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It's been 4 months since the Democrats won a majority in the House and came within striking distance of a functioning majority in the Senate--needing to pry a handful of votes from the despised Party of Bush. Yet the Dem's elite has failed to take advantage of Republican chaos and unpopularity. They have failed to clearly align themselves with positions that about two of three Americans support. And only Clarke and Kucinich so far have acknowledged the grievous danger that looms.

Some say "lighten up, they've hardly been in office." This is a serious and honest point. But, first, admit that they've been way too ready to cede way too much to Bush, and have been largely stymied by the Republitic Party, both as regards legislation and in the public's eyes.

If this were a time when the very basis of our nation is not being threatened, you might say "well, let's give them some time to get it together." America does not have this time, nor do the Democrats give evidence they are aware of this. Apparently, they are trying to not offend the people (meaning the 30% who like what's going on), not be seen to lose in struggles with Bush, and to more or less let things ride until '08.

(Yes, yes, I know about the investigations, etc. The fact is George Bush sows more evil and corruption everyday than the Dems will ever check in this piecemeal fasion.)

The first thing the Democratic Elite must recognize as they construct their strategy is that the American people want what the liberals want. They may not want to think of themselves as liberals, but, as Thom Hartmann always points out,  "the liberal agenda" has been polled time and again, and usually gets 60% or better support on an issue by issue basis. In other words, the American people long for leadership that takes the American people's needs into account.

The second thing is that the Democratic leadership, and the party's supporters, should abandon their effete excuse making: "ooooo, we don't really have a majority in the Senate," "ooooo, the Blue Dog Democrats aren't helping us," "aaaaargh, the Republicans will say bad things about us." None of this is a reason to not stand up and loudly and relentlessly stand up for what is good.

The third thing is key: no matter how cleverly Dems try to establish a legislative record that shows their leadership, no matter their compromises, or hedges, or lawyerly distinctions,

Even if they passed a law that was good,
if it runs counter to the Republicon purpose,
Bush will veto it,
magically banish it
with his signature,
or simply order it not obeyed.

Guaranteed.

Let's take ending our involvement in Iraq as a case in point.

In this circumstance, the only thing the Dems can possibly do is ruthlessly press for the right thing. The "right thing" is no big mystery to we, the stupid masses, though it dumbfounds and enervates our Electeds.

People of whatever background and (non)belief, can pretty much get with "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" as something you try to live by.  Starting with that, the questions about Democratic law-making policy then flow naturally:

• Would I want to, myself, or have anyone in my family, experience hell on earth, and that for no clear reason?

• Gosh, aren't there a bunch of my constituents, and their families, and their communities, who suffer this hell on earth in Iraq for no clear reason? (We ignore for now the years and decades spent in hellish dreams)

• Now, shall the legislation I wish to pass, relieve, at the least, the people we have in Iraq, from being in hell on earth?  

This is a pretty powerful formula, this "doing unto" business, and not least because

a) Working against resistance makes you stronger;

b) You keep vital ideas alive to the Public's mind;

c) You self-brand yourself as a fighter for good. And you'll have earned it. It will not be revealed later as a fake, or a manipulation.

d) You open a wider reality-based discussion, which would seem like a refreshing breeze, and drink of water, and a glimmer of hope for the average American.

The Republicans have offered a kind of mock version of "the right thing." They have reforms, based on all these charts and grand notions, which somehow always end up costing people their money and their rights. That all just crumbles if you show the people you want to do the right thing, and then contrast that with the Republican record of full-spectrum failure.

e) By '08, the meme would be widespread that Dems really will do something that means something if they get office.

So, my dear Democratic leaders, this is so simple: If you wouldn't want to be in the hell on earth of Iraq, why do you permit others to be there? Dammit, stop acting like you have the vapors every time you are called on to do what's right. Show some real courage, and finally represent, clearly and without caveats, the will of the American people.

{this is a comment I made in the diary Senior House Democrats, seeking to placate here expanded into a diary]}

{the poll is purely gratuitous. Darn, the infinity sign looked fine in preview!}

Originally posted to Jim P on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 06:18 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Propaganda (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, Jim P, buhdydharma, blueoasis

    I very much agree with what you write here. The Democrats have not learned how to fight a propaganda war. It's true that the MSM environment is hostile. But just the tiniest bit of coordination of talkikng points would go a long way.

    •  Check this out: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Demi Moaned

      A reporter at Vanity Fair says, in passing:

      The one constant I've observed, in 27 years as an on-again, off-again political reporter, is that Republicans return reporters' calls and Democrats don't.

      Earlier, Michael Wolff refers to the Repub success with

      Libby is a superb example of the much-vaunted Republican Party message discipline—he's got tenacious follow-through.

      So, they apparently don't know the basics. Too busy consulting with experts. They are gazing at arrows on a chart, the dollar numbers, their daily schedule for fund-raising. While secure in the sense of the limitless cow-ness of the American people.

      And going for a specific and clear goal? Can't be done. The Republicans have been doing it for decades, but the Dems don't have an antidote yet, don't know how to innoculate themselves. (Though they've learned some between '04 & '06)

      When you see public figures consulting the experts these days, well, most experts I've ever seen don't have a clue. Gosh! Who else could our Electeds possibly consult?

      The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

      by Jim P on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:00:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "So, my dear Democratic leaders.." (5+ / 0-)

    great diary, but a correction needed here-- the democrats we're stuck with aren't LEADERS. they are followers.

    if they WERE leaders, you nor anyone else would be forced to write this diary.

    "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me." President Bush - Animal House

    by Superpole on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 06:40:47 PM PST

    •  I'm firmly convinced that the days of leaders (0+ / 0-)

      are gone. Any leader can be compromised or removed from the scene by others vying for power. So were stuck with Democracy. Which is a volunteer kind of thing.

      The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

      by Jim P on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:02:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good Try (0+ / 0-)

        you're preaching to the choir, Jim.

        fifty percent of eligible voters have opted out of our system-- not all just because they're lazy/stupid. when you're ready to talk about that, let me know.

        I vote-- and I vote for representatives who swear to uphold our Constitution-- which happens to be the foundation of our democracy.

        but we have a shitload of representatives who aren't upholding the Constitution, including democrats-- and they need to be removed from office as quickly as possible.

        "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me." President Bush - Animal House

        by Superpole on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:09:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Missing the point by a mile (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          Partisans want a leader, instead of to lead.  They aren't supposed to be leaders...they are supposed to represent their constitutents.  Their constituents are supposed to lead them.  It isn't "the Democrats" that have failed to lead; it's their constituents.

          The very first thing I learned about Democrats when I took up with them in the 2004 election cycle was that, when all the "Proud To Be a" Democrats talk about "the Democrats," they do not mean themselves. I learned a lot more about Democrats as the year wore on, but the rest was just the details on that one fundamental lesson. It's really all you need to know about Democrats.

          The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

          by Free Spirit on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:20:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're Wrong (0+ / 0-)

            They aren't supposed to be leaders.

            yep. this proves my point that most people in congress don't belong there. they don't respect or uphold the position.

            YES, they are supposed to be leaders. it's the whole foundation for a representational "simpler" system. we vote for individuals to represent, to lead US for the greater good for all. and our representatives are supposed to be smarter than us-- they aren't.

            the notion we are all leaders-- leading the government, is contradictory. if we're leading then why do we need representatives which we pay $160K per year to? we're not leading, we're not writing laws, passing budgets.

            if we're leading, then why do corporations spend millions on lobbyists to advocate for them?

            "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me." President Bush - Animal House

            by Superpole on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:44:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a new one on me (0+ / 0-)

              "and our representatives are supposed to be smarter than us"

              I've never believed that for a minute. In the bosom of every government, snakes are nurtured. Power corrupts. All these "supposed to"s don't have any correlation to the facts on the ground. Either we do it or it don't get done. Even if those in office had good intentions, which, as an aggregate, I doubt, the nature of power gone bad is to try to accrue ever-more power. Which both, goal and process, corrupts.

              Humanity was able to afford the leader schtick way back when. This is the 21st Century. The world's "leadership" at this point has revealed itself as being so close to rival organized crime outfits as to be indisguishable.

              The Dons and the Commission don't let somebody sit at their table and tell them all "now this is what the people want" and then that somebody gets to continue what they're doing.

              What's left?

              The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

              by Jim P on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:09:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thus I Don't Get (0+ / 0-)

                Jim, how you think the dems "are the only game in town" and they care about us.

                what's left?

                reality-- creation of a true second party. kick the so called dems to the curb. they act as if they don't need us, so we certainly don't need them.

                as Leo Durocher used to say: "sometime you gotta just back up the truck". (start over).

                "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me." President Bush - Animal House

                by Superpole on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:21:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I try to write precisely. (0+ / 0-)

                  I said the Dems "have the only people"--the context of the diary being the Republican/Democratic duality. Not that the Dems ARE the only people. It's just that it's zip for the Rs and better than zip for the Ds.

                  The D apparatus already exists. Don't kick the Dems to the curb. Replace the ones that are anti-people anti-Constitution with those who ain't.

                  Decades to build a new party in a short time--and we don't have a long time--on anything other than the appeal of a Demogogue, who, when in power will turn corrupt. Back to square one.

                  Actually, my ideal is a well-informed citizenry, meeting as adults with a sincere intent to do the best they can. Ain't no leader going to get us there because doing the best you can is a strictly volunteer affair.

                  The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

                  by Jim P on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 07:32:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I have no clue what you mean (0+ / 0-)

          "Good Try" to do what exactly?

          Don't think I said anything about the citizenry's voting record or why it's that way. It's the lowest in the industrialized world, so it sure ain't a property of humans. The reference to the public's cow-ness was a caricature (though some would say accurate account) of the Dems fundamental regard for the public.

          The diary exists because I wanted to make the argument that even for basic human reasons, the Dems have an obligation to fully commit to the requirements of their office. "Human," "Community Member," trumps "politicians" if you push the question far enough.

          I laugh at the idea that our government represents the people's interests at this stage. It's just the Dems are the only game in town, and have the only people aligned with our common interests.

          But counting on the leaders? Can't do it. Functionally speaking, in real time and real space and real events. Can't be done anymore. One day leaders are here, next day they're scandal-plagued, compromised, or otherwise leave the public spotlight.

          The Bush crimes will continue every single day for the 746 between 1/04/07 and 1/20/09. Every single day. Our plan to stop him is...?

          by Jim P on Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 07:33:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "the Dems are the only game in town". (0+ / 0-)

            and have the only people aligned with our common interests.

            wrong. when you learn, as I have, just how untrue that statement is-- five years from now when we are still in Iraq-- then we will talk. but I'm guessing it will be too late by then.

            "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me." President Bush - Animal House

            by Superpole on Thu Mar 08, 2007 at 06:47:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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