Game Plan, Rove-Style

I've been clear that I think this Karl Rove stuff is a distraction, at least if it's not handled properly.  But it's also an opening big enough to drive a Mack truck through if the Democrats have any sense at all.  And I'm not talking about the "Karl must resign" stuff.  Although I understand the impulse behind it, I won't sign that petition.  First of all, I'm on record as  thinking it's useless.   It's not even particularly good political theater, unlike John Conyers' Downing Street Letter.

Second, and more important, it's (yet again) putting the Democrats' fate in the hands of George W. Bush.  If he doesn't fire Karl Rove, the Dems look like pansies.  And guess what?  Bush won't, and the Dems will.  When has this president ever apologized for anything, fired anyone or otherwise shown any hint of reconsidering even patently stupid decisions? Stop asking Bush for things you know he won't give you.

Third, and most importantly, I don't want Karl Rove to resign, any more than I want Dick Cheney to resign, or Donald Rumsfeld or Tom Delay to be out of the public eye.  I want to tie Karl Rove and the rest of those criminals  to George Bush so tightly that in years to come, one will be able ask why George Bush crossed the road, and the answer will be "Because he was attached to Karl Rove." 

There's more...

Karl Rove: Decoy for Downing Street

I'm tired, heartsick, and cranky so I'm going to be very blunt and more than a little profane.

The news for the next few days will all be about what Karl Rove meant in his recent speech.  Did he really mean that all liberals are traitors?  Is it really a philosophical difference about how to pursue terrorists? Does it compare with what Dick Durbin said?  I'd bet that the Republicans timed this massive "liberals are traitors" blitzkrieg as soon as Durbin spoke that unpleasant truth on the Senate floor.  They believed it gave them a license to tell pretty much any eliminationist Dolchsto├člegende they wanted.  And they wanted.  Oh, how they wanted.

There's more...

Dog Pack Politics

By way of First Draft, we learned that on June 15, Senator Dick Durbin seemed to have no intention of backing down from his statments concerning the torture at Guantanamo Bay:

"No one, including the White House, can deny that the statement I read on the Senate floor was made by an FBI agent describing the torture of a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. That torture was reprehensible and totally inconsistent with the values we hold dear in America. This Administration should apologize to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure."

But by Friday, here's what we get:

"I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."

I shouldn't be disappointed by this any more.  I should be used to Democratic leaders rolling over to show their bellies like submissive dogs the second they (or any other Democrat who says something real) get any criticism.  Democratic leaders rush to grovel in apology for Dean every time he says something the base likes, and now Durbin is doing the belly-crawl for having the temerity to say that it is wrong to torture, and torturing puts you in some very unpleasant company. (Just a quick hint:  if you don't want to be compared to bad people throughout history, don't establish a policy of doing the types of bad things they did.)

For some reason, the Democratic leadership (with very few exceptions like Dean and Conyers) haven't figured out that the entire political process in the US now runs on dog-pack psychology: show weakness and you lose.  Back down, and you lose.  Apologize and you lose.  Fail to attack and you lose.

The Republicans and their apparatchiks perfected this environment and the corporate media go right along with it.  Worse, so does much of the Democratic leadership.  I try not to think of the corporate media as careerist scavengers on the Republican attacks, but it becomes harder and harder the more I see what they focus on and what they don't.  And I just wince every time the Democratic leadership does the submissive-dog behavior when criticized.  Maybe Grover Norquist was right:

"Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such."

If you can't even fight for yourself, why would anyone believe you'll fight for them?

[Originally posted at Paperwight's Fair Shot on June 19. 2005]

Grievance Parity

A while back I did a teeny-tiny bit of research to check out the incessant complaints from Southern Whites (Browder, Saunders, others) that they're not sufficiently represented by the Democratic Party. I went back and checked the Democratic Party's presidential candidates for the last few races.  Here's what I found:

  • Only one Democratic presidential ticket from 1976 on hasn't had a Southerner on it (Mondale/Ferraro 1984).
  • Only three Democratic tickets from 1976 on haven't had a Southerner at the top of the ticket (Mondale/Ferraro 1984; Dukakis/Bentsen 1988; Kerry/Edwards 2004).
  • None of those Democratic tickets have had anyone on them from the Mountain West or the Pacific West.

Clearly the Democrats have grown to like and respect Southerners, though apparently not enough for the Southern grievance crowd (though what more we could do I don't really know).

But the Democrats apparently don't like us Westerners.  What do the Democrats have against Westerners?  Why aren't they tolerant of us?  Why don't they support and love us and our particular cultural history and mythology?

I demand grievance parity!  SHOW ME UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, NATIONAL DEMOCRATS, OR FEAR MY WESTERN WRATH!

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