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Punting on First Down

September 25th, 2010

Sometimes the Democrats just make me want to barf. They had a golden opportunity. No, they had the golden opportunity. In a pivotal election season where they need every advantage they can get, they had the entire Republican Party dead to rights, caught in a political trap that could have devastated them. It was an awesome chance to show how the GOP is beholden to the rich, and how they don’t in fact give a crap about the middle class. It would not have been a trick or any deception–it was Democrats for 98% of Americans, and Republicans against 98% of Americans. And it would have taken place right before the election.

The Republicans had made one of the worst mistakes in recent history, pledging openly to vote against a tax cut for the middle class if it did not also include a deficit-exploding tax giveaway for the rich, at a time when revenue is badly needed and the GOP plan goes 100% counter to their own promises to shrink the deficit.

The Democrats supported a plan to maintain tax cuts for the middle class, and even on the first $250,000 made by every single American–a tax cut for all Americans, including even the rich! But aimed at the middle class.

This was a no-brainer. All the pundits said the Dems should do it. All the supporters told the Dems to do it. All the polls showed it would be political gold if the Dems did it.

All the Dems had to do was to hold a damned vote.

It was 1st down and goal to go on the one-yard line, and the Democrats punted. Or more like handed the defense the ball. Politely.

Like I said, it makes you want to barf.

Ironically, this should not deter any person from voting for Democrats. Not because you want to show your approval and support for such magnificent stupidity, of course. No, it’s because it would be even more magnificently stupid to respond to this by electing the Republicans who are so openly against the interests of the American people. The Democrats may be strategically retarded, but for the most part, their hearts are in the right place, and their interests are the interests of most Americans; the Republicans in power would do even more damage than they are doing right now, which is a lot.

Remember, the Dems only fumbled the strategy, not the moral high ground. They still want the right tax plan, and the Republicans still favor the rich over the middle class.

What this should, logically, make you want to do is to elect as many Dems as possible this year, because they are still far better than the alternative, then re-organize within the next two years, and then identify every single damned Democrat who contributed to this debacle and vote them out in the Democratic primaries in 2012. (And in the Senate in 2014 and 2016. And for crying out loud, why is Harry Reid still in control of the Senate??) We must not vote for the Republicans now, but vote for better Democrats the next chance we get.

It’s a relatively sucky choice, but the best choice currently available. Not that it’ll even happen, but it’s what any good, reasonable, halfway-intelligent Democrat should do.

We constantly say that we deserve the government we elect, that we should make intelligent choices. Well, we should. It’s not like we’re forced to vote for these ninnies in the primaries. We can vote for anyone we damned please.

But for god’s sake, don’t vote for the Republicans, this year of all years, and don’t let this dampen your resolve to get out there and vote. Suck it up and do what’s right for America.

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  1. Troy
    September 26th, 2010 at 04:29 | #1

    yup, Naderites expecting to teach the electorate a lesson by putting Republicans back into power lack an understanding of this nation and of history.

    People by nature are pretty conservative and prefer happy stories that paper over unpleasantness in the real world to anything that actually changes anything, since change involves risk and we can’t have that.

    As I said earlier, the German presidential election in 1925 is an interesting study in electoral dynamics.

    In the first round, the conservative right took 40%, the democratic social ist Left took 30%, the centrist-right took 15%, the radical Left (Communist Party) took 7%, and the various radical right parties took ~10%.

    Since nobody got 50% it went to a run-off and the parties re-jiggered their offerings.

    The conservative right substituted in the national hero, Hindenburg, and the pro-republic coalition (social ists and catholics) ran the catholic center-right candidate to “triangulate” the right (just like Clinton and Obama have triangulated on the Republicans today, and Kennedy triangulated on Nixon in 1960).

    The Communists, being committed to ideology more than the real world (and still harboring butthurt about having their 1918 worker’s revolution smashed by the democratic social ists in power at the time), refused to fall in with this center-right/social ist coalition.

    Final result:

    Conservatives 48%, Center Coalition 45%, Communists 6%.

    Most of the leading communists ended up in KZs or dead within 10 years, but they made their point.

    The plot does get thicker here, too, of course. In 1933 the catholic center-right did in fact sell out the center-left by giving Hitler’s coalition the votes it needed to pass the Enabling Act that turned the government into a dictatorship.

    This was accomplished largely by Hitler cutting a deal with the catholics:

    “By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations [Protestant & Roman Catholic] the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. The struggle against the materialistic ideology [international social ism] and for the erection of a true people’s community (Volksgemeinschaft) serves as much the interests of the German nation as of our Christian faith. …The national Government, seeing in Christianity the unshakable foundation of the moral and ethical life of our people, attaches utmost importance to the cultivation and maintenance of the friendliest relations with the Holy See.”

    Otto Wels, chairman of the social ist party that was to vote against the Enabling Act, speaking to the assembly prior to its enactment:

    “At this historic hour, we German Social Democrats pledge ourselves to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and Social ism. No Enabling Law can give you the power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible … From this new persecution too German Social Democracy can draw new strength. We send greetings to the persecuted and oppressed. We greet our friends in the Reich. Their steadfastness and loyalty deserve admiration. The courage with which they maintain their convictions and their unbroken confidence guarantee a brighter future . . . You can take our lives and our freedom, but you cannot take our honour. We are defenseless but not honourless.”

    Back in the 21st century, the Tea Party is running some asshole conservative Republican against Feingold, the only senator to vote against the PATRIOT act.

    I have no problem with staking the future republic on this vote. While it hasn’t quite come down to that yet, that’s what this vote is about.

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