I'll admit that I occasionally checkout NewDonkey
to see what the DLC has to say. Unlike others on here, I don't think the DLC is inherently evil, rather it is misguided. Maybe a little less corporate influence might be the solution, eh? Anyhow, I was reading the recent responses (here
, and here
) in an ongoing debate over why many Democrats are now opposed to Lieberman. I think that they have missed the underlying rationale. It isn't all about policy, although it certainly does play a major role. I think it does, rather, have much to do with personality.
First, ask yourself, why is it that you never hear us complain about Ben Nelson? Furthermore, why is it that we love John Murtha and Harry Reid? Their voting records are nowhere near perfect. What do they have that Joe doesn't have? Simple, a genuine respect
for the Democratic activists (the base, if you will) who do the grunt work to keep their rear-ends in power. Even when they disagree with us, they are still respectful of us. We don't mind disagreements at all. In fact, one need only read John Dean's new book to understand that the kind of authoritarianism which insists on full agreement doesn't exist on the left (or if it does, it isn't to an extent that matters). We understand, unlike the Greens, that nobody is perfect and holding out for perfection accomplishes nothing.
The problem with Joe is that he doesn't respect us anymore. He insults us, call us names, condescends to us, tries to marginalizes us, and even attacks fellow Democrats who share our views. All this from someone who we nominated to be our vice-presidential candidate. It is down right humiliating and I cringe every time I see his face on TV. If that wasn't bad enough, he does most of this disrespecting on Fox News of all places (General Clark is a sterling example of how Democrats should act on Fox News). And not just once, but over and over and over again. So much so, that Sean Hannity calls him his "favorite" Democrat. To say this infuriates the hardworking activists of the Democratic party is putting it quite mildly. The infamous "kiss" picture, however, was the final straw. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I think that one was worth much more. George W. Bush is antithetical to everything we stand for as Democrats. He embodies everything that is wrong with this country. And to see Joe do that is like him spitting in our collective eye. As one great Democrat once said, "We're sick and tired of being sick and tired." We've had it with Joe and so we're doing something about it. His refusal to submit to the will of the primary voters is just proof positive that he doesn't respect Democrats in Connecticut.
Is it really too much to ask for a little respect from our politicians? Can you not argue your disagreement without resorting to collective ad-hominem attacks against your base? I certainly think it is possible.
FYI, Daniel Patrick Moynihan did not oppose the Clinton health plan because he opposed the idea, rather he and others thought it was needlessly complex and tried too hard to appease the health insurance industry. In fact, he thought it would just as soon be easier to take the already extremely successful Medicare and strike the original language which restricts it just to seniors and the disabled (something which LBJ had wanted to do, but wasn't able to because of Vietnam). Unfortunately, the insurance goons caught wind of this and the rest is history. The fact of the matter, whether anyone wants to admit it, is that the solution to our current healthcare crisis will ultimately involve the demise of the for-profit health insurance industry. This industry is killing our exports' competitiveness and is bankrupting our country. Our party needs to cease taking any contributions from this industry and make it our platform to abolish them. No more compromises, we need to wage a scorched earth war against the insurance goons. Lieberman is exactly the kind of person who would rather compromise then do what is in the best interest of this country.