November 8, 2002
I watched the TV news this morning I was torn between wanting
to swear or cry and at times, both. As the implications of
the news reports became clear, I realized our nation was now
in the hands of the lunatic fringe and there was not a thing
I could do about it.
Thoughts kept racing through my head. Surely the IQ of the
average American was higher that a cumquat! The presidential
election was stolen just two years ago and the voters would
not let them get away with that! What went wrong?
The news commentators, always looking for a reason for anything
they do not understand, came up with the "power of a popular
war time president". Wartime president, my foot! Bush was
just fortunate enough to have the insight to capitalize on
the 11 September tragedy and find an issue where he could
strut, make stupid statements, and be considered a leader.
The sympathetic American public jumped on the bandwagon even
though the 11 September tragedy affected them little or not
at all. They donated money by the basket to the Red Cross,
the New York Fire Department, and anyone else even vaguely
associated with the event and Bush bled it for all it was
worth. If I had family or loved ones killed or injured by
the events of 11 September, I would be mad beyond words at
the Republicans capitalizing on this terrible human tragedy
for their own political gain.
He invaded Afghanistan accomplishing little. He couldn't
find the Talaban or Osama so he needed another more tangible
enemy. So he made Iraq the fall guy because, who deserved
better to be the fall guy than Iraq. They look a lot like
the Saudis who hijacked the planes and they had made a fool
of Poppy and caused him to lose the election ten years ago.
He may not be very bright but he does have a pretty good memory
for things that interest him
With all this going for him, he fabricated the "war against
terrorism" and made himself out to be a heroic figure. To
the Republicans, who didn't care if their hero was an idiot
as long as he helped their cause, this was reason to rejoice
and it seems to have worked.
The question came back, WHY? My answer.
The Democrats, frightened by the wartime hype and polls proclaiming
his popularity, tried not to alienate anyone and became Republican
Lite by pussy footing around the main issues and trying to
be good. Many backed that insane tax cut that will undoubtedly
drive the federal government back into a good old time Reagan
deficit. They tried to be good little patriots by supporting
a unilateral war against Iraq. They became just about anything
they thought might get them elected. In the process, the Democrats
lost their identity and because of that they lost control
of the Senate and further decreased their numbers in the House.
What to do now?
Quit being the loyal opposition! Quit being so nice!
When Bill Clinton was President, a trip or two to campaign
for Democrats would be cause for someone to rise up in the
Congress and demand an investigation. What did the Democrats
do when Bush was riding all over the country drumming up support
for the Republicans? They let it ride because they didn't
want to act like poor sports. When the head of the SEC was
found to be either incompetent or trying to save the rich
corporate donors that seem to flock to the Republicans, the
Democrats merely said, "excuse me."
If we learned anything out of these last twenty years is
that the Republicans of today are street fighters with little
room for fair play and all that other stuff that looses elections.
We did not lose the election because the Republicans got more
votes, we lost because the voters saw no differences in the
two and thus had no reason to come out and vote. The Democrats
must promote a strong leader who enthusiastically projects
the Democratic message.
For the next two years the Democrats in the Congress must
use every parliamentary maneuver and trick to stop this illegal
and immoral administration. Under the guise of "homeland defense"
they will do their best will destroy the freedoms we cherish
and abolish the social gains of the last fifty years. They
must cry out at the top of their voices whenever the administration
tries to pack the courts, subvert the governmental substructure,
or otherwise stack the political deck.
If the Democrats continue to be lukewarm, the electorate
will spit them out like they just did. Be hot or cold but
not bland. Be brash, strong, and consistent in the Democratic
message and just maybe we might get our identity back.