Friday, March 17, 2006

Damn dem Dems!

Damn, them Democrats! What is wrong with that party? President Bush's approval ratings (34%) are the lowest he's had. Dick Cheney's approval ratings are at about 17%, lower than almost any human that's had approval ratings polled. The Republican Congress has an approval rating of about 37%. Yet, the Democratic Party can't seem to get together and produce a common voice to take advantage of the poor ratings of the other party.

I'm disappointed in the Democrats. Whenever they have a member stand up and oppose Bush with an idea that is not heard by many from the party, the rest of the party recoils and and plays mute. When Rep. John Murtha put out a proposal for withdrawing from Iraq, very few in the party were willing to stand behind him. This past week when Sen. Russ Feingold (who also has a withdrawal plan) tried to bring to the floor a censure of President Bush for breaking the law, few of the Democrats backed him.

The Question is why? Particularily when polling for these issues show that Americans are on the side of those individuals. Censure is only a step to what just about 50% of the country really wants, impeachment. Withdrawal from Iraq? Polling is at around 60% in favor of that.

As a progressive, I really would like to know why so few Democrats will rally to a brave voice. Several reasons could be put forth.

The mid-term election that is only seven months away. The Democrats would like to gain enough seats in Congress to become the majority. It is likely that the party would rather play it safe and keep letting the Republicans trip over their own shoelaces. But my take on that is that playing it safe too often is how games are lost.

Too many Democrats are too much like Republicans. The Iraq War was supported by far too many Democrats and now they don't want to seem like flip-floppers if they change their mind as John Murtha did. My take on that, it's not flip-flopping, it's re-evalution. It's insane to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result, or in other words, it's gambling at long odds and expecting to win. Democrats that change their mind about Iraq, must be sure that they are adamant that they have thought long and hard to reach a new conclusion. That should be their message, that every American with a brain changes their mind on things, that's what brains are for, not doing the same stupid thing endlessly.

Too many Democrats think that being Republican-lite is what Americans want. Not true. In today's evenly divided electorate most Americans want a choice between two opposing viewpoints. A or B. Yes or No. Left or Right. Red or Blue. It's that simple. Americans don't want to pick from A and A-, or No and Almost No, or Right and Rightward, or Red and Reddish. Democrats that don't clearly distinguish their ideas as closer to the opposite of Republicans make themselves seem like copycats and given the choice between an original and a copy, people will pick the original. Better to lose as an opposition party than to lose as a faded copy of a Republican. And even if a Democrat wins as a Republican-lite what changes are likely anyway?

As a progressive I've long been disappointed with the Democrats. Far too many Democratic politicians have taken corporate mony in order to get elected, but then feel obligated for policy payback. The originators of free-trade pacts that have helped the outsourcing of jobs was the Clinton Administration with backing by Democrats in Congress. Sure Congressional Republicans helped, it was a real free-trade lovefest in the 1990s.

There is this "rumor" that the Democrats are going to do a "Contract with America" redux, taking a page from the Republicans from 1994 that seemed to help them take control of the House. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but again it seems like playing copycat. Whatever happened to party platforms? Can't the Democrats simply emphasize their platform? But I imagine they feel they have to give it some fancy name in a sort of advertising campaign, they will be copying what the Republicans did. I think there would be nothing wrong with getting together and refining their party platform, then they simply need to talk about it, alot.

It also seems they need to do this soon if they really are making a contract with America. It also seems that they should not avoid Iraq as an issue. It's time to listen to Americans on this, as Americans are who they plan to contract with. Pay attention to your voters, Democrats. If you want to re-illusion my disillusionment, OPPOSE the Republicans.


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