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crossposted at My Left Wing

Holy Joe has been taking a lot of flack in recent weeks for this comment:

"It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.

Now, I believe Joe Lieberman's picture appears on the OED next to the word "douchebag."  But in his charmingly awkward "Joementum" sort of way, he actually kinda-sorta-almost hit on something worthwhile there, without intending to.

As usual, Joe was trying to suck up to the President and the GOP, which I'm convinced he's a closet member of.  I'm going to take the small kernel of an idea he dropped and try to nuture it into a beautiful flowering plant of electoral victory.

Holy Joe the Shrinking Violet is and has always been terrified of any criticism of his beloved Georgie Porgie.  But viewed from a different, non-insane light, his opinion can be used to advantage.

It's not that Democrats should not criticize Bush.  Far from it.  It's that they should avoid the trap of only going after Bush.  With polls showing that upwards of 2/3rds of the country hates Caesar Arbusto's incompetent guts, a total focus on him will land Democrats in the trap of preaching to the choir.  In short, the electorate might say: "Yeah, Bush is a bumbling what?  We knew that already."

Bush is radioactive.  Almost all GOP candidates from Senators to dogcatchers will be running as far from him as possible.  The key for Democrats running for office is to drag them, kicking and screaming, back to the leader they've loved so well up to now, meantime defining themselves as a clear and definite alternative.  In short, the basic idea here is to keep just enough pressure on Bush to ensure he remains thermonuclear to anyone who would try and embrace him, while turning the heavy artillery against the individual candidates you'll be running against.  

"But Raybin!" some might wail.  "How?  The Democrats are increasingly being cut out of the public view by the corporate media?!"

Okay, so they've declared war.   What's the classic strategy for fighting back when a smaller, ill-equipped force must cope with a large, well-organized one?

Guerilla warfare.  

Trying to fight the GOP on their own ground right now is futile.  First, they must be weakened.  2006 will be an excellent opportunity to do so.  

C'mon, it's easy!  Print up flyers and post them on every light pole and shove them into every mailbox.  Cultivate contacts in local papers to gain favorable press coverage.  I promise you, most people do not read the New York Times or the Washington Post.  But they do sit down to read the "Anytown Gazette" (circulation 5,000) every evening after dinner.  Hold local events on behalf of Democratic Candidate X and call the local dinky TV station.  They'll show up!  What else do they have to cover?  Democratic Candidate X's people didn't approve?  WHO CARES?!  Folks, the past 6 years show conclusively that Democratic Candidate X's people SUCK.  This is a citizen's Republic still!   Be citizens and do your own thing!  

Be funny!  Take your cue from Jonathan Swift and A Modest Proposal:  Sarcasm = readers = reactions.  Letters to the editor intelligently needling GOP Candidate X for "flip-flopping" on his/her closeness with Bush will be printed, especially in the SmallTown Chroniclce and Advertiser.  People love that kind of thing and editors know it.

The trap that the blogosphere ensares itself in every time is that it tries to go after targets too big for its guns right now.  Trust me, folks, we are not going to accomplish the impeachment or Bush or Cheney or alter the tone of coverage on CNN or the reporting of Adam Nagourney or Elisabeth Bumiller.  You can write all the letters or diaries you want about it; it's akin to fighting fires with squirt guns.

But it is PERFECTLY set up to work out of general sight and under the radar as a guerilla army, bedeviling the Republican War Machine wherever it turns up.  Don't overthink this, though:  Triangulation leads to DLCism which leads to defeat.  Overthinking leads to artificality.  Be spontaneous!  Go do this stuff on your own as soon as the idea strikes you.

There are two basic themes all these activities should share:  

1)  GOP Candidate is a sucky Bush lover, Democratic Candidate is better.  Refuse to back down on this point, no matter what.

2)  Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom they say, and in this situation, your two year old is a genius.  What do they always ask?  "Why?"  That's the first question people ask and it's the most important one in life--in any situation--until one's dying day.

"Why should I vote for you?" the electorate will ask.  Tell them.  How?  Look above.  And thus we've come full circle.

So let's give Little Joey a happy retirement by not picking on his Best Friend For Life, the Preznit.  Instead, let's annihilate Bush's friends and leave him standing all alone in the cold.  

Bush is pressing on with whatever he wants to do, regardless of public opinion.  (We're just a focus group to him, remember.)  Well we're a damned sight more than a focus group to Senators and Reps.  We're the ones who keep them in office or fire them.  The only way to neuter Bush effectively is to leave him without any allies at all.  He needs abettors; without them, he's a lost lamb.

I'm not going to disguise the ugly truth:  The Democrats, by their actions the first three months of this year, are well on their way to repeating the story of 2002.  No clear lines have been drawn anywhere.  Alito was confirmed, the Patriot Act renewed, and Feingold left out in the cold.  

Folk--mark my words--they are going to fuck this up.  They are fucking it up at this very second.  If you're a member of the Democratic  Party or someone who wants to see them succeed, it's all up to you.  You're going to have to help them win in spite of themselves.  

Originally posted to Raybin on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 01:02 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm not a Democrat anymore... (19+ / 0-)

    ...but man, somebody has to stop them from snatching defeat from jaws of victory.

    I should note that this also applies to Progressive Dems running in primary challenges against Asshole Dems.

    "Remember officers and soldiers that you are free men fighting for the blessings of liberty."--George Washington

    by Raybin on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 12:58:50 PM PST

  •  Raybin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raybin, musing85, caliberal
    Well said.

    What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable.

    by Carnacki on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 12:59:51 PM PST

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, Carnacki, exNYinTX

      This came off the top of my head, so I was afraid it might be unclear.

      Actually, everything I write can pretty much be summed up in that one sentence.

      "Remember officers and soldiers that you are free men fighting for the blessings of liberty."--George Washington

      by Raybin on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 01:03:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cut the false modesty crap (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Carnacki, epcraig, Heiuan

        You write good, and you know it.

        I'm withholding judgement on your conclusion, though. I don't think they're going to be allowed to fuck it up this time. That was one reason Howard Dean told all the Beltway Buffoons to go Cheney themselves when they were griping about how he was "wasting" all of that money he was raising on organizing in the 50 states, when he should have been using it to give their campaign coffers a shot in the arm, and all their lobbying buddies jobs.

        And I've got to say, I've been very favorably impressed with the guy who just got the nod to run against the Queen of All Evil herself, Fat Denny Hastert. The Democratic Party has run nonentities against Hastert for years, who showed up when they were told to, accepted the fact that they were going to get no help from the party and had no chance of winning, and went through the motions.

        John Laesch isn't behaving like that. At all. It will be a tough row to hoe, but I think he might have a fighting chance to take down the Speaker of the House himself, if he gets some help. So give early and give often, if you can. I'm in for $100 myself already after the primary, and as soon as comps are done this week, I'm looking into volunteering for the campaign in some capacity. I wouldn't be doing that, with a full-time job and a slate of graduate school stuff to attend to, if I didn't think he had a fighting chance to win.

        Even the Repukes are running scared. Exhibit #1: the way the rats are fleeing the S.S. Bu$hCo in droves. And thus far, Rove's patented trick of shouting "Terrorism! Terorrism!" every time Bush's approval numbers dip below whatever previous all-time low they were at before doesn't seem to be working quite as well for him as it used to.

        In fact, it seems to me there's another anvil on which to pound the Republicans, as their popularity and that of their inept programs continues to plummet: What the fuck is your plan, bozo? All they seem to have is "Stay the course: It'll work out eventually." Are you willing to wait for "eventually" to come, while the world drives to hell in a turbocharged handbasket at Warp Three?

  •  good diary title - what do you think he's on? (5+ / 0-)

    "Joe Lieberman Might Be On   Something..."

    Oh, I forgot the "To".  

    Never mind.

  •  It seems like the conclusion is... (0+ / 0-)

    ...if we can't beat them at the game of politics, join them.

    Say whatever we want regardless of the truth. Start attacking people on questionable issues and, if we can't, make stuff up. Start holding meetings where we prescreen guests. Don't have the answer to a question? Then answer a different question! Don't feel like doing that? Then talk about freedom and those nasty terrah-rists and Jesus. Lots of Jesus. </snark>

    I like to pretend I'm better than that. I also know that I'm not. Whatever works, I guess.

    I think, however, that the movement to oust Lieberman is the best thing we have going at the moment. Regardless of its outcome, at least some Dems are realizing that calling yourself a democrat without backing it up isn't going to cut it anymore.

    What I'd like to see most of all it at least some sort of semi-unified message. When people like Sen. Murtha finally stands up and speaks his mind, all I hear is "I understand what you're trying to say, but..." and the "but" part takes 20 different forms. Can we just pick a platform and go already? (Then again, watching the debates here on DKos alone, we can't agree on much.)

    I do find it ironic, however, when Lieberman of all people is telling people to face reality.

    •  conclude nothing - it's not over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, epcraig

      Say whatever we want regardless of the truth. Start attacking people on questionable issues and, if we can't, make stuff up.

      No. Don't do that.

      But make their enabling of BushCo, from the early annointing on, stick. Watching them GOoPers scurry away from the prez'nit? Call 'em flip-floppers, and feel free to often mention "If only them 'publicanz hadn't foisted Dubya on an unsuspecting nation," and add, "sure seems pretty darned irresponsible to me."

      ... the movement to oust Lieberman is the best thing we have going at the moment ...

      If that's really what you think, then we've gotta do our damnest to get you to lie through your teeth.

      Sure, I'm excited as an adolescent lad in a roomful of centerfold models about getting rid of Holy Joe, but for those who are not activists, we've gotta find some race or angle somewhere that we can convincingly portray as "even more important" ... one that fits a constructive frame. I've got mine. If you need some help finding yours, I'd be glad to lend a hand.

      What I'd like to see most of all it at least some sort of semi-unified message.

      Then get yourself over to this user page. It's a place to start. ... somebody really ought to register this domain name ...

      by wystler on Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 01:37:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good point (5+ / 0-)

    I think there is some truth to the charges of 'Bush hatred' you hear from the right.  Alot of people seem to think Bush created all these problems, and they'll all go away when he's gone.  I attribute this largely to people's whose political conscience developed in the past 5 years and therefore do not have much of a history to look back on.

    The problem isn't so much Bush.  The problem is the people who put him in power.  The Bush has proven himself a loyal tool prior to being elected President, and performs that role well.  If a Dem wins in 2008, I'm afraid we may succumb to the same fate we did in 1992.  Then we defeated 12 years of Reagan/Bush the Elder that established the foundation of what you see now, the corporate kleptocracy, the assault on basic rights, empire building, erasure of the line between church and state.  When Clinton came to power, alot of people cheered, declared victory, and felt the job was done.  Nope.  Those same forces launched a powerful counterattack and you see what we have now.  The election of a Democrat as pres and getting Bush out of office is not the end, it's only the beginning.

  •  I like it. I live in IL-06 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wystler, musing85, epcraig

    so I decided long ago to give it my best shot.

    For better or worse, that'll be fighting Dem Tammy Duckworth.

    Yeah, Bush didn't create this mess alone, but as our esteemed "leader" he is the one who gets to be the punching bag.  (And admit it, he's an embarrassment when he speaks.)

    The one we tie to the sinking ship around here is Roskam!  Gotta learn more about him...

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