Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Democrats' master plan

A video explanation of the Democratic strategy. Got it?

Democrats in Congress are a joke. Despite all their bluster and their true mandate the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate eagerly capitulates to the President on virtually every issue. There are many explanations circulating for why that is the case, nearly all of them false.

The Democrats don't have the votes to get past a filibuster or veto.

This is one Democratic candidates used in a recent debate. This statement is technically true but irrelevant, because Democrats routinely fail to filibuster themselves and vote affirmatively for bad bills. It may be hard for the Democrats to pass legislation, but it isn't hard for them to defeat legislation. Democrats chose to vote for the Military Commissions Act. They chose to vote for the FISA "fixes", and now they are choosing to vote for telecom amnesty. To defeat these bills all they have to do is vote against them. But not only do some individual Democrats vote for these bills, important ranking Democrats often lead that charge and the leadership itself plays along.

To stop telecom amnesty all Democrats have to do is vote against it. Chris Dodd is threatening to place a hold on any amnesty bill and filibuster it, but he shouldn't have to do either. He is filibustering against his own party and their attempts to enable Bush.

There is nothing Democrats can do to stop the Iraq War.

Again: try voting against it. Democrats will say that most Americans are against de-funding the Iraq War as a way of stopping it. This is true, but only because Democrats have actively aided Republicans in convincing the American people that de-funding the war is "irresponsible." Republicans make it sound like our soldiers in Iraq will be engaged in a firefight when they suddenly run out of ammo due to money shortages and are slaughtered -- a pure fantasy. Even if Bush was determined to "hold the troops hostage" in Iraq without equipment the military itself would never allow that to happen and any reasonable Congress would impeach Bush as soon as his plan became clear.

De-funding is unpopular with Americans only because both Democrats and Republicans have portrayed the plan as dangerous. Democrats have actively dissuaded the public from supporting their single best strategy for ending the war. De-funding is "off the table", along with every other strategy that has some chance of success.

The Democrats have some elaborate master plan that maximizes their chances of winning the Presidency.

The Democrats are hedging their bets, they don't want to be blamed if another terror attack takes place. The Democrats are giving Republicans the rope to hang themselves. Blah blah blah...

The biggest complaint against Democrats is that they are spineless losers who stand for nothing, and they are doing everything in their power to support that complaint. Nobody likes people who don't fight hard, nobody likes people who fail where they should succeed, nobody likes people who place political calculations above all else.

The American public considers fighting hard to be heroic, even when the fight is lost. John Henry is a folk hero for fighting to the death against impossible odds. In case anyone forgot we lost at the Alamo. Rocky lost to Apollo Creed. There is no shame in showing heart in the face of long odds, but there is little respect for people who barely bother trying at all. "Giving them the rope to hang themselves" looks suspiciously like "doing nothing."

Democrats can't run on a platform of change if they are willing participants. The Democratic leadership is for telecom amnesty -- how then can Democrats run on the platform that they are against the abuses of the Bush Administration? How can they run against the Administration's use of torture when they voted for the MCA?

If this is truly their plan then they are so tone-deaf you have to feel sorry for them. But I suspect there is no grand master plan at work. The simpler explanation is that some Democrats are in the pockets of lobbyists, some are frightened children who cave when threats of terrorism are invoked and some are just plain incompetent and foolish.

When Democrats voted for the recent FISA "fixes" the reasons they gave were absurd: We had to pass something, anything, regardless of what it was! We were told that the capital itself was about to be attacked and the only way to prevent that was to pass the bill! We went to secret meetings and got secret info that we can't describe in any way but that totally convinced us! We met with administration lawyers who assured us the bill was fine! We were in a hurry to go on vacation and didn't have time to read and understand the bill before we voted on it!

Some of these people are just plain gullible and not bright. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me a thousand times...then what?

It must help people sleep at night to think that the Democrats are following some incomprehensible but brilliant strategy that has the greater good in mind, because there is not other reason to believe that.

Addendum: I should point out that some people think the Democrats are following a plan but that the plan isn't good. I can buy that one.

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