Friday, January 07, 2005

The Democrats' Impotence
What could have been and should have been a stirring day for the Democratic Party, a sort of coming-out party for an invigorated opposition, dissolved into typically pathetic passivity yesterday. The Democrats rolled over on Alberto Gonzales, the Torturer's Apprentice, and while they did protest the certification of the Ohio electors--or rather, Sen. Barbara Boxer did, with subsequent support from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama--they apparently spent almost as much time worrying about being "divisive" as pointing out the colossal shenanigans that undermined the voting process. In the end, all but Boxer voted to certify the electors, and Joe Biden and Ken Salazar among others made it clear that Gonzales will be confirmed.

It's enough to make me wonder what the point is. If there's one consensus view among rank and file Democrats and the various subgroups that inform (if not comprise) the party, it's that now is the time to draw clear distinctions and fight back, at least rhetorically. They've got to spend the next two years absolutely slamming away at what the ruling Republicans have done, and are doing, to this country we love. The DLC guys think so, thinks so, everybody in between thinks so. Fuck these concerns about being labeled "obstructionist"; it sure didn't hurt the Gingrich/Dole Republicans, similarly marginalized during Clinton's first two years, when they blocked or tried to block everything aside from NAFTA that the Democrats proposed. And, political considerations aside, is "obstructionism" so bad when you're standing in the way of bankrupting the country, confirming theocratic psychopaths to lifetime judicial appointments, destroying the most successful government program in history, and stepping deeper into a tragic and senseless war that has made us less safe?

There are times when "compromise," or at least being open to other points of view, makes sense. I got into a big flame war on DailyKos--which, yes, I've started reading and posting to regularly again, including this diary in which I tried to explain what I was thinking--the other day for a passing comment I made about abortion, along the lines of thoughts I've shared here. But damn--we're at the point where on a host of key issues, there is no further ground to give. If we don't stand up now, we'll be crushed against the wall, and in a sense we'll deserve it.

And then what's left but recreational drug use, the NFL playoffs, and free music downloads?

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