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View Diary: On Kicking Ass and Crashing Gates (380 comments)

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  •  No no and again no. (3+ / 0-)

    What gate did we think we were crashing, exactly? A gate to a garden party? A cotillion, perhaps? An ivory tower nestled in the green, green fields of Oxford?

    For the past couple of years, this site has been about nothing but taking control of a weak, ineffective and inbred party, making it strong with new leadership and new vision, and taking our country back from a rabid majority gang of power-hungry, self-serving, religious-pandering, imperialistic, militaristic, corrupt cronies. That, at least, was why I was here.


    I categorically deny your assertion that the Democrats are "weak, ineffective and inbred".  This misses the point entirely and past that by leaps and bounds.  Two things we both know, A) The modern day GOP does not play by the rules: they cheat, lie, steal and bully; and 2) nobody in their right mind would vote for George Bush and his rubberstamp Republican congress.   How then does this make the Democrats " weak, ineffective and inbred"??  Or in any way responsible for our present situation? Given no rational reason to vote for George Bush, doesn't that mean he was elected for irrational reasons??


    Here's the thing about irrationality: it doesn't mean lacking reason, but actually, actively resistant to reason!!!  John McCain is a mendacious, hard-right mean streak... and he's the BEST, most reasonable candidate, they have!!!!  He's a breath of fresh air compared to Bush and a saint compared to Cheney! So many liberals, progressives, leftists and others go around looking for the magic logic key that will unlock the electorate: Wes Clark has the magic combination of gravitas, experience, steely-eyed glare and he comes factory equipped with a six-pack o' whup-ass; Howard Dean makes oh-so-much sense that the electorate can't but be compelled to vote for him; Hillary is JUST what we need; Or if we just fight harder then they; etc.. etc.. etc...
    If voters are irrational, what possible combination of reasonable candidates will sway them? None.  Blaming Democrats in this situation is like blaming the pearls cast before the swine.  In 2004, the Swift Boat Vermin were repeatedly, comprehensively debunked and repudiated. And they JUST KEPT COMING!!!  Of course, under your logic, that's somehow John Kerry's fault...


    Another tack we take is to repeatedly, endlessly, itemize and bemoan the sins and perfidy of the present administration as if we just need to show the people how bad they are and it will all stop.  We forget, or don't want to know, that for many Americans Machievellis' The Prince is less a cautionary tale and more a handbook:   they LIKE low-down dirty mean and want to stake our pit-bulls (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove) against the big mean baddies of the world (Saddam, Osama...) Repeatedly listing what we consider sins only reinforces what they consider virtue.


    I certainly share your desire to rid my country of "a rabid majority gang of power-hungry, self-serving, religious-pandering, imperialistic, militaristic, corrupt cronies" but don't wish to fool myself that this is somehow the Democrats fault...  Perhaps the constant, persistent, insistent misreading of the situation is why the netroots isn't as successful as one would wish.


    There is no substitute for an active, engaged, liberal willing to do the hard work (work much much harder than that of the GOP) of calming people and trying to bring them to rationality. Using words like 'fight', 'dueling' and 'ass-kicking', while an emotional salve, are distinctly counterproductive.  There is no shortcut: no magic 'aha!' combination of ideas and candidates that will make people see the light. Some of them, often the loudest, most bellicose,  never will see the light. We must not mistake their volume for our failure. And we must not mistake turning up the volume, or the intensity, for success.

    My favorite quotation from the  Bible is Be not Afraid.  Words to live by.

    Most independent voters hate Republicans but, nevertheless, believe everything they have to say about the Dems

    by petr on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 08:55:38 AM PDT

    •  So what is your prescription? (0+ / 0-)

      Be smarter?  We are smarter.  And yet we lose.

      I used to get bullied as a kid.  My mother said, "Ignore them and they'll let you be."  I tried my mother's prescription.  And they beat me harder and more frequently.  You know when it stopped?  When I tapped into a clear and lucid rage one day and beat one of them into a bloody fucking pulp.  No one ever touched me again.

      Now, you can deny all you want that this is a fight, and try all you want to negate the usefulness of the war metaphor, but I can assure you that our opposition most certainly sees it that way.  They laugh behind our backs at our adherence to lofty rhetoric, fair play, civil discourse -- and even the law.  It is not their intent to keep us in the minority; it is their intent to destroy us.  Their principles are so important to them that they are not willing to give an inch.  They would see us dead.

      We did not murder civility, but it is also not in our best interests to attempt to resuscitate it unilaterally.

      "That rug really tied the room together."

      by The Termite on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 09:59:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my prescriptions (0+ / 0-)

        Be smarter?  We are smarter.  And yet we lose.

        Be better.  There is no loss then.

        I used to get bullied as a kid.  My mother said, "Ignore them and they'll let you be."  I tried my mother's prescription.  And they beat me harder and more frequently.  You know when it stopped?  When I tapped into a clear and lucid rage one day and beat one of them into a bloody fucking pulp.  No one ever touched me again.

        It hasn't stopped. You still have the rage. They've marked you and you're doing their will to this day.

        You can stand up to an individual bully, fine. Regardless, we're not up against an individual bully. We're up against a mob of sadists: don't hit them, it only makes them madder. Inflict pain on them and they get off on it.  Why do you think that torture is such a big issue for them?  Fighting, ass-kicking, dueling, engaging at this level only gives them  that for which they seek.

        Now, you can deny all you want that this is a fight, and try all you want to negate the usefulness of the war metaphor, but I can assure you that our opposition most certainly sees it that way.  They laugh behind our backs at our adherence to lofty rhetoric, fair play, civil discourse -- and even the law.  It is not their intent to keep us in the minority; it is their intent to destroy us.  Their principles are so important to them that they are not willing to give an inch.  They would see us dead.

        My prescription is then to die before acting like them. Let them kill me and my body a marker to their depravity.   I would turn the other cheek and show them a complete lack of fear.   Let them hit both cheeks and  see the futility of it.  I will never return evil for evil.  I cannot. Let them laugh.  It's hollow and they know it and only laugh harder to cover up their fear of it. Their intent matters much much less than yours.  We must never forget why we get mad: we're the good guys and we find their actions unconscionable. Feeding our anger only legitimizes theirs.

        I will, however, seek to be a calming voice for those not completely lost. Be not afraid, is my prescription for you and for them.  I know that I am in the minority here. I know that every fiber of your body is screaming in frustration at my prescription.  Your struggle, however, isn't with me, but with that part of you that feels I'm in the right here.

        Bill Clinton said it best when, in 2004, he stated, simply, "if people think, we win."  You have to get them to think. No amount of fighting is going to get them to think, and in fact often has the opposite effect.  No amount of asskicking is going to get them to admit that you are right and they are wrong. That's a journey they have to make in calmness and with thought and I am fully persuaded that all are capable of making this journey.  That's my prescription.  It's not as easy as getting enraged. It's not as immediately emotionally satisfying as getting mad and wanting to kick ass, but it is a thousand and one times more effective and a million, million times less devestating to your psyche and mine.

        Most independent voters hate Republicans but, nevertheless, believe everything they have to say about the Dems

        by petr on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10:23:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I say through the fog of your condescension, I am not prescribing evil for evil.  You're projecting that onto me.

          I'm also not willing to lay down my life to be a marker of their evil.  Petr, even the most placid eastern disciplines you seem to be referencing here acknowledge that there is a time to fight with ferocity -- with the same clear and lucid rage of which I speak.  Some of the most ferocious warriors on planet earth right now are Tibetan Buddhists.

          You seem to be prescribing political pacifism.  And while that might be enlightenment, but it is enlightenment in certain defeat.  I am not confident that politics is compatible with your life philosophy.

          "That rug really tied the room together."

          by The Termite on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10:32:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  listen to yourself (0+ / 0-)

            ...I say through the fog of your condescension, I am not prescribing evil for evil.  You're projecting that onto me.

            If you cannot get past some perceived condescension, how much more will they be unable to get past a real and combative rage, however clear and lucid???  

            You can't see my point because you're so wrapped up in yours: You use the phrase 'phalanx of pipehitting motherfuckers' and then try to lecture me on Tibetan Buddhists... Do you have any idea how broken that looks from here?

            If you really want to understand something of the situation, go read Shooting an Elephant., by George Orwell. Do me a favor and, after reading it, think about it for a good solid day. Then read it again.

            Most independent voters hate Republicans but, nevertheless, believe everything they have to say about the Dems

            by petr on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 11:06:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  One more point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ignacio Magaloni

          It hasn't stopped. You still have the rage. They've marked you and you're doing their will to this day.

          You're wrong.

          If I'd never stood up to bullies in my life, I would be long dead (and I'm not being metaphorical now).

          As it stands, I have lived 38 joyful and productive years on this earth.  I have many incredible friends, a beautiful wife, and a treasure of a daughter, all of whom are the beneficiaries of my undying love, care, and attention.  I do good things for people; I try to inspire people.  I play music.  I mentor kids.

          And none of this...me...would have ever come to pass into this world if I were not willing to take a stand and fight.  I'll fight again to keep it.  Whatever it takes.

          "That rug really tied the room together."

          by The Termite on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 10:42:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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