Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Monday, August 04, 2003

"My Candidate is better than yours...nhah, nhah, nhan!"

I don't know about you but I'm getting pretty tired of this. There is one Liberal spot that I hang out on that is becoming increasingly boring because just about every other post is some version of the above. Worse yet, almost any serious discussion of an issue is usually hijacked by an unabashed advertisement for a candidate and that can easily end up in a pissing contest among supporters.

The Democratic party is in the process of self-destruction. There are presently 9 candidates out there with a possibility of two more joining the fray (Clark and Biden) and nobody is giving an inch.

In my younger days as a paid politician, I learned very quickly how to swallow your ego and step back in line for the sake of acheiving your ultimate goal. Sometines I had to swallow REALLY HARD to take a back seat to those whose opinions and practices I considered inferior to mine but in the end everything worked out for the greater good.

I will not dilude myself with grand thoughts that anyone in a position of responsibility will take my advice. But I will amuse myself on this blog by rendering a bit of advice to the Democratic Party just as if somebody is actually listening.

First, it's time for reality check. That's right, each one of the candidates needs to examine his or her position realistically assessing whether they have a snowball's chance in hell of beating George W. Bush. If such an honest reappraisal would take place that would leave only a handful of true contenders in the marketplace. Al Sharpton, Carol Mosely Braun, Dick Gephart, Dennis Kucinich face the truth: you have a better chance being hit by an asteroid than being elected President of the United States! For those, I would say, it's time to make a deal. Contact the serious candidates and extract a promise for that candidate to embrace one or more of your major issues and then bow out; magnimously instructing your supporters to tirelessly work in behalf of that other candidate. (Look on the up-side: the candidate you endorse may even pay a few handsome honorariums for speaking engagements on his behalf.!!!)

Second, take a lesson from the Republicans: Republicans talk about the 11th Commandment (funny how they alway put things in Biblical terms....) which states "Thou shalt not speak ill of thine fellow Republican." They mean it. A candidate who might get into a pissing contest with another Republican candidate had better be independently wealthy because he/she has seen their last Republican National Committee, Republican supported PAC or Young Republican dollar. The top tier of leadership in the party enforces that rule "BIGTIME!"( sorry, couldn't resist) We should do the same. Rhetoric that fractures or splits the party is counter to the ultimate goal of removing GWB from the White House. Worse yet, we progressives have another threat hanging over our heads: The Green Party. If we succeed in villanizing the most left-leaning of our candidates, we run a serious risk of pushing his/her supporters over to the "greenie" side of the ledger. That's sort of what got us into this mess with GWB in the first place, isn't it? Every would-be nominee should measure his/her words carefully in the context of what these words will mean in the general election of 2004. Remember that Republicans have no hesitation whatsoever to use one Democrat's words against another Democrat. In that sense, it isn't just manners we're talking about here but also avoiding a strategic blunder which can harm whoever our candidate is in 2004. (Lieberman's recent comments about the "liberal" wing of the party come to mind immediately....does anyone doubt that those words wouldn't be used against Dean, or Kucinich, or Kerry in the general election should one of those three get the nomination?) Again, from my younger days,an admonition to my fellow Dems: "KEEP YOUR WORDS SOFT AND SWEET FOR SOMEDAY YOU MAY HAVE TO EAT THEM"

And finally this: NOTICE: THE 2004 ELECTION WILL NOT BE GOVERNED BY THE MARQUIS OF QUEENSBURY RULES! This will most likely be the ugliest campaign in US history. There is so much at stake here that all the stops will be pulled. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination is in for a very rough ride. Remember, it is the Republicans who gave us "Willy Horton", Dukakis in the tank, the Max Clelland smear, the Al Gore "serial lier" campaign, and eight friggin years of unnecessary Clinton investigations. They also have Coulter, O'Rielly, Rush, Hannity and (sort of) Michael Savage to spread their vicious propaganda. We like to think that we are intellectually above this kind of fray, but we've got to ask ourselves what we value most: The future of our country or our intellectual purity. "Stooping to their level" is neither attractive or intellectually fulfilling but it may be the only way to win back the White House, The Senate and the House. As much as I think the term warrior is abused, I think it is time for us to think of ourselves in that term. We must be warriors if we want to stop the march toward a Republican State. We better be willing to swallow criticism of our leadership and our candidate when they strike a dirty blow. Get used to it. The "other guys" are going to play dirty and we have not other choice but to crawl right down in the gutter with them. Therefore in selecting our nominee, we had better make certain that our nominee has the stomach for a campaign that isn't a gentleman's disagreement, but the equivalent to a whore-house brawl.

(note: there is another blog I read recently that made much of the same argument. Actually said this isn't discourse, this is a knife-fight. My apologies if some of the material looks the same.)

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Welcome to my first blog...

I hope that in a year's time this spot will be a veritable treasure-trove of new ideas on government, politics, the economy and almost every other aspect of American living.