November 17, 2002
They Brazenly Lie, Without Apology and Without Shame: You Know Who We're Talking About
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
The Homeland Security Department Bill and the Florida Recount 2000: Lessons to be Learned -- or Not Learned (as in the Case of the Congressional Democratic Leadership)
In late November of 2000, in the midst of the Bush cartel heist of the presidency, BuzzFlash wrote a commentary called "The Bush Hypocrisy Triple Play." We observed that, in Florida, the Bush Cartel was calling out the media dogs of war against Al Gore, indignantly claiming that Gore was trying to steal the election by:
Much to Al Gore's regret, his campaign did not vigorously point out that:
We bring these three points up, because Senator Daschle doesn't appear to understand that the modus operandi of the Bush Cartel is to use whatever position they take as an offensive spear against the Democrats, even if the position they are taking on a given evening is 180 degrees opposite of the one that they tenaciously took and championed on a given morning. In fact, after they take the new diametrically opposed position to their prior one, they often blame the Democrats for supporting the prior one, whether it's true or not.
In short, they brazenly lie, without shame and without apology. Then they ram the new lie down the throat of the Democrats -- and the Democrats, dismayed and confused, cower and retreat.
How else can you explain that one of the major reasons the Democrats lost the Senate is that Karl Rove's strategy of painting the Dems as "obstructionists" on the creation of a Homeland Security Department worked? Of course, BuzzFlash readers know that the Bush White House vigorously and publicly OPPOSED the creation of a Homeland Security Department until it was revealed, in Congressional hearings, that Bush, at a minimum, was asleep at the wheel in regards to fighting terrorism prior to September 11th. More sinister theories, including one as outlined in "Forbidden Truth," propose that the Bush regime may have, through its efforts to capture the oil reserves of the Caspian region, inadvertently touched off events that made September 11th inevitable.
Suffice it to say, whatever the Bush Cartel's intelligence lapses regarding September 11th, it publicly and forcefully OPPOSED a Homeland Security Department until it needed to distract public attention from a then-snowballing examination of its actions -- or non-actions -- prior to September 11th.
Not only did Bush shift from opposing a Homeland Security Department to supporting one as a result of damaging pre-September 11th revelations, he, on the day his administration totally reversed policy, said one was needed immediately! Of course, if we needed a Homeland Security Department immediately, then why did the Bush administration prevent the creation of one for so long?
But did the Democrats take to the airwaves and scream to the high heavens that Bush was betraying the American people by accusing the Democrats of "obstructing" a Department of Homeland Security? Hell, no, that would have forced the Democrats to get angry and shout a little, which is just too uncivilized for their way of thinking. Sometimes we get the feeling that Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt think that it is just too crude to point out the relentless lying and hypocrisy of the White House.
Well, Tom and Dick, you may think yourself better people, but you come off looking like a combination of the town wimps and town fools. No one wants to vote for the guys who can't protect them from the lying bully who is running the show. If the Democratic leadership is too scared or too prissy to denounce the brazen lies of the White House, then how should the public know that the whole Bush fall national security attack on Democrats was built on a lie?
Besides, Karl Rove openly stated at the beginning of 2002 that Bush was going to win the mid-terms by running a national campaign on security issues. How can Daschle claim that he didn't see it coming?
As of November 17th, Daschle -- and Joe "Republican Lite" Lieberman -- are rightfully claiming that some last minute changes in the Homeland Security Bill by the White House were put in as favors to corporate donors. These provisions should certainly be opposed. But, more importantly, the Homeland Security Bill is chock full of laws that will further dismantle our Constitution by limiting our legal rights, our privacy, and our freedom. Yet, there is not a peep out of Daschle and Lieberman about these assaults on our Constitutional rights. There was not a peep out of them about the cynically named "Patriot Act." There has been nary an effort to demand that John Ashcroft stop trampling on the Constitution and start enforcing gun laws to fight terrorism, instead of letting the NRA dictate the Justice Department's loose gun law enforcement.
We won't even go into Gephardt being a Quisling and throwing his support, without qualification, to the Bush Iraq resolution. Gephardt got a nice photo opportunity out of it, though! And Bush got his credibility enhanced. Isn't that a swell trade-off?
There was one moment in the fall campaign when it looked like Daschle might break out of his "see no evil" trance. After Bush accused the Democrats in the Senate of, in essence, endangering national security, Daschle took to the Senate floor and indignantly lashed out at the accusation. He, a military veteran, even cautiously alluded to the GOP Chickenhawk issue. Suddenly, there was fire in Tom's belly. The White House even slightly retreated. They were on the defensive for a moment.
But after one or two media interviews, Daschle himself retreated to his "see no evil" style of leadership, leaving Max Cleland, a decorated war hero who lost 3 limbs in Vietnam, without hardly any supporting fire from his commanding officer. Cleland and many of the Democratic Senate and House candidates needed the Democratic leadership to take Bush on about the failed, hypocritical, opportunistic, and emotionally manipulative leadership on national security. The Democrats needed ground cover when they were being assailed, which they never got -- or got far too little of. And, the tragic irony is that Bush is so vulnerable on the issue, it is pathetic. It takes some strategic thinking and tactful language, but driving Bush's negatives up is an eminently achievable goal, because the Democrats have the truth on their side.
The Grand Hypocrisy Party (GHP) continually runs campaigns based on lies and deception (just look at their official 2002 candidate playbook this time, which told GOP candidates to claim the Democrats were the party advocating the privatization of social security) and wins. And now, after wining back the Senate, the Rove spin is that the voters supported privatization by electing Republicans, even though those GOP candidates ran against privatization and accused the Democrats of coming up with the idea. Got it? The Democrats won't vigorously expose this chronic lying and deception -- and they lose.
Give Karl Rove credit, he positioned Bush to champion the broad theme of "protecting the homeland." It's always a convenient mantra for dictatorial regimes. The Democrats could have countered by showing how inept Bush has been at this very effort. They could have countered with a broad theme of "protecting our Constitutional freedoms." They could have countered with "protecting the homeland" through a long-term foreign policy that will simultaneously defeat our current enemies and prevent the spread of anti-Americanism among future potential terrorists through a strategic approach to world peace.
But, no, Tom and Joe are going to continue to nibble at the edges through a policy of timid incrementalism, trying to pick issues that are safe, but are so small in the larger scheme of things that they get whacked over the head with Bush's broader-stroke offensive on homeland security. The Democrats periodically try to stick a toe in the water to test the temperature, only to get slapped upside the head by Uncle Dick Cheney, Ari "Pinocchio" Fleischer, and George "I ran from Vietnam" Bush. Then the Dems let out a sharp cry, mumble an apology, and run back to the beach blanket, as Uncle Dick and Gin Rummy Rumsfeld stand guard over the vast, increasingly polluted, ocean of America.
The fundamental question that BuzzFlash has been asking for two years is why can't the Democrats call the national Republican leadership, including the Bush Cartel, liars? Because a serial liar just keeps lying and getting away with it -- and the Democrats enable their lying.
As a result, we all suffer the consequences.
Why can't Tom, Dick and Joe learn from Senator Byrd. Why is Senator Byrd a lone voice of impassioned patriotism?
Senator Byrd is in the twilight of his years and has nothing left to lose. We need more Democrats who start speaking on behalf of America because they feel they have nothing left to lose.
Then, they might finally find their voice and stir up the embers of freedom and real patriotism in the hearts of Americans.
Maybe if Tom, Dick and Joe started acting like they have nothing left to lose, they might start winning.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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BuzzFlash Final Note: It should be noted that Tom Daschle is a brilliant internal Senate strategist. After all, it was Daschle who led the negotiations to convince Jeffords that he didn't belong in the Republican Party. And Daschle knows how to outfox Trent Lott on a parliamentary basis, when he is so inclined. Unfortunately, Daschle can't translate his Senate leadership into a national vision for the Democratic Party and, therefore, ends up trading off "big issue" items for crumbs from the White House. Parliamentary maneuvering doesn't necessarily convert into a national message or platform.
Daschle chose not to vigorously pursue corporate corruption -- within and without the Bush administration, which could have dramatically weakened Bush by showing how he is for the rich and wealthy, not the working man. Daschle chose not to make an issue of the Supreme Court selection of Bush. Daschle chose not to make an issue of the curtailment of many civil liberties in the "Patriot Act." Daschle has not called Ashcroft on the carpet for misleading, as an understatement, the Judiciary Committee with promises he has not kept in order to secure his nomination. BuzzFlash could go on and on about how the Democrats, while in the majority, failed to use their investigative powers to expose the corruption, extremism and dishonesty of the Bush administration. It wasn't just timidity; it was a dereliction of duty.
When Larry Klayman takes a more aggressive stance in trying to obtain Cheney's energy "study group" documents than the Democrats in the Senate, you know there's a serious problem.
One of the reasons that Bush was able to influence the close Senate elections in his final days was that the Democrats spent so much time agreeing with him and praising him that they were facilitators in pumping up his image. Part of the problem is one of courage; part of the problem is one of vision; and part of the problem is that Tom Daschle is from South Dakota and is always watching his Red State backside. (BuzzFlash will be posting an editorial on Tom Daschle's "South Dakota Dilemma" in the near future.)
Tom Daschle is a man of integrity and decency. He is a shrewd inside the beltway player. He is a hero who survived the curiously unsolved Anthrax attacks (and about which Daschle has said little). Make no mistake about that.
But that's not enough to win against the Republican/media "take-no-prisoners" permanent campaign.
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Contact BuzzFlash for reprint rights.