Do Something

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Memo to Democrats: GOOD ONE, ASSHOLES.

I don't get it. I want to be reasonable. I want to be rational. I want to understand that things are complicated, that majority doesn't automatically mean power or authority or even unity. That everyone is playing the game, and that the object of the game is not, and has never been, to make me happy.

On the other hand, I've been watching the political landscape evolve for most of my adult life, and I've come to the inevitable, inexorable conclusion that the Democratic Party has been kicked so many times it has now become convinced that it's an ass.

They are either unable, or unwilling, to realize even now that what's happening around them is not GOVERNING. And hasn't been. since at least 1994. Oh, it may look like governing, but it left governing rotting in a back alley and is now prancing around wearing its skin. But it is politics, it is power, and it is perception. It's all a game, and pretending you're not standing in the middle of a rugby field doesn't mean you're not going to get fucked up when the scrum starts.

How fucking weak, how fucking embattled, how fucking besieged does Bush have to be before the Democrats start actually demanding things, and then doing something about it when they don't get results? Look at the attorney purge and wiretapping things. They send letters. They make requests. They make demands. And when the results are, as expected, piss-poor, they draft ANOTHER LETTER. Case in point:

"This Committee has made no fewer than eight formal requests over the past 18 months — to the White House, the Attorney General, or other Department of Justice officials — seeking documents and information related to this surveillance program. These requests have sought the Executive Branch legal analysis of this program and documents reflecting its authorization by the President. You have rebuffed all requests for documents and your answers to our questions have been wholly inadequate and, at times, misleading."

Which, you know, would be pretty fucking intimidating... to anyone who had the slightest interest in even pretending that they had any respect for you or your authority. STOP GIVING THEM CHANCES. Just jump right to contempt charges, since their utter contempt for you is the only thing they've been obvious about. Sure, technically, you can't enforce those either, thanks to a lovely little loophole where the Justice Department would have to pursue the charges against members of the Justice Department, but when your quiver is full of Nerf arrows, there's no point wasting your time with the small ones.

And, of course, Iraq. The Democrats want strings attached to the money, so the President rejects the money. But the President NEEDS the money. The President can't veto a budget into existence. When the President vetoes your conditions, and says he'll veto ANY conditions, the answer is not to turn tail and remove all the conditions. But that's what they're doing, because the Democrats are still operating under two delusions:

ONE: That by behaving like calm, reasonable, moderate lawmakers, they will win the trust of an American populace that seeks compromise and wants a government that can "work together" and "get things done". This is a delusion because, first, the government can't work together, it can only pretend to. And second, the American populace isn't paying attention to the subtleties of your positioning. They're just watching you wuss out.

TWO: That by behaving like calm, reasonable, moderate lawmakers, they will avoid being demonized by Republicans, the conservative media, and the punditocracy as being unsupportive of the troops in the field, or pushing a partisan agenda for political gain, or somehow being responsible for losing the Iraq war despite having zero say in it from day one. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. ALL THIS WILL HAPPEN ANYWAY. You can't soft-shoe your way through a meat grinder. All you can do is take the biggest sticks you've got, jam them in the teeth of the beast, and hope it fucking chokes on them.

Use the lazy press to your advantage. Don't do things, then hope they tell people what you did in a fair and honest manner. TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO SAY. And they probably will. The worst that'll happen is that they'll go ahead and say what the other guys told 'em to say.

All this assumes, of course, that you're cowardly weasels and not complicit weasels, of course. All this assumes that you want to do something, but are simply too burdened by narrow margins, a hostile press, and the right-wing flank of your own party to pull it off. If being in the majority is just a way for you to get a better parking space, then ignore all the above. Go to fuck off, go directly to fuck off, do not pass "GO", and go right ahead and collect $200,000 from defense contractors.

But if you want to do something, DO SOMETHING. Don't worry about setting the stage for it. Don't piddle around with establishing credibility. Just do something, then claim loudly and repeatedly that it was justified. That's still working for the other guys, and 70% of the country hates their guts. Imagine how well it'll work for you, with only 60% of the country hating YOUR guts. Well, OK, 65% after this latest Iraq thing. But still. DO SOMETHING.