Don't worry, boys, we'll weather this storm of approval and come out as hated as ever.
– Saul Alinsky to his staff shortly before his death, June 1972
This seems to be the Democrats motto in 2007. Since they gained control of Congress in January they've acted like a battered wife with a restraining order. Sure, the law is on their side, but they're terrified that they'll get the shit kicked out of them if they try to use it.
Don't get me wrong. I think that most of the Republicans have skulls full of puss and are so crooked they probably shake coins out of their childrens' piggy banks at night. Bush is about as popular as typhoid and their presidential hopefuls seem to come from the back of the political special ed bus.
But that being the case, why aren't the Democrats dominating the political landscape?
The number one reason is obviously Iraq. They were given control of Congress to stop this senseless war. But when the time came they rolled over like a submissive cur and caved in on the Iraq funding bill. The deal was supposed to be a compromise to get things like an increase in the federal minimum wage, which is now $5.85 per hour.
That sounds okay until you realize that 30 states have minimum wages that are higher than the new federal level. In those states the new law means nothing.
However, soldiers from all 50 states are risking their lives as we stand between Iraq's rival factions like a bouncer standing between two drunken muscleheads, crazy to kill each other. I witnessed just such a melee once and the bouncer said, "Let 'em go!" He stepped back and made sure no one else got caught up in the violence. The two idiots knocked each other's teeth out trying to determine who The Winner was. The bouncer knew that, whoever won, it wasn't his fight. That should be our approach in Iraq. It's not our fight any more.
And don't forget that every day we stay in Iraq citizens from all 50 states are seeing their hard earned tax dollars pissed away by the billions. This includes the citizens earning the new minimum wage.
I gave some poor volunteer for the DNC a piece of my mind the other day. She called to ask for a donation. After she observed that I was "one of our larger contributors", I told her that I wasn't giving the DNC another dime until they cut off funding for the war. Funds for safely withdrawing the troops would be fine. Take as much as you need. But not another dime should be spent on combat.
She snapped into talking-point mode and told me they didn't have the votes in Congress to do that. I told her what she'd already have known if anyone in the Democratic Party actually listened to Dennis Kucinich or Russ Feingold. Her argument was a load of crap.
You can send the president only bills that don't allocate money for combat in Iraq, only withdrawal. If he signs the bill, no money for combat. If he vetoes the bill, no money for anything, including combat. Either way, no money for combat and the fighting ends, at least as far as America is concerned. Since the bill provides funds for safe troop withdrawal, he can't claim you're putting our soldiers in danger. Only his veto would do that.
Defenseless against this simple solution, she thanked me and hung up.
I'm feeling nauseous at the way the Democratic presidential primary is shaping up. They still don't seem to understand that the primary is just part one. The candidate has to be able to win the general election. Ask Ned Lamont.
The "debates" are bad jokes. "Tell us how you'd fix health care in America. You have 60 seconds. GO!!!"
The press has a firm grip on America's nose ring, leading us around like a neutered bull.
They've divided the candidates into "tiers" based on their fund raising capability. Good ideas won't buy you a spot in the "top tier". They seem oblivious to the hypocracy of Special Reports on the need for campaign finance reform that bemoaning how money corrupts our politics. Unconventional ideas are used to mock candidates, knocking them to a lower tier. They'll beat the candidate like a gong with his own words until it's difficult for even those who follow the issues to take him seriously. This is a bi-partisan problem, marginalizing Democrats and Republicans alike.
If you listen to the pundits, all the Democrats except Clinton, Obama and Edwards should give up before the game has even begun. And Edwards should be ready to withdraw about three or four primaries in. Forget the fact that Biden, Kucinich and Richardson are actually contributing meaningful ideas. Biden is written off as cash deficient old crank. Kucinich is treated like a refugee from The Muppet Show. Richardson is such a non-entity they rarely even mention him.
The two Democratic candidates crowned as front-runners, even though no one has yet cast a vote for either one, are far from perfect.
Hillary Clinton seems better suited to be White Witch of Narnia than president. She can seem friendly and inviting one minute, offering you sweeties, but the next minute she's libel to turn you and all of your friends to stone. Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "Sincerity is the important thing on TV. A presidential candidate should at least seem to believe what he's saying – even if it's all stone crazy." I can't bring myself to trust Clinton because she never seems to believe anything she says.
Clinton also has a 500 lb. gorilla on her back named Bill. Regardless of what she says or does he'll cost her at least a 30 million votes. That's an easy flaw to exploit. It probably explains why the people who've been demonizing the Clintons for the last 14 years all agree that she'll definitely be the Democratic nominee. They want her to run because they believe they can pound her into jelly in a general election.
Barak Obama hasn't shown the leadership I want from a president. He's barely shown the leadership I want from my U.S. Senator. Why don't we see the Obama-Luger Iraq Deauthorization Bill? Why wasn't he one of the first senators to vote against war funding, instead of one of the last?
Obama needs to show some balls. Get in front of a TV camera and say, "At this point, only a dry drunk or a delusional psychopath would keep us in Iraq. Unfortunately, the chimp in the Oval Office is both." When Bush attacks like a rabid weasel, Obama can strike back with, "Blah blah blah, Tex. I'm a fucking U.S. Senator. I'm not afraid of you and your schoolyard bully tactics. I've had it with your bullshit. You work for the American people. Start acting like it. Do what your boss has been screaming for and bring our kids home." That's an instant 85 million votes in the bag.
Yet, even though I listen to hours and hours of progressive talk radio each week, I almost never hear Obama speak. I'm not quite sure where he stands on anything, except that we should bring our troops home...sometime. On TV, he's like Chinese food. He sounds good while you're listening, but a half hour later you can't actually remember what he said.
The other candidates seem less shackled since they've been written off.
John Edwards makes bold statements. Some, like his opposition to same-sex marriage, are not exactly going to endear him to his "base". I think he's got his head up his ass on that one. But sticking to a position he knows will be unpopular with potential supporters shows integrity. And his wife openly disagrees with him. That shows a family of free thinkers where disagreement is tolerated and doesn't stand in the way of a solid partnership. Sounds like the stuff a good president is made of.
Dennis Kucinich seems to be wearing tie-dye boxers under his ill-fitting suit. You can almost see the agents of his Department of Peace placing daisies in the barrels of soldiers' rifles. But his ideas tend to be simple, to the point and would probably work if anyone tried them. And unlike Clinton, I believe what he says. He backs his words up with actions. He actually drafted Articles of Impeachment for Dick Cheney. It's just a shame he doesn't look like Mitt Romney.
I think Kucinich should be Secretary of Defense. You want a man in that office that you have to drag kicking and screaming into war. Rumsfeld was more like Francis "Psycho" Sawyer from Stripes, grinning insanely and muttering, "All I know is I finally get to kill somebody!"
Joe Biden's plan for Iraq may not be perfect, but he's obviously put a lot of thought into it. This is more than you can say about any plan offered by the current administration. The same can be said of Bill Richardson and his thoughts on immigration.
What it all boils down to is that the Democratic Party appears to being trying to take what should be a landslide victory and make it so close that a little electronic vote tampering could swing the results to their opponent. They're going along with the media, playing it safe and trying to please everyone. Great idea. It's worked so well for them in the past.
P.S. All that having been said, check the box on my ballot next to whoever the Democrats nominate. I don't know which one of the lucky contestants it'll be but I know he (or she) will be better for America than any of the Republicans.
Copyright © 2007