Friday, April 15, 2005

Tell Me Something I Don't Know


The American People can smell a rat. They know it too.

Bush's approval numbers are in the toilet, The numbers for the Republicans in Congress are in the sewer, or maybe even lower.

There's only one minor problem. They just got elected, again. So it doesn't matter how bad we think they are, we can't do a damn thing about it until November next year. And guess what, Karl Rove and the best campaign team in recent political history are all primed to do their thing yet again.

The bad news is this. If they managed to see off a pretty decent candidate in John Kerry by calling his purple hearts fake, they're gonna have no problem at all with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, now are they?

In November 2002, using Osama Bin Laden to show how soft and Un-american a decorated, multi-limb-losing 'Nam veteran was got their boy elected in Georgia. You'd think that kind of stuff would backfire miserably. Nuh-uh.

So get ready for more of the same next time out, probably even worse.

If we get bombed it'll be "we've been attacked, now's not the time to switch horses", and if we haven't been attacked, it'll be "we've kept America safe, now is not the time to be opening the doors to terror".

If the economy is in a nosedive, it'll be "cut taxes to get us out of the jam" (and hang the consequences). If the economy is on the up and up or more likely they've got away with faking the numbers then all is dandy, and you'd be a fool to vote us out.

Cue the soaring violins, add a little tort refom, sops to fixing healthcare, a sprinkle of ownership society baloney, and a few "swift boat" tricks to give it all some spice, and it's going to be mighty hard for our timid little Bush-hugging, "time to appeal to the Faithful", Democratic Party to win the seats they need in the Senate, let alone overhaul the Republican Stormtrooper majority in the house. On the current trajectory, nobody's betting on a 2006 turnaround.

So what are we going to do about it?

Well, the first thing we have to do is stop whining. Nothing the American People like less than a whiner. Even if the guy you're whining about is an outrageous carpetbagger who just stole everything but your underwear, Americans don't like it when you just stand there in your skivvies complaining. Do something about it, they say. If the Democrats do something about their problem, a good chunk of heartlanders will see that as strength and come right back on board.

The second thing we need to do is get a plan, and keep it simple. Outlining Policy is out. Rhetoric is in. "Democrats will run American Government like you run your family". And for longer term stuff, we're doing it for "the children and their future". Put them together and you've got a great rhetorical base points that will appeal. Soft Bush voters will say "now they're talking". Pay less attention to the pollster, more to our gut, and pound that simple message as much as we can, creating a united voice, a plain talking pitch, and much, much more respect from the heartland voter.

The third thing we have to do is be patient. It's only a matter of time before hubris sets in for these guys. Let them get on with it. If they want to go nuclear with the filibuster, tell them "be my guest...because when we take over, you're gonna regret it". Americans love that kind of spirit. It's in our blood. Add into the mix the DeLay Schiavo offensive which only served to show the Republicans the limitiations of their radical positions, and we can see a time when they abandon the Christians, which they're going to have to do, because the mathematics for a theocratic state are just not in their favor. We'll be beating those same Christians off with a stick when they become our new best friends as they attempt to bring the Bible-hugging Republicans down.

And lastly, we need to stop panicking. Human beings don't like weakness. It's one of our more unfortunate traits, and right now all the Progressives are talking about is how the end is nigh. (We're almost as bad as those right-wing Rapture types). Republicans are much better than us at smelling a loser, and we're not exactly helping by wearing the right deodorant. But politics is a funny business. You have your ups, you have your downs. We're in a down right now, but so what? It wasn't always thus. In fact it wasn't always thus only four years ago. when we had the White House. Hell, they had to steal the damn building to get it off us!

We may not turn these guys out in 2006, but America is a big, complex, contradictory place, and its not at all monolithic socially or culturally. That's part of its beauty. It's incorrigible, indefinable, sensible and ridiculous all at the same time. As hard as these boys try to destroy the country, (and they're certainly trying their best), they've got an awful long way to go.

So if we make gains in 2006 let's take heart and build on that in 2008, when Bush and his down-home style is gone. It looks likely that we'll be up against Bill Frist, a man whose idea of a bedside manner is to diagnose a brain-dead woman as perfectly fine via a videotape, or Rick Santorum, a man who's lack of charisma makes Frist look like some kind of Disco King. The only interesting thing about him is trying to divine the source of his almost obsessive homophobia.

Stop worrying, everybody. Everything's gonna be alright.


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