Saturday, June 04, 2005

A cattle prod for an oxymoron

It’s not “you” and “them.” It’s all “us.”

My comment on "Dean v. Mehlman: a contrast in attitude" at GayPatriot:

"To be sure, there has always been mean-spirited rhetoric in American politics." Thank you, thank you for not saying "in the Democrats' politics."

"They know that nasty rhetoric alone is not enough to win elections." No, dirty tricks are essential. Do you remember that Karl Rove's first foray into political activism involved using stationery stolen from the office of a Democratic candidate?

You're right that Dean is being hateful and is wrongly badmouthing his opponents. The debate should never descend into name-calling and stereotyping. The issues are too important.

But I understand where his anger comes from: NeoCon-fatigue. It dates back to DeLay single-mindedly dedicating himself to removing Clinton from office and the subsequent consolidation of the influence of the far right wing from being "crazies in the basement" (wasn't that Bush Sr.'s description?) to being the leading conservative force. By now, *lots* of people are really weary from the unrelenting pressure to move the U.S. toward theocracy.

Dean's mistake is in not directing his anger toward just the extremists and not the party as a whole. There are moderate Republicans who are quite willing to work with Democrats to forge compromises, because that's how governments work, but Dean is simply badmouthing the whole party. I think if you would ask him specifically, you would find he is quite willing to work with moderate Republicans.

By the way, Dan, are you chubby? Just curious.

"One reason the GOP has continued to win elections...putting forward a positive vision for our nation's future." No, the GOP wins elections because of greater numbers and because of the organizational unit at the grass-roots level, otherwise known as the church. And because of some really clever campaign strategies.

"As long as Ken Mehlman...continues to offer a positive vision...and Dean continues his campaign of name-calling, our party can expect to do ever better...Democrats will become even angrier..." Dan, this isn't a football game. You are so "our side" and "their side." But the more polarized the country becomes, the more compelled I feel to describe myself as an independent. The country isn't a giant football game, it's a giant forum where we debate important issues. Every voter has a responsibility to think independently and not to entrench into a team mentality.

I know you're a guy who likes his team to win a game. I understand that. But please keep your love of sports separate from your interest in politics.

It's not "you" and "them." It's all "us."


Jonathan Versen said...

aren't pink elephants imaginary?

John said...

And you probably know all the lyrics from "Pink Elephants on Parade" from Dumbo.