Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Democrats Too Craven to Fight Back

Los Angeles TImes 5/28/2003
By Arianna Huffington,
Arianna Huffington writes a syndicated column. E-mail:

They are paralyzed by the fear of doing or saying something that could be turned against them in GOP attack ads.

"I a little bit disagree with Chairman Roberts on that."

That was Jay Rockefeller, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, kinda, sorta, uh, not really taking exception to committee Chairman Pat Roberts' assertion that we've turned the corner when it comes to keeping the peace in postwar Iraq. But it could just as easily serve as the motto for the whole Democratic Party: "Vote for us — we kinda, sorta disagree."

Party leaders are so timid, spineless and lacking in confidence that to call them jellyfish would be an insult to invertebrates.

These dithering poltroons are so paralyzed by the fear of doing or saying something that could be turned against them in GOP attack ads that they've castrated themselves when it comes to presenting any kind of challenge to President Bush on the two most important issues of the day: tax cuts and Iraq.

Exhibit A comes from Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who, when asked on "Meet the Press" why the Democrats didn't offer a bold, full-throated alternative to the Bush tax cut plan, including the repeal of the 2001 cuts and a guaranteed balanced budget, timorously explained: "Well, we — you got to take it one step at a time."

Why? Bush doesn't. He's comfortable with leaps and bounds. And he's taking us with him. Do the Democrats think this is an AA meeting? We're facing $1 trillion of new debt, incurred by a president with the worst economic record since Herbert Hoover and the best the leader of the opposition can muster is a meaningless cliché?

Daschle issued an equally uncertain call when it came to the war on Iraq. First, he helped draft the Senate's resolution on the use of force. Then, after sticking his finger in the political wind and catching a zephyr of antiwar sentiment, he blasted the president for failing "so miserably at diplomacy that we're now forced to war."

I subscribe to Arianna's newsletter so I read the article in my inbox. However I saw it posted on SmirkingChimp and was taken by a post there:

"On C-Span last week, Bill Clinton made the observation that Democrats habitually don't seem to know how to play "power" politics. They tend to operate from evidence and argument (at least the effective ones do; the jellyfish operate on cowering), while the Republicans operate from ideology, a cultural/moral/political sense of entitlement, and resentment.

He made the clear distinction, as well, between the trashing he took as president, so harsh that it not only disrespected the office but disrespected his humanity, and the blind worship and idolatry offered to Chimp, an equally dangerous extreme. But the worship goes with their sense of entitlement. And so does their pure aggression and in-built resentments. They are "by any means neccessary". Democrats have more of this little nagging thing called conscience, we mostly don't and wouldn't operate that way. It may be our downfall, and we have to be fair but damned strong, and soon, because the Hard Right is fanatical."

This person (using some of their own and Bill Clinton's words) so nails it in my opinion.



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