Saturday, May 06, 2006
E.J. Dionne's excellent op-ed piece
The current reaction is not simply to President Bush's low poll numbers. It's also a response to the failure of conservative policies and to the declining appeal of conservative rhetoric. Conservatives are trying to save themselves by offering progressive-sounding criticisms of the status quo, much as liberals offered ersatz conservative critiques two decades ago.Might I add that this is more election-year posturing by the Republicans. Isn't it ironic how the Republicans who deride the Democrats for having no ideas are embracing what stereotypically is portrayed as what a hippie, pot-smoking Democrat would embrace? environmentalism and social justice? Bush prides himself for not looking or caring about polls, but it seems that his minions aren't living up to that lofty ideal. Now which is the party with no ideas or ideas that don't work? Republicans pride themselves for actually having ideas, for not pandering to the other side's voters by trying to sound like liberals. They pride themselves for never backing down in times of pressure and sticking to their beliefs much like how General Grant was portrayed as a bulldog who would bash his head against a brick wall constantly to knock it down. They pride themselves
I, like many others have complained about Democrats trying to out-Republican the Republicans. I have always complained that the Democrats were moving to the right and ignoring progressives and liberals out there because the media says if you're liberal, then you don't know what's best for your country, repeating the conservative mantra that has turned an honored word that has brought about the things that make our country great into a four-letter word. They were scared off into supporting this war based on lies to try to portray themselves as tough as the Republicans on national security even though all what the Republicans have done is fuck-up on this issue. They were scared off into supporting the Patriot Act even though it is the most gross violation of our civil liberties because they did not want to be seen as supporting Osama. Countless times the Democrats have succumbed to the pressure from the corporations into voting against the interests of the middle-class whom they supposedly represent.
Nonetheless, I savor Republicans trying to "out-Democrat" the Democrats as I agree with E.J. Dionne that this is more of a judgment against conservatism no matter how it's dressed, whether it's compassionate conservatism (no such thing unless you're a corporation) or the "we too follow the ideals of Jesus" conservatism which now tries to hype its members' "concern" for the poor. I have always felt that conservatism never worked and that the GOP always used the "liberal media" myth to blame for the failure of their ideas and this election-year pandering just confirms it. It amazes me how much these "strong, tough" men are backing down from their ideas.
Of course, one must realize that this is an election year. Rhetoric does NOT match action, especially with the "opposite day" crowd in the GOP. Of course this also shows the contempt they have for you, the average American voter because they believe that you're either stupid enough or don't have the time to actually call them out on their "hippie, tree-hugging" rhetoric. They think that you'll be satisfied with rhetoric that "shows" that they're actually doing something. The best example was them crying out and criticizing Big Oil but refusing to cut its huge tax breaks. Everyone, including their base is mad at Big Oil and the GOP realizes that, but they do not have the courage, much like the DEMOCRATS don't of going against their corporate masters who allow them to rant and rave against them as long as they don't do anything. What will it take for the American voter to realize that the Republicans are best at masking the fact that they are doing less than nothing for them? What will it take to get the voter to see past this empty rhetoric? Yes I realize that the conservative base is mad at the GOP for trying to "out-liberal" the Democrats, but we're talking about the voter who doesn't care for politics and only votes on fear.
DEMOCRATS, take a lesson from this. Don't be afraid of liberal ideas. Don't be afraid of advocating for the environment. Don't listen to this hippie, environazi rhetoric that the right uses to demonize you. Don't be afraid to offer a new alternative to the Republican's tired and tired stay the course bullshit on homeland security. Don't be afraid to say you'll actually call for the inspection of ALL shipping containers that enter into the country and that it was the Republican Party that bowed down to industry. While you have to present your ideas, you have to ATTACK. You have to show that the Republicans don't care for homeland security if it goes against the interests of industry. You have to show that the Republicans are for a permanent occupation of Iraq. You have to show that the Republicans are using empty promises like a constitutional ban on gay marriage to get you to vote against your best interests.