Seems these days it isn't about what you stand for - rather what you stand against that defines you.
And many outside the US define themselves as anti-America, while many inside define themselves as anti-Bush, even at the peril of being apologetic over the emerging success in Iraq.
Who's the odd one out here? The BBC, CBC and most of the European media have constructed an alternative universe and are content to frolic on its wilder shores.
Time stands still in this world: Even though the confidently predicted civilian death tolls and humanitarian catastrophes never arrive, nobody minds. There's no reason why reality should ever intrude.
Unfortunately, Dean, Gephardt and about half the other Democratic candidates still live in the real world--or, more to the point, their would-be constituents do. These candidates are obliged to be, in Bill Clinton's words, ''politically viable.''
At the BBC and Le Monde and the Sydney Morning Herald, anti-Americanism is the New Universal Theory: It explains everything; it's the prism through which every event is viewed. But it's an unlikely strategy for American electioneering.
One anti-Bush Democrat at a protest the other day carried a sign reading ''FRANCE WAS RIGHT!'' That's not a winning slogan, even in Vermont.
What happened this week is a foretaste of what the party can expect in the next 15 months: Reality will keep intruding, and if the Dems keep moving the goalposts ever more frantically, pretty soon they'll be campaigning from Planet Zongo.
This week, Tom Daschle insisted that Odai and Qusai were all very well, but where was the Big Guy? Why hadn't that slacker Bush caught him yet?
Read it all, please.