The Problem With the Democrats
By Earnest Prankheimer
Please read the following in hushed tones. Don’t raise your voice or make any sudden loud noises; there may be Democrats nearby, and they spook easily.
I’ve given the Republicans, conservatives, evangelicals, libertarians and the teabaggers plenty of bad press, and all of it richly deserved. But I’ve had the Democrats in my gun sights for quite a spell (they just hate gun metaphors). They used to be liberals until the Republicans demonized the word, and now they’re just too dang skeered to use the word. Just as well; they’re no longer liberals anyway. I’m talking about the Democrats in Congress mostly, not real Americans who want them to stand up for the middle class. The Democrats would like to stand for their voters, they really would. It’s just that if they do, the Republicans will yell at them and cause them to wet themselves, like an overexited puppy. If you watch C-SPAN you can see them standing around, little puddles at their feet.
It’s not their fault, you know. I guess you’d call it a congenital thing. They were apparently born without guts, a spine, or a pair of testicles. Even with the support provided by the Americans With Disabilities Act, they’re still operating at a huge disadvantage. There are two ways to look at them, the subjective model and the comparative one. Subjectively, how do they embody traditional Democratic ideals? Democrats have always been for unions and workers’ rights, a strong social safety net, and a sense of fair play. So today’s Democrats look pretty weak when you use the subjective model. The comparative model, though, shows a stark contrast when you view them next to the Republicans; then the Democrats all look like saints. They have few if any demagogues, no psychotics or homicidal maniacs.
It’s as if Democrats have forgotten their base. In nearly every state that came under Republican control after the 2010 election, there has been a pestilence of anti-union legislation, robbing workers of even the right to collectively bargain. And what have the Democrats done about this? Nothing at all. You see, they will do just about anything to avoid a confrontation. This is my main problem with them. I guess it stems from my childhood, when I was bullied. I hated it, and eventually I stood up to them and they left me alone, to seek easier prey. So it pains me to see the Democrats treated the same way. Republicans are classic bullies; it shows in everything they do. And instead of standing up to them, Democrats keep getting atomic wedgies and have their lunch money stolen. It’s disgusting to watch.
Right after 9/11, the enablers of the attacks (if not the perpetrators), rushed the USA Patriot Act through Congress before anyone even had time to read it. The act was full of egregious violations of civil liberties, but everyone meekly went along with it, so as not to appear “weak on terror.” After all, Bush said in a threatening tone, “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrists [sic].” In the Senate, only one person stood up to vote against it, Democrat Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
When the Democrats won back the House in 2006, the responsible thing, morally and legally, would have been to investigate the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush/Cheney administration, which included lying us into a war, and committing acts of crimes against humanity. Far from fulfilling her campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” new Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled in her first session by announcing that impeachment of the President or other officials was off the table. They just wanted to get along, work together, compromise. No confrontational stuff.
It’s not just the Democratic Congress at fault. After the 2008 Presidential election, Democratic voters sat back, thinking they’d done their job. Either out of antipathy or disappointment at the failed promises of their new President, they stayed home in droves for the 2010 midterms, and allowed the Republicans not only to take back the House, but gain control of several battleground states, where they immediately began dismantling workers and women’s rights. Democrats — this was YOUR fault, and no one else’s. Do you ever see the Republicans giving up? No — they get up each morning before the birds, and they’re ready for evil, right away.
Part of the problem is their wiring. Democrats, progressives, liberals, whatever you want to call them, want to discuss things, come to a resolution, be reasonable. There’s an expression, “Republicans want to follow a strong leader, Democrats want to have a meeting,” and that’s certainly true. Republicans are wired differently. It’s maybe because of this that Republicans have such an advantage. They always seem to be in attack mode. They are very skillful at manipulating language and public opinion. They come up with the best sound-bites that idiot Americans can easily understand. Democrats are just not very good at messaging and framing the argument.
There’s a sad irony in all this. If the Democrats would fight back like cornered animals every time someone attacked collective bargaining, or threatened to cut food stamps, education, or social security, they would have Americans standing at their backs. If they punched back at bullies who attacked women’s reproductive rights or the civil rights of gay people, they’d never lose another election. But they won’t do this, because, you know, it would be so . . . confrontational. Democrats keep losing because they only know how to play defense, and it’s pretty hard to score when you’re on defense. There might even be shouting and territorial threat displays. So they just cower and hide in the corners. They make me want to spew chunks across the room. Now I’m not saying there aren’t really good Democrats, because there are. They get targeted by the most money and are shoved out, like Russ Feingold and Alan Grayson. There are even some good Republicans, but like the good Democrats, they are more rare than a solid gold hound’s tooth.
The June 5th recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a crucial test — big money vs. people power. Where were the Democrats? They stayed away, afraid that if Walker won, they might look bad. This is how losers think. The President’s total support for Tom Barrett consisted of a single tweet. This is why they lose. Radio talk show host Mike Malloy, never one to pull his punches, was one of several progressives at a forum last year in Seattle. He shocked the audience into silence by announcing that the Democratic Party is dead. I think he’s correct, and their epitaph should read: “We just wanted to all get along.” You cannot get along with lunatics and psychopaths. Well, they’d better stand up and fight this November, because this is the last gasp for democracy, and we need all hands on deck. If they don’t do it this fall, we’re all lost. In case you think this is a really bad movie, let me tell you — the movie hasn’t started yet; these are still the previews of coming attractions. I’ve got a preview for you.
Ten or fifteen years from now, you’ll be working for $2 an hour, alongside your children — they’ll have to work too, so you can afford to stay in your corrugated metal hut down in Shantytown. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, they’ll all be gone, so you will be working until you drop dead. City, state, and national parks, schools, police and fire departments, will all be privatized. The roads will be too, so you won’t be able to afford to travel anywhere. That’s alright, because you’ll have nowhere to go, anyway. The fascist takeover will be complete by then, and you can thank the Democrats. They were the only ones who could have stopped it, and they did nothing. Gutless, spineless, and without a set of balls. But one good thing I’ll say for them. At least they have a heart, and you’d be hard put to find one of those in the Republican Party.
I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat. — Will Rogers