Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Trust Them With WHAT??!?!!?

So: the GOP's political future looks bleak. Dubya's approval numbers in the polls seem daily to plumb new sub-Nixonian levels. And the Democrats may retake power. Between this fall and '08, they may retake power as thoroughly as the Republicans possess it now.

Think that's a good thing? Think there's any meaningful difference between the Pachyderm and Jackass Caucuses of the War Party? Check out this crap, from the Washington Post.
Democratic hawks said yesterday that their party can win a war of ideas with the Republicans over national security, but only if Democrats move beyond simply criticizing President Bush's policies and convince voters they support strategies to defeat Islamic jihadists.

These centrist Democrats argued that voters are more receptive to the Democrats because of Bush's mistakes in Iraq. But they warned against calls to launch investigations into past administration decisions if Democrats gain control of the House or Senate in the November elections. Instead, they said, Democrats should concentrate on charting alternative policies for fighting terrorism and succeeding in Iraq.

"We still have a hurdle to cross with the American people in convincing them we can be both tough and smart when it comes to securing America," said Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). Voters may have more confidence in Democrats on the economy or education, he said, but, "they're not going to trust us on those things if they don't first us trust us with their lives."

Bayh and others spoke at the launch of a collection of essays on national security policy published by the Progressive Policy Institute, the think tank associated with the Democratic Leadership Council. The sponsors challenged Democrats to resist policies advocated by what they called the "non-interventionist left" wing of their party while vigorously challenging what they call the "neo-imperial right" viewpoint of many in the Bush administration.

Yesterday's unveiling underscored again the division within the Democratic Party between elected officials such as Bayh, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who have resisted calls for setting timetables for withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq, and those such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.) and Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), who have embraced such timetables.

Yesterday's speakers said Democrats must make clear that, after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, they do not take lightly the threat posed by Islamic radicals. Even as they challenged their own party to offer a more robust strategy, they rejected Republican criticism -- voiced earlier this year by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove -- that Democrats collectively have a "pre-9/11 worldview." Rove said Democrats have been "deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong" on national security.

...

Pelosi has said Democrats will investigate how the United States went to war in Iraq if they gain control of the House, but pollster Jeremy Rosner said yesterday that this represents a backward-looking approach that will make it more difficult for Democrats to define their security agenda.

"Many of us are disturbed by the calls for investigations or even impeachment as the defining vision for our party for what we would do if we get back into office," he said.

PPI President Will Marshall said that Democrats should embrace internationalism in the tradition of Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy. That includes championing freedom and democracy. "We can't abandon [support for] democracy simply because the Bush administration has embraced it or misappropriated it," he said.
Let's suppose one of these clowns (Bayh, Hillary, or Biden) gets the Democrat nomination, and runs against some photogenic GOP chickenhawk in '08. We'll be told endlessly how important it is to vote. We'll be told not to complain about the outcome, if we didn't vote. And we'll hear the "two" sides (actually, about 1.001 sides) compete to convince us that each one is a more efficient towelhead-killer than the other. And one caucus or the other will win. I neither know nor care which, but one thing's for sure: we lose. We'll be too stupid, in many cases, to know that we've lost, but we'll lose all the same.

Note, by the way, that John Kerry is listed in the article as being one of those eee-villll antiwar Democrats. This is just another indicator of the severity of our condition: that the guy who ran for President in '04, claiming to be a better and more effective warmaker than BushCo, is now called "antiwar." So there's a good chance that, even if the Democrats set out to nominate a non-interventionist, they would end up with just another opportunistic weathervane, holding the moistened finger up in the breeze and adopting "positions" accordingly.

We, as a nation, deserve much worse than we've gotten so far. Our luck is probably running out.

6 comments:

Grace said...

Well, at this point the country's too far gone for any of this to matter. One candidate may be slightly more (or less) inclined to wage war or tax the rich or throw fiscal crumbs to the desperate. One candidate may be slightly more (or less) articulate and photogenic. But that's about it.

Our government is too deeply in debt, our fellow citizens are too deeply in debt, our car-dependent commercial and housing infrastructure is beyond salvaging, and we are
"educating" our third (at least) generation of students in a culture that thumbs its nose at most aspects of the Enlightenment.

Now, if you're of a certain age (meaning sort of old), it will be possible to enjoy the twilight days of the American empire. But I pity those who follow.

lemming said...

HRC should not run. She's not electable.

Kerry would at least be interesting.

Bayh IMHO is electable and might actually win.

Until the Dems get organized they cannot take over, period.

(I'm so humble.)

Bartleby said...

Our government is too deeply in debt, our fellow citizens are too deeply in debt, our car-dependent commercial and housing infrastructure is beyond salvaging, and we are "educating" our third (at least) generation of students in a culture that thumbs its nose at most aspects of the Enlightenment.

Now, if you're of a certain age (meaning sort of old), it will be possible to enjoy the twilight days of the American empire. But I pity those who follow.


So true, and it will all end economically, as we accelerate toward the condition of having our chief exports be high explosives, fast-moving depleted uranium, American Idol, and imperious demands. Our creditors will eventually cease to be amused.

Bartleby said...

Lemming -- I must disagree. Hillary's not electable? I agree that she's not electable by grownups (unless they're really, really drunk). But neither is that road apple who's squatting in the White House now, and he's been elected (more or less) twice. Sure she's electable. My cat's electable -- or would be, if one of the two major crime families presented him as an inevitability.

John Good said...

Bartleby,

How about a Gore/Feingold ticket? Your thoughts?

Bartleby said...

I can't say I'd have any enthusiasm. As Clinton's VP, Mr. Gore didn't have any trouble in supporting that administration's bellicose adventures in Eastern Europe, nor did he seem to have any problem with the occasional cruise missile chucked into Islamic homelands. And Mr. Feingold, while he's at least expressed some (perhaps token) opposition to the more-egregious aspects of the Bush strongman regime, does have his name (along with Psycho McCain's) on another anti-constitutional assault on political speech.

Voting is a bad habit, and arguably makes things even worse by lending an appearance of specious legitimacy to our supervisors. But it's a habit that I've been unable to break, so far. If the LP runs someone acceptable (Badnarik was OK last time), I'll likely throw away my vote in that direction. If the Constitution Party could get on the ballot, I'd have a decision to make, but that's highly unlikely.

What are your thoughts concerning Mssrs. Gore and Feingold?