As I understand comments that I read here that are critical of any and all Democrats, what people want is for Democrats to speak truth across-the-board. Anybody, it is said, can run down the Republicans by accurate reporting -- but there is more to it than that.
This is a high standard for anyone: who speaks 100% truth all the time? Just that we are limited to human language means that everything we say can be misunderstood and also misrepresented. So I think that the best that can be expected of ANYONE is that they make a sincere effort to speak truth and avoid deliberate lying.
To my mind, Jimmy Carter (and I understand that Carter's military/foreign policy was far from perfect) qualifies as someone who speaks the truth the best he can. If he considers that he cannot openly speak truth about something, he refrains from making any statement at all. But he did, on occasion, risk everything to speak truth to the people.
For example, I remember seeing Carter speaking to the American public on the eve of the 1980 election, discussing that he thought the U.S. should consider nationalizing the oil industry, and warning people that what was coming in the near future was a choice between a sane energy conservation policy and war for the sake of oil. (That was his "moral equivalent to war" speech.) Shortly thereafter, Carter was trounced by Reagan. Generally, the American people do not reward leaders who attempt to speak truth to them.
I think that we have a FEW, not enough, Democratic leaders right now who speak truth. But none of them is perfect, not even Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee. The Republicans are perfect, the question being perfect what? -- they are all dedicated to lying as a matter of principle. I think that Ralph Nader AND David Cobb speak truth. But neither of them is perfect.
So what do the Democrats need to do or to be? They need honesty and integrity, but they don't need perfection. So, when I see Democrats speaking truth, as about Social Security, I applaud that. When I see Democrats going along with the official media-driven lies that underlay the whole politic of the U.S.A. and that are accepted by nearly the entire American public -- I don't applaud, but I do understand that the American people are not really demanding to know the truth, especially any unpleasant aspects of the truth.
The pressing problem for us is to dismantle the secret government network that rules the country and seeks to rule the world. Should we, or should we not, seek to preserve whatever portion of the visible government that is in opposition, whether actually or potentially, to that secret government?
Within that framework, Democrats speaking the truth deserve some respect and support -- otherwise how will we ever get through to the American people? It isn't just that "a better world is possible" -- it's also, "How will the possibility of a better world be realized?" It will not be realized through cynicism alone. We need to support the peace movement that is finding some expression within the Democratic Party, even if that means respecting and supporting some Democrats.