Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I wouldn't want liberals to be as vicious and corrupt as the Repugs, but it's time for us to be strong, even ruthless when necessary. In "The Politics of Victimization", Mel Gilles, who has worked with victims of domestic abuse, draws some parallels between her work and the reaction of many Democrats to the election:
Watch Dan Rather apologize for not getting his facts straight, humiliated before the eyes of America, voluntarily undermining his credibility and career of over thirty years. Observe Donna Brazille squirm as she is ridiculed by Bay Buchanan, and pronounced irrelevant and nearly non-existent. Listen as Donna and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Charles Schumer take to the airwaves saying that they have to go back to the drawing board and learn from their mistakes and try to be better, more likable, more appealing, have a stronger message, speak to morality. Watch them awkwardly quote the bible, trying to speak the new language of America. Surf the blogs, and read the comments of dismayed, discombobulated, confused individuals trying to figure out what they did wrong. Hear the cacophony of voices, crying out, “Why did they beat me?”
And then ask anyone who has ever worked in a domestic violence shelter if they have heard this before.
They will tell you, every single day.

Click here to read the rest of the article.
Even E. J. Dionne, who is far from radical, disdains "get-along-ism". If you didn't see his column in today's Post, here's an excerpt to entice you:
Republicans now pushing Getalongism on the Democrats had no objection when their own party pursued a scorched-earth strategy against the Clinton administration. Remember Bill Clinton's 1993 economic plan that put the United States on the path to budget surpluses? It passed without a single Republican vote. Republicans predicted doom for the economy. In 1994 Republicans went after Democrats who had voted for Clinton's tax increases. They took back the House of Representatives and the Senate, and paid no price when their predictions of catastrophe proved dead wrong.
Remember the 1993-94 battle over Clinton's health care plan? William Kristol, the Republican strategist and editor, wrote a series of memos urging his party to do all it could to block Clinton's plan and not dare think of compromise.
If Clinton got something like universal health coverage, Kristol warned, "it will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will, at the same time, strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government."
Naturally those of us who favored giving all Americans health coverage regretted how much influence Kristol's view had on his party. But can anyone now doubt that as a strategic matter, from his side's point of view, Kristol's shrewd counsel of negativism was proved absolutely right? Republicans stopped health care reform, but Clinton took the blame. A chance to show that progressive government could achieve important objectives was lost.

Click here to read the whole piece.
If you'd rather fight the right than join them, you'll appreciate this cartoon from The Village Voice.


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