01/22/2006: Good golly Miss Molly.....
I'd like to make it clear to the people who run the Democratic Party that I will not support Hillary Clinton for president.Perhaps what those fools are afraid of is the Rethugnican bullying apparatus, which is quite efficient (see "swift boating") at pulling the wool over the
Enough. Enough triangulation, calculation and equivocation. Enough clever straddling, enough not offending anyone This is not a Dick Morris election. Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges.
The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It's about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. There are times a country is so tired of bull that only the truth can provide relief.
If no one in conventional-wisdom politics has the courage to speak up and say what needs to be said, then you go out and find some obscure junior senator from Minnesota with the guts to do it. In 1968, Gene McCarthy was the little boy who said out loud, "Look, the emperor isn't wearing any clothes." Bobby Kennedy -- rough, tough Bobby Kennedy -- didn't do it. Just this quiet man trained by Benedictines who liked to quote poetry.
What kind of courage does it take, for mercy's sake? The majority of the American people (55 percent) think the war in Iraq is a mistake and that we should get out. The majority (65 percent) of the American people want single-payer health care and are willing to pay more taxes to get it. The majority (86 percent) of the American people favor raising the minimum wage. The majority of the American people (60 percent) favor repealing Bush's tax cuts, or at least those that go only to the rich. The majority (66 percent) wants to reduce the deficit not by cutting domestic spending, but by reducing Pentagon spending or raising taxes.
The majority (77 percent) thinks we should do "whatever it takes" to protect the environment. The majority (87 percent) thinks big oil companies are gouging consumers and would support a windfall profits tax. That is the center, you fools. WHO ARE YOU AFRAID OF? [emphasis in original --LRC]
But as Molly notes, the only way to beat a bully is to stand up to him:
You sit there in Washington so frightened of the big, bad Republican machine you have no idea what people are thinking. I'm telling you right now, Tom DeLay is going to lose in his district. If Democrats in Washington haven't got enough sense to OWN the issue of political reform, I give up on them entirely.Frankly, I'd back Molly for President over Hillary. Any. Day. Of. The. Week. Pity that Molly has better sense not to run.
Do it all, go long, go for public campaign financing for Congress. I'm serious as a stroke about this -- that is the only reform that will work, and you know it, as well as everyone else who's ever studied this. Do all the goo-goo stuff everybody has made fun of all these years: embrace redistricting reform, electoral reform, House rules changes, the whole package. Put up, or shut up. Own this issue, or let Jack Abramoff politics continue to run your town.
Bush, Cheney and Co. will continue to play the patriotic bully card just as long as you let them. I've said it before: War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds. The MINUTE someone impugns your patriotism for opposing this war, turn on them like a snarling dog and explain what loving your country really means. That, or you could just piss on them elegantly, as Rep. John Murtha did. Or eviscerate them with wit (look up Mark Twain on the war in the Philippines). Or point out the latest in the endless "string of bad news."
Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can. [emphasis added --LRC]
Then again, I long ago concluded that, in this day and age, anyone who decides to run for elective office has proved, by his/her decision, that s/he is unqualified to hold it. *sigh*
Actually, as a German Shepherd nerd, there is one factual problem I need to clear up. I love Molly's line (which has actually floated around the blogosphere for a while; it may not be original to Molly (or if it is, she's used it before)):
In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were "German dogs." They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds.Well, while we know that the patriotic bullies wouldn't kick German Shepherds because they have a well developed instinct for preserving their worthless asses (see "Cheney, Dick: 5 draft deferments", et al.), there is another and more important reason why they couldn't kick German Shepherds back then: because there simply weren't very many in the US to kick during The Great War.
The German Shepherd Dog is, in fact, a very recent breed, first developed in the late 1800's by former Prussian cavalry captain Max von Stephanitz, and only officially recognized as a separate breed in 1899 with the founding of the German breed club: the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (SV). While the first registration of a German Shepherd with the American Kennel Club took place in 1908, it wasn't until 1913 that the US national breed club (the German Shepherd Dog Club of America) was organized.
It wasn't until after the war, though, when the German Shepherd first came to widespread American attention, as American doughboys, having become acquainted with German Shepherds while in Europe, became smitten with the dogs and brought them home from the war. (This is, in fact, how the original Rin Tin Tin found his way to the United States.) And it wasn't until such canine film stars as Rinty and Strongheart gained exposure in movies of the '20s and '30s that the popularity (and visibility) of the breed in the United States began to take off.
Len on 01.22.06 @ 12:04 PM CST