July 9, 2003
Shhh! Don't Say the "W" Word
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Everyday has been a "W" day since we started BuzzFlash.com in May of 2000. We're not talking about the twit who has assumed squatters' rights in the White House, not that "W."
What we've been experiencing is the same nightmarish unfolding of Democratic Congressional Leadership "W" days for more than three years now, like Bill Murray waking up on the same day over and over again in the movie "Groundhog Day."
You see, the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) and the paid Democratic consultants can argue all they want that the Democrats have to tread lightly and respect the mythical "moderate middle" and not appear "partisan," but in the end, the result is the same: an opposition party with a mandate to be wimps.
Everyday is a "W" day in Washington for the likes of Tom Daschle (speaking of groundhogs, has anyone seen much of him lately, anyway?) and Nancy Pelosi (who is determined to prove her DLC naysayers wrong by posturing herself as a "moderate" -- as in "defanged" leader.) Nancy Pelosi is credited by the promoters of the Democratic "W" strategy as being successful as Minority Leader because she hasn't given Republicans ammunition to paint her as "partisan." Have you ever heard anything more pathetic, or more wimpy?
That's how the DLC (see LINK) and the Democratic Congressional leadership defines success nowadays: not opposing the Republicans too loudly so that the GOP can't label them as "partisan." How pathetic is that? Aren't they supposed to be partisan? If being polite and sulking in corners is supposed to win elections for Democrats, I think we have ample evidence by now that the "W" strategy has been a colossal failure.
After all, just ask the Republicans. Do they control the three branches of government because they were worried about appearing "partisan"? They are about as politically subtle as a crow bar in the hand of a mafia enforcer.
Like our readers, we keep hoping to wake up one day and read that top Congressional Democratic leaders took a stand for democracy, that they showed some outrage at how the Ashcroft wrecking crew is shredding our Constitution, that they denounced Bush's failed war on terrorism as making us less secure not more secure, that they exposed the shady Bush/GOP corporate financial connections.
But, you see, there we go again. Hope against hope, we wake up, rub the sleep out of our eyes and look in the newspaper to see if maybe today we can find a sliver of evidence that the Democratic leadership understands that what is going on in River City is not business as usual. But, unfortunately, just about everyday turns out to be a "W" day.
It is not enough to occasionally oppose a judge or a particular piece of legislation. It is not an issue of legislative skirmishes now and then. It is frontally attacking this administration for its barbarity, hypocrisy, lying, betrayal, ineffectiveness, and its abject failure in dealing with the economy and the war on terrorism. There is enough in any one day of BuzzFlash commentary and headlines to start deflating the self-fulfilling myth that Bush is invulnerable. Bush is invulnerable in the same way that the smiling Don of a mafia family is invulnerable: but, you either decide to rid your town of corruption or you become part of the corruption.
Message to the Democratic leadership in Congress: If you don't put courage behind your convictions, soon enough your convictions wear out from lack of use.
The DLC has encouraged a kind of Democratic leadership that spends its time playing a feckless game of defense. Instead of defining the Republicans, the DLC has convinced everyone that they have to spend their time ensuring that the Republicans don't stereotype them as "liberals." We Repeat, What the Hell kind of wimpy strategy is that? Well, everyday is "W" day for these DLC "K Street" Democrats.
We don't care if you call BuzzFlash "liberal," "progressive," or "Martian." We are what we are: a pro-democracy news and commentary site that stands for truth, justice and the American way. You can call us what you like, but WE'LL tell you what we are!
You win elections by coming out swinging. You give as much as you get, and then some. You don't spend time worrying that the other guy (or gal) might call you a name and alienate you with some Catholic union voter in Youngstown. You don't worry about that sort of stuff, because if you are good you've given that guy in Youngstown a stronger reason to vote for you that will override any of the sleazy GOP tactics. You show him that you are tough and you are a fighter, and you'll fight for him and his family. And you've defined your opponent so that they are on the defensive; not you.
You convince this guy in Youngstown that this is a nation of freedoms and that your positions are based on our great traditions of ensuring that the government does not interfere in people's lives. You let him know that the Republicans are the party of intrusive government, that they lie, cheat and steal from the working class. You provide evidence that the anti-terrorism war in the hands of the Bush Cartel is all show and little substance, that our lives are at greater risk now than before Bush started his politically and economically motivated war. You win the independent voter because you are for Constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and freedoms, not placing "politically correct" right wing ideological zealots on the court and not integrating church and state.
Most importantly, you pull off the mask of Republican hypocrisy from this "bait and switch" administration and reveal the deception and betrayal that lies beneath the grinning mask of the front man from Texas.
And you are merciless about it, because the truth does matter to Americans.
You don't hesitate, you don't apologize, and you don't look back.
The DLC doesn't know how to define the debate in a contemporary election. It doesn't understand that to lead, you need to take risks, to redefine the terms of the political conversation -- and to, always, always, show that you will fight like a junkyard dog to win. It's the job of the Democratic Party to put the Republicans on their ten-yard line with their backs to the goal post. The DLC's entire strategy is premised on the Democrats being on their own one-yard line, with the Republican offense just having gotten another first down. You don't win elections with an outlook like that.
Leadership is part ideological, but mostly, in this television world of celebrity images, it is about how your character is perceived.
So let's forget the ideological litmus tests, for a moment, as we evaluate candidates for the Democratic presidential primary -- and for other offices.
Let's start asking who is going to fight like Hell to save our democracy.
It is a time when outrage and controlled anger are in order. It is a time for outing the lies and deceptions of the squatters in the White House. It is a time to stand up for the lives of our soldiers who have been sent on a "show" mission that will have little impact in the war on terrorism, but for which many of them are dying.
It is a time to be impassioned about saving this great nation from the radical, ideological barbarians who now control the American government.
It is time to reveal how the vast majority of citizens in this nation have been betrayed by the people in the White House and their cohorts who control the majority in both houses of Congress.
BuzzFlash has said again and again that we aren't supporting any presidential candidates at this time, and we mean that.
But we CAN help explain the Dean "phenomenon" as the pundits call it. We don't know if Dean is a long distance runner or a short-lived fireworks show. He is the candidate running for office, and that's up to him to prove. It's a long road between here and the White House, and he's got to show that he's more than someone rising on a tide of discontent.
This, however, we know: Dean has a glint of anger in his eye, a bit of outrage, and speaks with passion. He shouldn't be such a rarity among Democratic leaders seeking high office, but he is.
As a result, Dean's got conventional wisdom running against him and the Washington Press Corps already conducting his political autopsy.
But he's still running. He's hot and fiery in an age of cool, calculated Democratic timidity.
That goes a long way toward explaining his appeal. He's no liberal on guns and a lot of other issues, which may be good or bad depending upon your perspective.
But you know he's one scrappy fighter -- and that's what a lot of Democrats are starving for after years of Democratic "W" days.
What do people who support Dean want most? A fighter and a winner. It's that simple.
They want the wimpiness out of the Democratic Party and they want "W" out of the White House.
That would finally put an end to the "W" days.
Maybe Dean will end up at the head of the pack; maybe he won't. But he's proven one thing for sure. There are a lot of Democrats, Independents and Greens who want someone to be mad as hell and not take it anymore.
Considering what has happened to this great nation in just 3 years, that's not a lot to ask for, is it?
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original