There's no 'lesser' in the Democrat evil
A couple of nights ago, I watched and listened to Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Democrat of Illinois, on CNN, arguing that despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Democrats are not abject failures in the present Congress.
He offered no facts, other than the passage of a largely meaningless increase in the federal minimum wage, to support his claims. When the CNN interviewer asked him why the Democrats have done nothing to halt or even slow the war in Iraq after having been given the majority in Congress for that purpose, Emmanuel claimed that the war was secondary and that “other issues” put the Democrats over.
He cited the economy, job losses, protecting the Constitution and a couple of other things; he skipped blithely over the fact that the Democrats have done as little about those things as they have about the war.
From the first moment he began flapping his jaw, it was impossible to shake off the image of Richard Gere as the amoral and predatory defense lawyer in the musical “Chicago,” tap dancing faster and faster to demonstrate how he distracts the public and a jury from inconvenient facts.
Emanuel, who looks more than a little like Gere, has risen quickly in the Democratic Party structure since his election to Congress in 2003. The rise seems based almost entirely on his abilities as a fund raiser. His name is on the cover of one of those political books nobody reads, as co-author with Bruce Reed, president of the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC's real, though publicly unacknowledged, purpose is to keep the party firmly under the control of corporate and other big money interests.
His television appearance, friends, was part of his party's campaign – begun early this time around – to persuade liberals that once again we must swallow the manure sandwich they are about to feed us.
The propaganda is designed to make us believe that to do anything other than vote for those calling themselves Democrats would bring disaster upon us. That despite the obvious fact that to elect the now-almost certain Democratic presidential candidate next year would be the essence of disaster for the great mass of citizens.
Already, the traditional Democrats who still think, or try to think, that the party is an independent and basically liberal organization, are echoing the DLC line. I've had a couple of notes from a good man who buys their arguments every time, stating that I'm terribly wrong in telling the Dems to screw off. Either we elect the Democratic nominee for president or we're headed to hell in a handbasket, he says.
Naïve. And after several election cycles of the same thing, willfully foolish.
Worse than naïve, because the old-line Democrats who still buy that crap are giving the power elite everything it wants without a fight. They jump into that handbasket rather than being pushed in. If you're going down in a life or death struggle, I say, at least gouge an eye or break a kneecap on the way.
(I understand the impulse of those old Democrats, by the way. I was raised to be a Democrat in a family that all but worshipped FDR. My father had one prosthetic leg, but he was ready to fight on the street for the good name of Harry Truman. My instinct, too, is to vote for, defend and trust the Democratic Party. However, I also can think, and analyze, and, after a lifetime in journalism, am big on recognizing and facing facts.)
It seems clear now that those who keep falling for the shopworn claims of “lesser of two evils,” simply cannot face the fact that they give their fealty to a party that no longer exists – the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and even the party of John F. Kennedy.
Repeat: It no longer exists. There's hardly a remnant of it left since Jimmy Carter was drummed from the White House. Bill Clinton did us more harm than any of today's gaggle of incompetent Republican candidates is likely to do.
(Oh yeah? Yeah. Billy Boy led in destroying the economy for the poor and middle class, and worked hard at increasing the power of the super rich at the expense of the vast majority of citizens. And from that grow all the other evils now afflicting us.)
Perhaps the people who keep playing the political version of three card monte by betting time and again on corporate toadies calling themselves Democrats simply are panicked by fact that there is no obvious place to turn if they can't turn to the Democrats.
What to do? What to do?
Pull up your socks and fight, despite the odds.
Thanks to a broken, not to say smashed, system that gives the power to choose presidential candidates to those with assets of $30 or $40 million and more (mostly more), with the crawling collusion of the boobs of what is called the news media, we will once again be denied a real choice for president and for most other federal elective offices and many state-level offices in 2008.
It is suicide to go along with that wretched game.
Truth is, we probably already are dead and simply have failed to lie down and take our ration of dirt in the face. But even if true, it's not a good reason to keep slashing at our own throats with rusty blades.
Start with the presidency:
Assuming Bush/Cheney does leave office at the legally appointed time, the Democrats want us to believe that Hillary Clinton would be a substantial improvement.
That's flatly untrue. Clinton is worse than any of the Republican doofuses in the running, the worst of a rotten lot. She is raw ambition on legs, demonstrably without principles or any core of morality. Expediency is her game, and everything not already sold is for sale.
And one other little thing, which the Democrats won't acknowledge but for which I am grateful: Despite polls showing her way out in front, she may be unelectable, barring some monumental unforeseen event.
A new Zogby poll shows that, already, 50 percent of American citizens have concluded that they will not vote for Clinton under any circumstances. They will NEVER vote for her, half of poll respondents said.
Sadly, almost as many said they will never vote for Dennis Kucinich, arguably the best candidate in the herd. I'd like to think his numbers would change much for the better if the media ever let his views and positions be known – it has entirely shut him out, deliberately pretended he doesn't exist – but perhaps it's too late for that.
So the Democrats -- the perpetually losing wing of what is now the Corporate Party, the Washington Generals to the Republicans' Harlem Globetrotters -– are going to foist on the public an unacceptable candidate who may not be able to draw sufficient votes even in a year when the Democrat should cakewalk into office, a year in which the Republican wing of the party will offer a bottom-of-the-barrel dimwit as the alternative.
Doesn't matter to the people who run the party, frankly. They also run the “other side,” and they win no matter which candidate gets the title of president. In our present ugly parody of American government, the money always wins.
A final point: The last, desperate argument of those who say we must elect whoever carries the Democrat label is, “Just think how much better things would be now if we'd only got Al Gore into office in 2000, or John Kerry in 2004.”
The answer to that is multifaceted:
First, this is not 2000 or 2004 and the 2008 candidate almost certainly is going to be Hillary Clinton or, barring that, Barak Obama. Show me how that's going to be better than Giuliani or any of the other Republicans. And I warn you, I'm prepared with a whole lot of facts to argue that Clinton probably will be worse.
Second, are you sure we'd be much better off if Gore or, especially, Kerry had been elected? On Gore, the available information somewhat favors the belief that we wouldn't have attacked Iraq, but it's not a 100 percent bet by any means. Both Democrats would have faced the same, or worse, Congresses and an even more idiotic press than the ones we've been stuck with, and both were, as presidential candidates, under the thumbs of party leaderships, “consultants,” and campaign funders nearly identical to those who rule now.
Gore, remember, didn't really find his voice until he was some years out of the running for political office.
Also remember that Gore's running mate, whom he fully accepted as such and who probably would be the Democratic presidential candidate this year had Gore got into the White House, was one Joe Lieberman, right wing extremist and unwavering supporter of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Mostly, the belief that things would have been so much better is wishful thinking.
Next: Hillary Clinton is the worst possible choice, but her candidacy is bought and paid for.