It's hard to tell who's more despairing for our political party, me or Bob Ellis. I see a South Dakota Democratic Party unable to win on policy and competence and reduced to loyal opposition and radical witness. Bob Ellis sees his Republican Party impotent against my party's all-out "assaults on the American way of life."

But here's the key difference between Ellis and me... and the main reason the ascent of Ellis and his ilk is the best hope for strengthening the Democratic Party:

We also clean up the Republican Party. Starting a third party is still a loser’s proposition unless things radically change in the near future. Our best hope is to get rid of all the pretenders and fake Republicans who are infesting our party with their corrosive liberalism. To do that, we’re going to have to be busy about that education effort–not just about American principles and history in general, but educating the public about the liberal record of the RINOs infesting our party [Bob Ellis, "The American Decline," Right Side, November 12, 2012].

There it is: the purge mentality. Like Stalin, Ellis sees enemies everywhere, even among his allies. He wants to cleanse his party of the infestation. He wants a party that only has room for "real" Republicans, "real" Americans.

Meanwhile, we Democrats recognize that the real Americans include every American. We know you can't get the unum without the pluribus. Ellis kicks people out; we Democrats invite people in.

Therein lies the road to victory. My fellow Dems, let us continue to embrace folks who don't look like us, who don't agree with us on every point, but who share the dream of a beautiful America with strength built on diversity. Let us offer home and hope to all whom Bob Ellis and his Leave It to Beaver fantasists would exclude from the American dream.