Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do you like where this country is headed?

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media

That is what next year’s election should boil down to. Plain and simple.



It doesn’t matter who the Democratic Presidential nominee is – all of them are quite capable and more or less on “our side”. Granted, there are no heroes, and some candidates would be more (or less) vindication for politics as usual or the progressive movement. But all of them (yes, certainly including Clinton) are no brainers as compared to whatever (or whomever) the republicans put up.



In pretty much every race.


So let’s fast forward past the primaries – to a time when we know who our candidates are. When we have the candidates we have (as opposed to the candidates we wish we have). It doesn’t matter if the Democrats are running Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or Dennis Kucinich. There will be smears, there will be attacks, there will be lies.



What needs to be done – and what hasn’t been done in many prior election cycles is that the Democrats need to set the narrative and set it early on. We all know that once the narrative is set, it is very difficult to change that narrative or change the terms of the discussion. The difference here is that nearly all of the republican-established narratives have been disingenuous at best, and outright lies, and we have facts, American sentiment and reality on our side.



Even with the missteps of the Democratic Congressional leadership (willful or not...), there is no way that the continuing occupation of Iraq and many of the other excesses, crimes and corrupt behavior of the republicans, Bush administration and its supporters will be hung on the Democratic Party, at least not by many in the general public. And if we are successful in setting the narrative early and forcefully, this will be something that no republican candidate can run or hide from.



Which goes back to the title of this diary. Reagan was able to use a variation of this when he asked the country if they were better off then they were four years ago. This worked well because he was running against an incumbent, however that doesn’t disqualify it from working now. Especially since pretty much every republican marched in lockstep with what Mister Bush wanted, even if they were not in Congress. Of course, each of the Presidential contenders have their own baggage (Rudy has bad judgment and can’t be trusted, for example), but every issue, every position, every argument can be wrapped around this theme.



And the best part is that this is not only universal and simple to understand and explain – it meshes with the “change of direction” that the Democrats will no doubt be pushing for over the upcoming year (even if it is somewhat disingenuous as well...).



What republican wants to get us out of Iraq? What republican is concerned with the dire healthcare situation in this country? What republican wants to do much about the environment or global warming? What republican wants to roll back the outrageous powers of the Executive Branch? What republican wants to speak out against torture (not even McCain does)? What republican wants to do something about the economy that will HELP, not hurt the middle class?



And so on and so on.



Senator Kerry said recently that he wishes that he set the tone in 2002 or 2003 about his faith and his lifelong approach to religion. He wanted to establish himself before the republicans did it for him. While that is very noble and he should be commended for recognizing that he could have set the frame for who he actually was and what he actually stood for before the smear machine did it to for him, it is a lesson that should be learned sooner rather than later.



It is less than one year from the election. And while we may not be happy with our choices, they could be worse. And the opponents are MUCH worse. As much as this may be a “hold your nose and vote for the bad option over the worse option” election, the worse option is actually a disastrous option and a complete continuation of the oppressive erosion of our rights here in the US, a foreign policy where the nicest word that can be used is “reckless”, an arrogant dismissal of torture as no real big deal, a “bury your head in the sand” approach to healthcare and an economic policy that will only speed up the complete ruin of the middle class (especially if the AMT isn’t resolved).



The previous paragraph is where the country is headed. Which makes the question simple for anyone that asks what the difference is between Clinton or Obama or Edwards and Giuliani or Romney or McCain. The current situation is directly related to policies of the republican party. And a republican Congress/President/administration will only continue speeding this country down the wrong track into a brick wall.



The Democratic candidates and Congressional officials won’t do nearly enough from our perspective to change all of this. But they will do something, and something in the right direction. The only response to any question as to why someone should vote for the Democrat (or should vote at all) is that one party is totally committed to continuing the disastrous {INSERT PARTICULAR PET POLICY HERE} policies of the past 10 years, and one will not.



Its time to go on the attack and set the narrative – the media won’t, that is for sure. But we can.



And we must. Otherwise, this country will continue to head in the wrong direction, but faster.


1 comment:

Mark said...

What republican wants to get us out of Iraq? We can't get leave Iraq. What exactly is your post-departure plan?

What republican is concerned with the dire healthcare situation in this country? I think that many republicans are concerned. They just don't want our unreliable government handling it. What's dire is the idea that the government should be providing healthcare. The government stinks. Making it bigger by letting it take over the healthcare system is not the answer. Get rid of the insurance companies and middlemen instead

What republican wants to do much about the environment or global warming? Not many, but is this really the government's job? Are more environmental regulations really the answer? The consumer needs to lead here by supporting eco-friendly products and companies.

What republican wants to roll back the outrageous powers of the Executive Branch? We need to roll back the powers of all branches of the federal government and put the power back in the hands of the people at the local level. What works for you in New York may not work for me in Nevada.

What republican wants to speak out against torture (not even McCain does)? I think this one is a little unfair. I don't think that republicans like torture.

What republican wants to do something about the economy that will HELP, not hurt the middle class? The only thing that will really help the people is reducing the power of government. More government programs are not the answer. The federal government has proven its unreliability over the long term under many administrations from both parties.