Thursday, October 05, 2006

Don’t Get Me Wrong, A Little Less Evil Sounds Pretty Good

I want to clarify my speculation yesterday about what the Democrats will or will not do if they are allowed to take over control of Congress.  In the grand scheme of things, I honestly don’t think much will change, at least not right away.  The war will go on, the polar ice caps will continue to melt at an alarming rate, the President will still sign bills into law with signing statements attached that allow him to disregard them, we will still be subject to arrest and imprisonment without recourse and war profiteers will continue to rake in the dough while the rest of us work harder for less money each year.  We have a two party system in this country (theoretically anyway) and the rich and powerful invest heavily in both sides to ensure that either way, they come out on top.  But at least with Democrats in Control of one branch of government, there will finally be some oversight and a check on the power now held by the Republican Party that has corrupted them so completely.  

There are still far too many Democrats that support this occupation and that think the answer to our failing mission in Iraq is sending in more troops (can you say Hillary Clinton?)!  A Democratically controlled Congress isn’t likely to stop funding this war or demand that our troops come home.  They, like the President, seem content to delay any meaningful decision on the occupation until they can figure out how to make it a political win.  But at least a Democratic Congress will investigate this White House and make public the lies that led us to war and the failures of execution that have created a bloody mess in Iraq.

I also don’t see the Democrats clamoring to repeal this torture bill that, in my opinion, paves the way for a legalized fascist state.  This administration has seriously altered how our country functions and has run roughshod over our values and traditions as a democratic republic.  That is what I want Democrats to address yet what I fear they will not touch.  That said, I do understand that many little things will change if the Democrats take over.  For one thing, it will stem the bleeding somewhat and they will likely stop or at least provide some opposition to new usurpations of power by the White House.  That alone is worthwhile at this point.

There is the short-term and the long-term to consider.  Yesterday I was ruminating on the long term, but here is the short-term argument in favor of Democrats.  As bad as things are right now, they can get much worse and at a pretty rapid pace.  Now is not the time to disengage from politics or shirk our responsibilities as citizens.  In 2000, few people realized just how bad things could get, I used the Reagan years as a reference, silly me.  I thought that we would suffer four years of funneling public money upward, a vilifying of the poor, social conservatism run amuck and covert wars for control of resources that don’t belong to us but that corporate America somehow thinks should.  I never could have envisioned what we got instead.  

This administration has taken the lessons of Reagan, Nixon, Joe McCarthy and the rest of the worst examples of leadership in American (and world) history and rolled them into one giant political philosophy of winner takes all and the ends always justify the means.  We the people have become the enemy, and we will continue to be treated as such until there is a power shift in DC that gives us some authority back.  We must come to accept what corporate America knows intuitively, that you get the representation in government that you pay for.  If we want to be considered, we must pool our resources and buy our own members of Congress.  The reality is that the Democrats are all we have, and at this point, a little less evil sounds pretty good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your thoughts about Dems and Repubs regarding the fact that they are both "haves." I still can't understand why one have (Dem) is inherently good and one have (Repub) is inherently bad. When you vote party you are playing right into the "haves" strategy. There are good on both sides and people need to start voting ISSUES.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous david said...

What is really needed is a Free Press. The conservative media --and it really is only conservative-- means that no liberal or progressive can freely speak their mind without being critiqued to DEATH.

In the old Iron Curtain countries, the press was run by the state. The people learned to read between the lines and figure out the truth. In America, the people assume the press is free and so they take the spin at face value.

If there is one thing I'd call for from a Democratic congress, it's an end to media concentration. Then perhaps we'd see some real opinions expressed.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

there is only one honest person in the entire media: patrick Buchanan!!


^from hezbollah rally in lebanon. 1,000,000 people were there

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This strikes me as a great bumper sticker slogan: "Vote Democratic: A Little Less Evil."

3:45 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Before you can prove you're less evil, you need the keys to the country.

And Democrats gotta start talking positive. Think Team Democrat. Challenging Lieberman was a good thing, but open harping on every minor disagreement is counter-productive. Talk positive. Say what you want the Democrat you're going to elect to do. And ELECT A DEMOCRAT.

The Republicans are in disarray because they finally can't talk TEAM. But they're desperately trying to shift the blame. Even saying it's all a Democratic plot.

So, it's not a little less evil. It's--
A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation aint satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark


5:56 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Okay David, I'm feeling your vibe. I was away for ten days, sitting by the ocean and it really did facilitate "big picture" thinking that left me with thoughts I just had to get out (mainly that things are colossally bad and it's hard to imagine what could possibly turn it around at this point).

But now I'm ready to pound away, after all, you can't go into an election with the scandal you want, you have to do it with the scandal you've been handed! I think that might be my title tomorrow morning in fact.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Liberal Girl,

I find myself in rare disagreement with you. I simply can’t get my head around your position that the Democrats are simply less evil than Republicans. On this issue, and this issue alone, I don’t do nuance – to borrow a phrase. I see this issue in black and white. Republican politicians are evil.

Do I wish that the Democrats, en masse, had the exact same policy positions that I have? Sure! The fact that they don’t is something I can accept.

It is very clear to me that Republican politicians are wholly bought and paid for by the moneyed few. They care not a whit about the folks who were fooled into voting for them. They will do whatever they can to further the interests of the rich few who helped get them elected. They are corrupt and morally bankrupt. They are dead inside.

I am convinced that Democrats genuinely care about the health and well being of the middle and working classes. Further, this country would benefit greatly, in many ways, from a dose of governance based on facts, data, and thoughtful analysis. The last six years have shown us that we will not get that from the Republicans.


2:29 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Don't be a quitter. Do not settle for a little less evil.

It is within your ability to find a local candidate and support that person.

It is within your ability to influence those in authority.

It is within your ability to motivate others.

Never give up.

4:38 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Jonathan--The way I see, The Republican Party is evil to the core, it's who they are. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, has been corrupted, by big money interests and by a failure to hold onto core principles and instead bargain away, piece by piece, every Democratic value in the name of political expediency fueled by fear. In short, the Democrats chose to behave more as Republicans to deflect criticism rather than stand on principle and be proud of who they are. But that can change.

I see a new Democratic Party rising with the help of new cadidates like Darcy Burner and Peter Goldmark (to name a few local soon to be Congresspeople) who are running on honesty, integrity and real Democratic values. My problem is with the leadership in DC that has failed us all by not acting like an opposition party and just going along because it seemed safer (they should have filibustered that torture bill for example, but failed at their job and failed the country by not doing so).

The Republican Party is beyond hope, but the Democratic Party could be a party of the people again and I will keep prodding them to be better because they still have a long way to go. The Democrats have just been touched by evil, it can still be washed off, whereas the Republican Party feeds on evil, as if it’s exactly what they’re striving for. Mission accomplished on that!

9:30 AM  
Anonymous Lester said...

problems democrats face with unsympathetic voters

1. nancy pelosi- she is the female bob shrum. feckless reciter of 70's era leftist talking points.

2 kerry and kennedy- easily re elected year after year in massachusetts, they are a national liability. not unlike pelosi, they have the very tired style of people who have been in the senate far too long. kennedy's bloviating is embarassing.

3- immigration- as i 've stated here previously, many liberals fell this issue is beneath them. it's a HUGE issue to MANY. not as feel good as promoting "the environment" but closer to many americans hearts. sometimes you can't be the good guy. democrats must be able to tackle thorny issues unpopular with their idealist past.

4- spending- despite the massive growth in government under bush, many liberals have an outmoded idea of the governments role. clinton said it best "the era of big government is over". liberals are not cynical enough about the state and the fact that many see it as bad in and of itself. which they should. though I noticed the daily kos had an essay called "goldwater democrats" which is more to the point.

5 economics- familiar with "says law"? how about "the economic-calculation problem"? many dems are overly suspicious of money and free markets. Paul Krugman is alright, but there's more to money than just bashing enron and endorsing quasi socialistic government programs in an effort to be nice.

6. republican lite foreign policy - while there is plenty going on in post iraq foreign policy, most liberals seem to think big oil is the culprit and that's the end of that. many seem to be unaware of the centrality of the israel palestinian conflict at the heart of the so called war on terror. republicans and democrats alike repeat AIPAC talking points, mainly to our peril. tony judt, measheimer and walt, and, yes, pat buchanan are miles ahead of dems on this one.

7. raising the tax rate for the top 10% - this is not going to make the world a better place. our problem is spending not taxes. our budget this year is 2.8 trillion dollars. whether you have high taxes or low taxes, the spending is the issue that needs to be dealt with. note: the bigger budget means the STATE is growing. that we have this size budget and warrentless wiretaps and suspension of habeous corpus is NO COINCIDENCE.

I can't think of anything else. it probably looks totally condecending, ignorant and the work of an amateur libertarian. but so what that's what i am and this is america.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, Lester, your platform does indeed look, well, not quite libertarian, but it would be called conservativism in Canada.

I'd say we are due for another era of Big Government. One can't drink the water, breath the air, or eat the food without fear of cancer, asthma, or botulism. Climate change requires drastic measures. Big government is the only answer.

Let's face it. 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, etc have shown the Republicans don't know how to run a large corporation. Or they only know how to run it like WorldCom and Enron. We need serious-minded public servants. And that means liberal Democrats.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous lester said...

david- 9/11 was the result of big government imperialism into middle east affairs. katrina was the result of big government cronyism and beaurocracy. Iraq was a combination of both. plus, we cant actually afford a big government even if we wanted it now.

You are seeing this through the prism of canada, where things like socialized medicine are possible mainly because you are not plugged into the massive beaurocracy that is the US!

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...


As long as you brought it up let us chat some more about single payer medicine. Are you unaware that the US pays more per capita for health costs than any other wealthy country? MUCH more – 75% more than Canada and France pay. Are you also unaware of the fact that by just about any meaningful measure the US ranks near the bottom of industrialized nations in quality of health care? Take infant mortality for example. The US ranks something like 36th (according to with 6.63 deaths per 1000 births. That means that this great, wealthy country that God almighty Himself has smile upon, has a worse infant mortality rate than 35 other, less noble, backward countries. The island nation/city state of Singapore has one third the incidence of infant death as the US.

A thoughtful person might inquire where that extra money we pay for substandard health care goes. The answer is it mainly goes to the profits of insurance companies. And our employers suffer because of it and it is one of the main reasons that companies are leaving the US.

Your assertion that government is already too big and we can’t afford single payer medicine is a canard. Social Security is one of the most successful and popular government programs ever developed in the history of mankind. Its administrative costs are less than ½ of 1% of all the money it takes in. In other words: more than 99.5% of all the money it takes in goes to pay benefits. It costs less than 5% as much to administer Social Security than it costs to administer most private pension programs. And it could be this way for national health insurance too (assuming we can keep the Republican’s hands out of the till). In the long run our manufacturing base especially and all other companies (except insurance companies) will benefit. I would counter that we can’t afford NOT to have nationalized medicine.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Lester said...

jonathon- If we wanted to be canadians we would move to canada. and I'm not suggesting getting rid of social security. Obviously there is quite a bit of work do be done in the area of health care. "any government that's big enough to give you whatever you want is big enough to take it away"- Barry Goldwater

also, do you think republicans will stop voting republican and vote democrat if democrats make socialized medicine a part of their platform? that's what has to be done. you can't win with just the greens and the base or whatever.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous xenophon said...

We should never settle for "a little less evil", but always try to do better.

I don't agree with anything Lester said about Pelosi, or Kennedy, or Kerry, or anything else in his post.

But I'm a liberal democrat, I'm going to respect his opinion, and that means I'm not going to label him a "terrorist enabler" just because he disagrees with me.

We have a corruption problem in Washington which spans both parties, and all ideologies and creates a culture of deception toward the voters, fraudulent claims and actions, shakedowns, money laundering, and covering up immoral predatory sexual misconduct for short term political expediancy.

Getting rid of guilty politicians won't get rid of the problem. Corruption in Washington is an idustry offering up all Seven Deadly Sins in overwhelming abundance, behind the scenes, and congressional recipients, through the years, have specifically tailored the laws to make most of it legal.

Electing democrats doesn't guarantee less evil, it only gives us a chance at less evil, but electing republicans guarantees the status quo.

The situation in Washington now is very close to one that makes corruption of all kinds the whole, and single point of government.

The Republicans have shot their bolt, their phoney moralism has come crashing down around their ears. Lets send them back to minority status where they belong.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

xenaphon- so you feel nancy pelosi is an effective spokeperson for the democratic party?

11:36 AM  

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