Democrats Finally Got Some Bark, Now They
Need Some Bite
February 1, 2005
By Dan Gougherty
While Bush's nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State
was approved by the Senate last week, it was not the rubber stamp
usually given to cabinet members of a second term administration.
Although approved 85-13, it was the most dissenting votes for the
position since World War II.
Faced with the certainty that Rice would be approved by the GOP
controlled Senate, more than one or two Democrats finally did something
other than roll over. They barked.
At the fore was Sen. Barbara Boxer who grilled Rice on the lies
and deception that led to the war in Iraq.
Although everyone knew their efforts would not stop the nomination,
they achieved something liberals have been severely lacking in for
sometime - getting their views aired and printed in the national
Hopefully the Democrats will have learned a lesson from this encounter.
The time has come for the Democratic wing of the Democratic party
to loudly and clearly voice the principles we hold dear.
We cannot let Bush's conservative cabal trample over everything
we stand for. Who knows, by taking a strong stand maybe our views
will once again be expressed someplace other than the Internet.
In the coming months there will be several opportunities for liberal
Democrats to strongly voice their opposition to Bush's agenda. The
biggest opportunity will of course be Bush's plan to line the pockets
of Wall Street investment bankers with his Social Security privatization
While the debate will provide Democrats with the opportunity to
once again display some "bark," they need to up the ante. They need
to back up the bark with some bite.
Instead of merely opposing Bush's scheme, this is a golden opportunity
to reframe the debate and propose alternatives, even enhancements
to Social Security.
On top of this, why not bring others important social programs
into the debate such as Medicaid or health care reform?
Let's not forget the all important impending fight over Supreme
Court nominations either.
The point is now that Democrats seems to have gotten their bark
back, why not put some bite into the argument? Now is not the time
to move to the center, now is the time to proudly voice the true
principles of the Democratic Party.
Being in the minority in the both houses and having the White
House in the pockets of corporate interests for at least another
1,400 days, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by biting
the hand that is trying to shove a sock down our throats.
Visit Dan Gougherty's blog at www.ltobs.blogspot.com