StoutDemBlog

Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Saturday, January 08, 2005

SHUFFLING THE DECK CHAIRS: It is highly likely that John Kerry actually won Ohio and thus the electoral vote, but had it stolen by Republican election software companies. Barring that theft, he would be the President-elect. Such a year 2000-style "victory", taking office even though he got fewer votes, would cripple him for four years. Nevertheless, he did win, and the self-flagellation of the Democratic Party establishment is sickening.

Only one Senator (Boxer of California) had the guts to stand up against this Ohio vote theft this week, and even she denied any desire to overturn the results. Meanwhile the "leaders" of the party, in and out of Congress, were falling all over themselves to disclaim any connection to this wimpy semi-questioning of the Emperor's New Mandate. They are all too busy trying hard to sell out everything the party stands for to appeal to conservatives, in the foolish belief that the reactionaries will stop abusing them if they just lay down and surrender. This is not just suicidal strategy, but intellectual and moral hara-kari as well.

The short-sighted Democrats who sold out their constituents' interests for corporate special interests feeding the arsenic triangle of fundraisers, consultants, and pollsters, all dedicated to ignoring the uninspired Democratic base voters in favor of "swing" voters, districts, and states, have given us almost total Republican control of both Texas and national government. Now these vermin are squabbling among themselves over who gets to be the captain of the vehicle they have transformed into a modern Hindenburg, when it slowly falls from the sky.

This cancer is metastasizing rapidly. The Senate Democrats have already sold out women's rights, choosing an anti-choice leader to replace the South Dakota Super Wimp. Those cowards' next step will be to slightly raise one dubious eyebrow as they watch Bush's next Attorney General be confirmed with no real struggle, thus sanctioning in the eyes of the world -- and the International Criminal Court, if he hadn't refused to join it -- all of the tortures of Iraq, Guantanamo, and the other nations where the CIA has dumped prisoners for even more serious "interrogations".

Now serious contenders for national party Chair are actually running on the need to appeal to those who want to put women in prison for deciding what to do with their own bodies. They aren't even bothering to fly to Munich to appease the unappeasable; they want to send the theocrats an invitation to infiltrate our own homes, and a first-class ticket to make the trip. Opposing this nonsense is a move to make Howard Dean head of the DNC instead. The downside of this is that he would then be co-opted by that Cerberus of professional pols who have delivered us to today's evil. He could do far more good keeping up the pressure on those scum from the outside. Our local ex-Mayor Ron Kirk, no stranger to corporate apologies himself, has apparently dropped out of Chair contention in favor of our local ex-Congressman Martin Frost.

I've never been wild about his record in Congress, though he is clearly within the mainstream of the party. If you want a full discussion of what's right and wrong about his votes -- including some very, very, wrong votes for a potential Chair of the party to have cast -- then check out a local Dean activist who is on his case, at annatopia's "The Truth about Martin Frost, part one". My real objection to him is that he was the prime architect of the foolish losing strategy of the party in the nineties and since here in Texas -- concentrating on a few swing races in a few swing districts and letting the statewide candidates die of resource starvation just to protect incumbents by not challenging the worst of the Republicans. Anna may have more to say about that on her site later; I and a few others like David Van Os have been complaining about it for years.

If that is all the Democratic Party is ever going to do, then it will continue to have a handful of people in office from gerrymandered districts, but it will be like a dinosaur whose distant brain has not yet gotten the message that its heart has already stopped. This house of pastel cards could be shattered by the first good shove, by anyone with an intelligible agenda and the moral certainty to advocate it with no apologies. With luck, this might come from some brand new political movement transforming it within. The classic example was how the Populists almost replaced the Democrats until people like Altgeld and Bryan (and Hogg, here in Texas) incorporated some of their ideas. Without luck, the party itself could become just as extinct as the Whigs, who disappeared when they chickened out over expansion of slavery, allowing the new Republicans to take over instead.

Some people are trying to put together proposals for such a movement to transform the party. Needless to say, they do not include writing off women's right to control their own bodies, like those would-be uterine Chamberlains of the DNC. Here's a four point summary from one such blooming flower:
# We can feed everyone.
# We can provide everyone with medical care.
# We can educate everyone.
# We can reward excellence.
You can ponder that entire effort at "A Platform for a Party of the Left". As for the substance, Bucky Fuller was saying society could afford all these things forty years ago, and our capacity is only greater now -- once we remove that parasitical cyst of militaristic subsidized corporatism. Don't be cowered into tremulous apologetics by the word "Left", because it is clear the Delays and Roves and Norquists of the de facto coup d'├ętat will condemn even the most moderate opposition as extreme leftist radicalism. Instead of quivering in fear like the intimidated Dixie Chicks, we need a dash of Patrick Henry, updated to read "If this be liberalism, make the most of it."

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