Sunday, December 5


I'm so sick of all the cacophony about how desperate the situation is for Democrats. Situation for what? Elections? We're no worse off now in number of offices held than the Republicans have been at different times in our nation's history. We "lost" this past election of November 04 by a mere 2% of the popular vote nationally (probably by less if votes were properly counted, but even so, this is a worst-case scenario that we should be weeping bitter tears about?). Most of what is being written and said analyzing the election includes a blue state/red state theme, a "moral values" meme, and/or a "Democrats just don't get it" streak.

Enough already! This hyperbole is, at base, a result of the perceived importance of this presidential election. It WAS important, hyper-important, maybe the most important of our lifetimes. I think the importance for us Democrats was because it highlighted our fears of this administration, that they could in another four years wreak a havoc to our constitutional rights, economy, civil institutions, environment, foreign relations, domestic security, and popularly accepted cultural boundaries that could not be easily corrected for many decades.

I don't doubt for a minute that BushCo will continue to inflict major damage on our American reputation, position in the world, and just as important for me, upon those values that have sustained us for more than 200 years and made our nation a beacon of hope to the peoples of the world. I vote for the Democrats precisely because of that. But if I were a cynical politician, I'd say we're in for a huge pendulum swing back to the progressive worldview. BushCo can't succeed in all their various nefarious activities forever. I feel like we're back in the early days of Hitler when the German ascendancy thought they could use and "control" the National Socialist movement only to find that their was no re-bottling of the genie once released.

But I digress. What are the Democrats to do? Let the tenor of the times determine it. Be sensitive to the cycles of events. There are few monolithic voter blocs -- the "Christian right," which is largely characterized by its anti-abortion and anti-gay stances; the African-American bloc, less dependably Democrat than in some eras but still acknowledging that the RNC has little or nothing to offer them; corporate interests, which cannot help but recognize that Bush is all about shareholder value and nothing about corporate citizenship. The Christian right will be impregnable for some time to come; they only have two issues, and Democrats cannot compromise on the right to choose and tolerance and civil rights for gays -- otherwise, they take away a large part of the reason of their base to even BE Democrat.

Democrats should stop all this caterwauling over the lost election and continue to be a principled, courageous OPPOSITION PARTY. When the roof falls in on the Bush policies, there should be no doubt in the minds of the American people who is at fault. If Democrats continue to cave, as they did in 2002, to the Bush mystique, there will be very serious doubts. In fact, if I could point to any one reason for our losing this past election, it would be precisely that. Voters didn't punish Bush for his grave miscalculations and failed policies; though the overwhelming majority thought we were on "the wrong track," they gave the architect of that track another four-year lease on leadership. How can that be?

They didn't blame him for it. As my recently-returned-from-Iraq professional soldier nephew told me: "I don't blame Bush for our problems. He can't do very much about them. I blame Congress."

What are the Democrats to do? OPPOSE BUSH POLICIES.


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