And this week, another thing that doesn't have the sense to just die and slink off into the night quietly -- the Carter administration -- came out of the shadows when Zbigniew Brzezinski threw his support behind Barack Obama.
Considering the Republican's seemingly concerted efforts to blow elections and good will and the President's numerous missteps, the Democratic Party should be riding high at this point in history. But they're not and the first dozen or so words of the Bloomberg story sum up a lot of what's wrong with the party at this moment: "Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the most influential foreign-policy experts in the Democratic Party ..."
Forget for a moment that Jimmy Carter's administration never met a dictator it didn't want to cuddle up with. Here's what seems an obvious fact in American presidential elections. Optimism wins. Winners win.
And the general feeling in the U.S. among real-world voters is that the Carter administration is a bad memory. Republicans use it as Exhibit A in weak-willed Democratic foreign policy. Security-first Democrats silently pray that Jimmy will stick to building houses for the poor. Even those Southerners who voted for him -- I'm thinking my mom on this one, and sue me for projecting -- are embarrassed about the whole period.
Brzezinski might be confused as to why Obama's debate remarks would hurt him with voters. "What's the hang-up about negotiating with the Syrians or with the Iranians?"
But the Obama camp shouldn't be confused. It's trying to win an election -- not impress failed policy makers. Embracing -- or welcoming the embrace of -- the shrill, blame-America first crowd isn't the way to do that. It might bump you up a few points in Netroots polls, but that's about it. And if Brzezinski thinks your team is doing something right, it might be time to switch directions.
Come back next week when I solve all the Republican Party's problems!