Article first published as The Republicans Rail and The Democrats Tuck Tail on Technorati.
The Republicans are winning again. Motivated by hate, fear and ignorance, Americans are flocking to bring back into power the party of plight for all but the wealthy.
Yesterday, the Republicans revealed their new “Pledge,” with John Boehner stating that “We’re not going to be any different than we’ve been.” They’re actually promising a return to the policies that created the Great Recession and people are still applauding instead of throwing rotten fruit at them.
Thinking people need to be concerned. The political landscape in America is no longer about principles and policies; it’s about the creation and recycling of talking points that trigger emotional responses. The Republicans have truly mastered the “art” of political theatre. Their satirical mockery of democratic government would be funny if it weren’t such a tragedy, if it didn’t hurt so many for the benefit of so few.
Americans should be mad as hell about our broken government. But getting mad at Republicans for distortion, hyperbole and lies is like getting mad at a bird for crapping on your windshield; it’s just what they do. You might as well shake your fist at the wind.
But the Democrats are another story. While the Republicans were sharing their “Pledge to [Rape] America,” yesterday, Senate Majority Leader, Harry, the Cowering Wimp, Reid was announcing that there would be no vote on extending the Bush tax cuts to the middle class until after the election. Yep, the Democrats are once again rallying behind their track-proven strategy of tuck-and-cover. Once again, they’re rolling up in the fetal position and hoping for the best.
For those Democrats who believe President Obama hasn’t gone far enough, a brief pause to consider the team he’s had in the Senate might be in order. If Michael Jordan were to take the court with four high-schoolers, they’re not going to threaten even the worst NBA five. The fact that Obama was able to get anything through a Senate that was effectively controlled by the minority is actually quite remarkable.
Like the old adage says, “you can lead a horse to water . . .” The President came out swinging in Cleveland. He gave the Democrats the line in the sand they needed to define themselves. He took on the Republicans for their continual pretence of support for small business, their feigned concern about jobs, and their hypocrisy regarding the deficit. But while the Republicans were out power posturing yesterday, the Democrats were showing what cowards they truly are; they decided to turn and hide.
Democratic voters should be incensed, and their rage should be squarely directed at all the gutless Democrats who continue to allow the Republican bullies to rule the congressional schoolyard. In statements yesterday, they voiced their concerns that the Republicans would spin Democratic support of tax cuts for the middle class in a negative light — as if not voting on them will prevent the attacks.
The conclusion is inescapable: the Democrats never learned that the way you beat bullies is to stand up to them. Republicans aren’t going to win the election in November because they had the better policies — because they have none. They’re not even going to win because they have the better talking points. They’re going to win because no matter how egregious their distortions of the truth, no matter how hate-filled their rant, no matter how fictional their arguments — they’re the only ones talking.
Democratic policies support 98% of the population. They uphold the right ideals and have all of the facts, both theoretic and historical on their side, yet they’re losing. Perhaps someday they’ll come to understand that when people are fed a daily diet of fact-free propaganda, unless the opposition is refuting the claims with the same strength of conviction, the people are going to swallow.
Until that day, the Republicans will continue to keep their followers seeing red, and Democratic voters will be left feeling blue.