- Launch the Assault
by J. Carlos Jiacinto
In every war a key moment arises to lead the main assualt.
This moment passes by in a flicker and provides the generals
in charge the moment of truth and ultimate decision. In June
of 1944 the Allied forces led the crucial amphibious assault
on Normandy, begining the charge toward Hitler's Germany.
History now provides the Democrats here in America that key
moment. With Bush having extremely high approval ratings,
following key victories in New Jersey and Virginia, the Democrats
must now disembark upon the shores of Texas and begin the
assault to weaken Bush's grasp on the White House. The Enron
scandal provides the party with the key point for the upcoming
elections and the key issue of difference with the Republicans.
This scandal provides the party with several significant
opportunities. First it shows how Bush, Cheney, and his subordinates
lacked any respect for the Enron employees by not revealing
the company's financial troubles.
Secondly the victims in this scandal lost all of their life
savings and their retirements. Their faces are concrete. They
appear on television and they are there, waiting and hoping
against all odds for justice.
Thirdly the Vice President's arrogance in refusing to turn
over the minutes of the meetings in which he articled energy
policy conveys the appearance of guilt and hypocrisy. These
same Republicans demanded that First Lady Hillary Clinton
release the meetings of her task force are as silent as the
night in regard to Cheney's stonewallling. His stalling may
be on principle, but it clearly sends the message that he
has something to hide.
The Democrats must lead the assault on the Enron issue because
clearly people suffered. The scandal affects many Americans
whose pensions lost money because of investments in this company.
It affects the employees who are without jobs in a recession.
The scandal provides the party with a golden opportunity to
gain new supporters: former Enron employees, many of whom
would never have considered voting for Democratic candidates
in the past. Jesse Jackson is right in taking them to Washington
and donating money to charities helping these employees. The
Democratic Party should take the initiative and reach out
those employees through charitable giving, donations, and
promises to change the system.
While Enron could very well not hurt the President it will
stall his agenda. Just like the Clinton impeachment stalled
his domestic agenda the Democrats possess a golden opportunity
to ground Bush's intiativies to a halt. It can - and will
- prevent Bush from achieiving success in many areas in which
he must provide concrete results. Bush could very well escape
accountability for this scandal, and the main public may forget
as well; but one fact remains clear from the 2000 election:
every vote counts, and the former Enron employees will ensure
that their voices reach Capitol Hill.
After the 2000 election it is clear that even just a few
hundred votes can change the course of history. The party
needs to realize that in both the 2002 and 2004 election cycles
those very few hundred swing votes could very well be the
Enron Employees. With this opportunity in the balances the
Democrats must now disembark on the shores of Enron's headquarters
in Houston and begin their assault on Bush's grasp of the
J. Carlos Jiacinto (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org),
a graduate of Dickinson College (2000 Major: Political Science),
attends American University in Washington, DC, where he is
currently working on a Masters Degree in International Politics
and International Economic Policy.