November 3, 2008

A stumble down memory lane

Before we enjoy looking forward to the possibilities which will emerge tomorow, let's take a brief look back.

As far as this miniscule outpost on the web, who's proved to be right, and who's proven to have been dead wrong about this Obama feller and other matters?

Well, there's some evidence from the old archives here that's interesting to read in hindsight.

First, I asked way back in May of 2006, fully two and a half YEARS ago, what readers thought of the idea then being floated by Sen. Dick Durbin, that Barack Obama should consider a presidential run.

Go on and read the opinions from some of the faithful. There's a couple Republicans and a couple Dems. Guess who got things right?

The Inside Dope: President Obama?

I held off as long as I could, assessing the situation far past the point where I was willing to stake my reputation on a prediction. But there came a point where I was entirely comfortable in coming out and flatly stating that Barack Obama would be our next President of the United States.

Was it a couple days ago? Last week? After he won the primary?

No. It was eight and a half months ago.

The Inside Dope: Barack Obama is our next President

The following is a rant involving my long held conviction that the Democratic Leadership Council style Dems were making a fatal error in thinking that they had to adopt Republican tactics, Republican ideas, Republican positions, Republican views, Republican obedience to corporate and fat-cat wishes, and even Republican code words in order to be successful.

It's long and likely boring to most of you, so you can safely skip it if you wish.
But I feel my side of this argument has been vindicated and will only continue to be proven true as time goes on.

Over the past couple years, I've enjoyed a few heated arguments with some DLC type Dems that the idea of chasing Republicans, swallowing all their tripe and trumped up issues, running as fast as they can to the right to supposedly appease all the "conservatives" out there in the land was a horrible, horrible mistake.

(Alas, it would take a long time to unearth all the posts and comment threads where these debates took place. But if anyone really cares, I'm sure I could find a few.)

All these DLC type Dems wanted to do was to do and say whatever it took to get elected, even if they had to essentially become Republicans in Dem clothing to do it. They'd even parrot Republican talking points and happily join in the right's take-over of political language and framing.

For instance, the Republicans labeled the inheritance tax, the "death tax". It was a phonied up gimick like most of them, designed to benefit a nearly none existant minority of extremely wealthy families who resented having to pay taxes on what was essentially a gift of several million dollars.

These Dems would merrily refer to this sham as the "death tax", as if they wanted the cool kids to like them too. It was, and is disgusting and hard to watch. Yet they'd do it all the time. Competing to see who could ape the Republican tactics and positions the best, essentially giving up completely of ever competing with them as Democrats with better ideas, better solutions, and better guiding principles.

They threw all that aside, instead chosing to join the corporate money chase to try to compete with the Republicans, and in turn getting just as corrupted as they were. And of course, they threw all the core Dem issues right into the dumper, becoming pro-gun, pro-life, and on down the list, never bothering to stand up and argue the truth on guns for instance, that they were for modest COMMON SENSE gun regulation to stop the slaughter of thousands every year, instead trying to ape the phony macho "I'm a gun guy and I'm for guns and my gun's bigger than yours" bullshit.

They didn't stand for ANYTHING except saying and doing whatever they thought the supposedly conservative voters wanted to hear.

The only problem was that in most cases, the idea that there was this big conservative majority out there was a damn myth, and always has been. These types had actually been caught up by, and believed, the very crap the right wing was spewing daily across the country. They actually swallowed the Kool-ade that most of the independents and "just plain folks" were solid conservative Republicans.

That was, and is, a myth and always has been.

They actually were sucked in by the massive right wing noise machine and firmly believed that every rube out there who said they were conservative, was actually conservative, when the truth was that these people could be just as easily turned around into saying they were Democrats. (and most of them had been in the past anyway.)

It's about the same as someone saying they're a Cubs fan, and then moving to St. Louis and begining to tell people they'd always been a Cardinal fan.

These people had no core beliefs, they had no special love for Republican policies. They were just BRAINWASHED essentially. They had this tripe pumped into their brains literally for 10 or 12 hours a day. Their ignorant friends at the shop started saying they were Republicans because if you were a Dem, you were a pussy or worse.

And a lot of people went along to get along.

I argued strenuously that this was not the case, that probably 80% or more of the so-called "Reagan Democrats", "Independents", or "swing voters" that the political hacks were so hot on were just as easily swung to saying they were Dems.

IF the damn Democrats ever had the spine to stand up and say what they stood for and STAND BY IT, instead of waffling and adopting positions based on which ever way the polling winds were blowing that particular day. No one repected such phoniness and "me too" bullshit pandering to what they thought was a conservative majority.

They thought the Dems were losing because they were too liberal, when in fact, it was because they were pandering, craven, no principle pussies who wouldn't even take their own side in a fight!

Bush won twice largely because he had his simple beliefs and stuck to them unambiguously. People liked that a lot, even if they didn't even know what he was talking about or realize that his ideas would hurt them and the country.

I feel I've been proven right on that issue as well, as there's a groundswell of people who had described themselves as "conservatives" or Republicans, simply because it was the cool thing to do or their friends were, etc. even though they really had no core committment to the Republicans and didn't know squat about their policies. And the main fact that the DLC Dems ignored.... they really favor Democratic policies and philosophy overwelmingly more than Republican right wing theory.

They just were conned into thinking they'd be pussies if they admitted supporting Dems.

They just thought it felt right at the time.

But as I've been arguing for years, these people could just as easily be pursueded to say they were Democrats and support Dem candidates, IF, the Dems weren't so obviously calculating and weasly and just spoke the truth and stopped kissing corporate asses and ran on behalf of the average American.

Obama found a way to do it. A way to get campaign cash without thinking you have to be a craven corporate ass-kisser to do so.

And now even rural whites and other demographics who called themselves Republicans are suddenly coming out from under the rock they'd been scared under and realizing that gee, I really DO prefer Democratic positions and ideals.

What the DLC types like the utterly nauseating Harold Ford Jr. and Evan Bayh and others didn't realize is that the way to win these lapsed Dems back wasn't to essentially try to say, "Hey look, I'm just as conservative and believe all the backwards crap the Republicans you love do!", but to stand up and say, "Listen, you've been fed a load of B.S. all day, every day for years now. The Republican policies are dangerous, make us less safe, and are destroying the economy while they reap billions among their cronies and you and your communities suffer.

Stop being the selfish jerk-ass consumed by the worst part of your nature that the right wing media has relentlessly encouraged you to be and remember the person your Mom taught you to be.

Let Rush and Hannity and all the rest of the flying monkeys be collossal butt-munches and morons. Just ignore them. You knew they were wrong all along anyway.

When the Dems stand up for themselves and their ideals, they win.

When they are so bankrupt of ideas that the best thing they can come up with is trying to out-Republican Republicans, then it's over.

Thank God Obama has prevailed and not idiots like Ford, who, for example, after watching McCain deliver THIS God-aweful train-wreck of a speech, said it was the most powerful speech he'd ever heard McCain deliver.

Of course the party can't suddenly lurch to the far right. Not only shouldn't it, but it's impossible. But they sure the hell shouldn't run like scared bunnies from the basic, common sense, principles that have made it such a progressive force for the good of America's citizens for hundreds of years, instead of the party who fought tooth and nail AGAINST civil rights, AGAINST minimum wage, AGAINST the right of workers to organize, AGAINST constitutional rights, FOR torture, and on and on.

The bastardized Republicanism of the Bush junta is dead and gone, with the tragedy being that it was allowed to last this long.

Let's dance on the grave of the likes of Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, and yes, Rush and Hannity and Coulter and Malkin and all the other fruit-bats.

Dare we hope that some semblance of sanity returns to our politics?

While I'll certainly be among the millions across the planet who will be jubilant and exhultant at the ushering in of an Obama presidency, I'll be equally thankful and inspired by the tawdry exit from the political landscape of all the right wing crack-pots, con men, perverts, hypocrits and thieves that has seemed to populate the upper reaches of the Republican party.

And I'm confident that there are legions of Republicans that will feel the same relief and hope that they will have the chance to rebuild their once worthy party into something less destructive, less ugly, less corrupt, less ignorant, less miserable and less theocraticly obsessed with ideology before and above basic common sense and blatant evidence of it's utter failure.

So when you're celebrating only a few short hours from now and thinking about what possibilities are to come, count your blessings as well for the rot that we, the American people, have managed to rid ourselves of at long last.


At 11/03/2008 1:15 PM, Blogger tiz said...

Boy was I wrong about putting Obama on the bench in June of 06. Less than a year later I was firmly in his camp though and I can think of two reasons. The first was I had read The Audacity of Hope and saw that he was someone who had concrete ideas to go along with the moving speeches. The second was what I saw in the fall of 06. We came back from the wilderness. Our "bench" all of a sudden had folks who seemingly came out of nowhere and it became apparent that a Democrat didn't necessarily have be a completely known quantity beforehand to get elected. I just got back from watching Tom Harkin speak and he mentioned that not too long ago it was just him and Leonard Boswell in DC from Iowa. Now he has Braley and Loebsack with him. Come January he might have Becky Greenwald with him too. So in 2 years my state has gone from 2/7 dem members of congress to 4/7. 5/7 is a real possibility this year and we'll give Grassley a fight in 2010 to hopefully make it 6. I'm convinced having Steve King in DC helps democrats more than it hurts us, so they can keep that one. These are things I wouldn't ever *dream* I'd be saying 4 years ago.

If we've learned anything from the GOP it is how to organize a campaign. Obama's camp knows what is going on down to the street level in many places - much like W in 00/04. Here in Iowa they've been this organized for well over a year. I hope they can keep this network going well after tomorrow to garner support for initiatives and to keep the right from spreading misinformation and creeping back up like they did in the 90s.

Two years ago if you'd told me we were on the cusp of turning Indiana, Virginia, and Montana blue with almost a 60 seat majority in the Senate all while running against John McCain I would have said you were nuts. I was wrong two years ago about whether or not we should go with Obama yet and I've never been happier to be wrong.

At 11/03/2008 6:34 PM, Anonymous nooncat said...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009: The End of an Error.

At 11/04/2008 2:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Tiz, you weren't too far off the mark.

And I love, and echo, your sentiment about the whack-a-doodle King. Sheesh. They can keep him.


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