Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Open Thread of a sort

Here's a question for all of you. Do you think Kerry actually won the election only to have it stolen away by Bush & Co? I do, and I know many people who share this belief. If you do agree with me, what do you say about the way Kerry has been dealing with the issue? He has made some lukewarm pronouncements about funny business at the OH polls, but never has stated that he felt the Republicans broke the law. Part of me wishes he would say flat out, "Bush cheated and stole the election away from the American people." What would be the consequences for the Democratic party if Kerry were to show he had the spine to be confrontational? Would it be a net gain or loss? How would the press react? I am interested in your ideas.

Andrew

5 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

I think that what Kerry's doing is continuing the court cases, quietly. Without a smoking gun that even a large sector of the electorate that apparently believes that Saddam caused 9/11, that evolution has never occurred, and that being "decisive" whether you're right or wrong is what you want in a leader can look at and say, "Shit; Kerry's right -- that was totally fucked up," only bad things could happen for the Democrats. Think of the position Kerry was in; I was furious when he conceded so quickly, too, and, in principle, he should say damn the consequences and let's fight this out. But in a time of war (or "war"; both apply), it's highly risky to claim that we have in fact had a two coups in a row. Even though I'm pretty sure that's the case.

I guess the Dem leadership sat down and asked each other, "OK, how are we going to deal with this?" In fact, they surely thought this through before the election. In any event, given that Dean is DNC chair, I think I see the plan: concede this election; fight hard in the Senate till the mid-term elections; let Bush be lame-duck; build for 2008 and beyond. This battle will be a permanent state of affairs for the rest of our lifetimes (us 30-somethings). It neither began nor will end with Bush, W. or Jeb. Dean's basically come out and said that.

Part of me totally disagrees with what I just wrote, and I'm sure it doesn't sit too well with the party leadership -- if I've intuited their thinking correctly. The danger of this current strategy is that if Kerry doesn't fight NOW and just call it as it was, a fascist lockdown is inevitable. That's the giant risk on the other side.

But, there is such a large chunk of the electorate that thinks that Bush is off the rails -- probably more now than in November -- and just wait for when we start bombing Iran (or encourage Israel to do so for us) -- that it's better not to panic about creeping fascism, which is definitely occurring, but mobilize all your resources (notice how the NYTimes is all on top of Bush all of a sudden?) for the long haul and trust the system enough to build a real majority, get rid of voting machines, etc.

I don't envy Kerry his decision; it's hard to come down too hard on him, I think, even though I was quite disappointed at the time. He's a cool cucumber, and he knows damn well what we're all up against.

So far, Bush II has sucked even worse than Bush I. Two years have now gone by since "mission accomplished" and Iraq is a fucking disaster zone. Let Bush deal with that, and let the cracks in the GOP appear -- which is definitely occurring and will only get worse as 2008 approaches. You'll see Jeb, the asshole/insane candidate for more of the same, fight it out bloodily with at least one relative moderate, whether that be McCain or Hegel or whomever.

That's my two cents. Would love to hear what everyone else has to say.

Great post, Andrew!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 3:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sorry, Andrew -- had to fix that spelling error! :)

Also, I didn't respond to how the press would react. I think if Kerry had said that at the time, the GOP propaganda machine would have gone into full attack mode (making anything else they've done look like kiddie school), and "wiser heads" in the media would have said, "Oh, Kerry must know that elections are stolen all the time -- Kennedy stole 1960 from Nixon [which is probably true], for example. Kerry's just a sore loser, and he's dividing the country just at the point at which we need to be united." I know how to think like those pussies; it's so easy to mimic. I fear that would have been the consensus. Better to let the Bush admin bury itself and hope that the American public begins to get the idea. Not a bad strategy, especially since things are getting notably worse for more and more people. That's one advantage to a rapaciously acquisitive capitalist society/culture: if there's no money around, there's only so long you can blame it on "welfare mothers," and a certain point at which appeals to abortion and other bullshit "issues" become obvious dodges.

Bush is losing/has lost on SocSec "reform," despite a full mobilization of the lie machine. People saw through that crap in a hurry. A hopeful development.

Or, less hopefully, we're already sunk as a society. Take your pick, but act as though there's still a shot at a true republican (small-r) restoration here.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OK, now I'm just procrastinating, but you got me thinking, too, Andrew!

I think the Dems should do everything in their power to encourage attacks on Bush (based on the truth, of course) from sources other than the Democratic party. That's partly occurred already -- moveon.org, ACT, and other 527s/PACs/what-have-you. But it should be turned up a notch.

I think Nader has made such a supreme ass of himself by now that most disillusioned Greens are ripe (pun intended) for the picking by a newly progressive Democratic party.

I do think that the party should drop all labels (as it does), ignore and make fun of GOP-hack "labelling," and simply walk the walk of progressivism at its best. Triangulation is dead, I think; we got out-triangulated by the GOP. Offer up a strong progressive voice wrapped in the unfortunately necessary "shell program" of Lakovian moral frames -- with a touch of real New Testamentality thrown in, MLK-style -- and we might be able to get some ground back here.

Finally (really), I think that it's clear from the Bolton nomination proceedings I've seen that Dems are reaching out to moderate Republicans (all of whom are of the older guard, which is quite scary, long-term) in order to 1. do what's right and 2. split that party up. In success lie the seeds of failure -- not to get all Marxist on y'all, but that dialectic is definitely true, even if a self-deluding belief in A. Schlesinger's pendulum theory of American history isn't. (And it isn't, according to my reading of American history; all props to A.S., who is a great historian.)

Out.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 3:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Check out an example of (I hope) the GOP splitting apart here. (Make sure to turn down your speakers; they recorded this at a pretty deafening level!)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 4:12:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Thanks for your comments. . . why is everyone else so mute?

Andrew

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 10:32:00 AM  

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