Jul 092010
Ethiopia, as its borders were in 1984.
Image via Wikipedia

The stage is set and the lines are drawn for this November when the siege of the U.S. Congress will conclude in the battle for America. Under cover of the darkness of their deception, the Republican Party, backed by their corporate overlords, will attempt to unleash hell on the Democratic Party and the American middle class. The deployment of their arsenal of lies, half-truths and distortions began months ago, and has already carried a staggering payload of misunderstanding and fear. Now, as we march toward the election, their generals are marshalling the troops, and their foot soldiers, ignorant and enthusiastic, are poised for victory.

I fear that liberals who underestimate the severity of the damage done by Republican obstructionism and fear mongering are in for a rude awakening come November. Polls are not elections, but when all indicators are pointing in the same direction, it’s wise to take notice. It’s common knowledge that midterm elections are all about voter turnout, and democrats would be well served to look back at the last midterm for a hint of what will happen if they cannot rally their faithful and get out the vote.

The results of the most recent Pew poll on the topic are not encouraging for Democrats. Taken in mid-June, the poll leans heavily in favor of Republicans, showing significant margins in voter enthusiasm and attention, both critical indicators in a mid-term. Republican voters are currently winning the enthusiasm battle by a score of 56% to 42% and show a similar margin in those who are “closely following campaign news,” with 64% compared to 50% for the Democrats.

Republicans also show a sizable lead with older voters — who happen to be more engaged and likely to vote. And in possibly the most significant metric of all, Republicans have managed to turn the tide of independent voters. Where Democrats enjoyed a 47% to 32% preference amongst independent voters in June of 2006, the tables are now turned, with independents supporting Republicans by a 44% to 36% margin.

Nearly everything is already leaning in favor of the Republicans, and we’ve yet to face the juggernaut of corporate backed advertising that will soon descend upon the American airwaves. Led by a $75 million pledge from the U.S. Chamber, the Republicans already have over $200 million in commitments from conservative organizations. Couple this with the Supreme Court’s release of the Corporate Cracken, and it’s hard to deny the possibility of a conservative route.

If Democrats are to have any hope of retaining a majority in the Congress, they must do something to excite voters and rally them to the liberal cause — and they must do so NOW.

It’s time for Democrats to drop their cool demeanors and start fighting fire with napalm. Democrats need to stand and refute the lies perpetuated in the Republican campaign of fear and distraction, and they need to take bold action. With the economy still in the toilet and the Gulf being turned into one, these are historic times — and historic times call for historic measures.

The Democratic majority in the Senate can be the catalyst to mobilize liberals across the nation. But in order to do so, they need to immediately stop reserving power for the future and take decisive action for victory today. They are the majority, and they don’t have to allow the Republicans to control the Senate with a minority. To sit with a 59/41 majority and play victim, and to do so without ever even requiring an actual filibuster is so cowardly as to demand disrespect. The Republicans have threatened filibuster on every major issue, including the extension of unemployment benefits to the very people whom their corruption has put out of a job. Such a drastic attempt to obstruct the legislative process is without precedence and should be met with an unprecedented response. The Democrats can and should invoke the nuclear option today and take real control of the Congress.

Match this act of leadership with an all-out campaign to educate the American people on the contemptuous tactics and behavior of the corporate betrothed conservatives, and the pending Republican route will become their Waterloo.

The problem right now is that there’s only one voice that’s being heard — the conservative voice. Sure MSNBC is carrying the liberal message, and places like Huffington Post are doing their part. But the rallies belong to the conservatives, and Fox News reels in as many viewers as all other sources, liberal and centrist combined. With the Cracken sure to attack soon, Democrats are in desperate need of a countering force.

Like a collective of Paul Reveres, it’s time for liberals to mobilize before it’s too late. The corporatists are coming . . . the corporatists are truly coming! Democrats need grassroots support, and we need to call upon liberal celebrities from sea to shining sea to help make it happen. Celebrities can reach and activate younger voters who swing Democrat in large numbers. They may not have the bully pulpit, but they do command the limelight.

What might happen if liberal celebrities gathered together for an event like Band Aid, Farm Aid and Live Aid? What if Democrat performers like Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Eddie Vedder, Cher and Streisand used their celebrity to engage others and come to the aid of the average American? There’s a long list of musicians, actors and other performers who support the Democratic Party. Where are celebrities like Tim Robins and Susan Sarandon, like Madonna, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and many others who all speak out actively against Republican politics? What about Clooney? How about Oparah?

We’ve had celebrity aid for farmers, and we’ve rightfully had it for the truly needy. I respected and supported these efforts, but now I contend that there’s an even more important battle to be fought. The battle is for the very fabric and spirit of the culture that makes these other efforts possible. Conservatism is strangling the life out of the vast majority of American people, and far too many are unwittingly leading themselves, their family and friends to slaughter. The voice of truth must be heard. The lies must be revealed. The time for those who can reach the masses to stand and be counted is now. America may not survive another round of Republican government.

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