostensible) member of the progressive netroots has no excuse for not knowing better than to 'argue' like that."
Perhaps not. Perhaps the religious left is not particularly good at defending themselves from attacks. We know from Chris' posted stats that their representation in the netroots is not close to proportional to their representation in the party, so perhaps unfamiliarity with the MO of internet activism plays a part in it.
But perhaps it is because they, whose devotion to their religion has had to by necessity be tempered in the flame of opposition from both sides of the spectrum (after all, let's be honest; Penalver's commentary is not very far off the mark when he says that "the blog posts mentioned in the story did speak of a deep-seated hostility to the Church as an institution"), tend to associate themselves particularly strongly with their religion, and consider themselves to be Catholic progressives, not progressives who are Catholic -- and the Christian message does not jive with attacking people, even those who have attacked you. Maybe that is a weak position in your eyes -- and I can definitely understand how you would think that -- but one has to admire both the adherence to the fundamental "golden rule" values embodied in the difficult call for the real-world action of "turning the other cheek," as well as the pragmaticism -- not lost on Christian progressives -- of the long-term results of that action, which Ghandi so eloquently encapsulated in "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
It was excellent. I put up an English translation of Becerra's speech up on The Texas Blue.
Where did the Spanish transcript above come from, BTW? I saw the link to Webb's response in the post, but couldn't find the link to Becerra's. And I know I searched high and low for that sucker before I started doing the translation. Ended up having to do it straight from the video. That was a pain.