December 22, 2002
The Democrats Can't Afford a Presidential Candidate
Who Leaves No Tracks
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
BuzzFlash has gotten two or there e-mails from readers telling us to stop bragging about being the first news site (and only one for days) that nailed Karl Rove as the mastermind behind the early attacks on Trent Lott (See: http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/2002/12/20-2.html for complete list of our editorials and commentaries). But frankly, we will continue to boast, because the mainstream media only caught on nearly two weeks after we first pointed out the Rove strategy -- and it unfolded exactly as we predicted.
Read this passage from our December 11th editorial:
"-- Even though there appears to be an orchestrated movement among right wing columnists asking Lott to step down, Daschle is still reserving playing it coy. (The White House may be trying to dump Lott and replace him with someone who is slicker in the image department and more of a Bush Cartel team player. The Cal Thomases, Linda Chavezes, and Charles Krauthammers take their cues from the White House on a matter like this -- and they are calling on Lott to be dumped.)"
And this one from our commentary on December 12:
"So why are right wing media figures telling the Mississippi Mop Head to exit stage right? It isn't due to an outcry from the Senate Democrats, asleep at the wheel as usual. (See: http://www.buzzflash.com/editorial/2002/12/11.html) Except for Al Gore and the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democrats, led by Daschle, are playing their usual game of pretty much "seeing no Evil." (Kerry made a late entry bid to criticize Lott.) But the right wing "amen chorus" of columnists doesn't take their cues from Al Gore.
So if BuzzFlash's hypothesis is right, why is Karl Rove trying to toss Lott overboard?
- The White House wants a Senate majority leader who appeals to the neo-confederacy vote, but with a slicker style. In short, they want the kind of guy cut in the George W. Bush style.
- The White House thinks that Lott has too high a profile.
- For all his fierce loyalty to the White House, Lott actually cut some deals with Daschle that the White House didn't like. The White House wants a complete and total Bush Cartel team player. They want, in essence, an ideological puppet -- and a puppet who mimics the George W. Bush style of appearing amiable while implementing extreme right wing policies.
- Lott has become a political liability.
So call us conspiratorial. But if you think that this story has stayed alive because the press has suddenly become interested in civil rights rather than $75 dollar haircuts....Well, if you think that, you're just whistling Dixie."
And this analysis from our December 13th editorial:
Of course, as BuzzFlash predicted, Bush is coming out smelling like a rose. Rove has Bush appearing to have dethroned a racist and replaced him with a Bush clone who will deliver the Republican Senate votes to further Bush's right wing agenda. Frist is a member of the right wing team, but with the golden aura of "the good doctor."
Meanwhile the "Three Wimpigos" -- Daschle, Lieberman and Gephardt -- said virtually nothing throughout the Lott affair, thus failing to stand up for civil rights in an emotional, meaningful way. These three appear to believe it is best to take on the Republicans by doing virtually nothing to oppose them, except for some minor parliamentary skirmishes and futile stands on obscure points. They are leaders who don't lead, which makes them followers. In the December 16th edition of the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin notes "Intentionally or not, Lieberman spent the fall doing the Republican's bidding." Daschle spent his brief period as Democratic Senate leader letting opportunity after opportunity to explore administration malfeasance fall by the way side. He also failed to take a principled stand for civil rights and liberties. Gephardt, in the meantime, sold out Daschle and cut a separate deal which gave Bush unlimited war powers in the Iraq War vote in the House.
We believe Daschle would make an excellent Governor of South Dakota or Chief Operating Officer of the Senate, if such a position existed. But he lacks the strategic savvy to tangle with the likes of Karl Rove. Joe Lieberman would make an excellent Fortune 500 Vice President in charge of stock options, which he champions so dearly -- or as a vice presidential candidate with George W. Bush, should Cheney not run again. Dick Gephardt would make a great head of the AFL-CIO, because he truly and honestly is a great voice for labor.
But no one should be under any illusion that a Daschle, Lieberman or Gephardt is capable of running anything but a token campaign against the Rove/Bush juggernaut. These are men who don't leave footprints in the sand.
The most effective political work that they have done in the last year is to boost the image of George W. Bush and help bestow upon him the aura of invincible legitimacy.
Their first mistake was in not opposing his theft of the presidency, as they left the Black Congressional Caucus helpless in its effort to challenge the 5-4 Supreme Court election of Bush when Gore won by 540,000 votes. Since then, it's been all down hill.
These three men are followers not leaders -- and for the past year, they have been unwitting enablers.
As BuzzFlash predicted, they were outsmarted and outfoxed in the denouncing of a racist Senator by a fraud of a President.
If Daschle, Lieberman and Gephardt can't passionately and vigorously stand up on behalf of their most dependable core voters -- and all those who are the subject of bigotry -- who can they stand up for, besides themselves?
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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