April 13, 2004

The Degeneration of the Democratic Party

Screen Shot of Item on The Daily Kos (which has been known to remove items
if they prove to be too "hot.")

Question: When is it permissible in the United States to call a distinguished African-American an "Uncle Tom?"
Answer: When he's a Republican and you're a Democrat.

That's the way it is over on the Daily ("Screw 'Em) Kos. You see, it seems that Secretary of State Powell is in the minds of these twisted people guilty of.... guilty of.... what? Of being a Republican? Of being an African-American that doesn't seem to want to follow the party line? Strange. Too strange to contemplate really. But this is how the member in good standing of the Kos Cadre puts it:

"By the way, did you notice Powell doesn't tone down the words when talking to Fox News, because he knows their viewers don't give a shit if Iraq is a slave colony for Massah Bush and Uncle Tom Powell for the next 50 years. -- The Daily Kos:
Last week we had long-time Democratic “cartoonist” Gary Trudeau implying a lot of very unsavory things about Condi Rice.
(See Signed Racist Artwork Available Now in last week's American Digest.)

This week we have "The Daily Kos" framing Colin Powell as an "Uncle Tom" in “Massah’s” house.

I guess that the Martin Luther King dream of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin is just a distant memory among a lot of Democrats.

This growing faction of the Democrats represents their "base;" their most committed and articulate supporters; their most 'connected' in more ways than one supporters; their effective fundraisers; the supporters that can be counted on to craft and broadcast the message of the Democratic Party to the people of the United States. And what is that message?

The message is that anyone or anything that stands with or supports, not the policies nor the positions of George Bush, but the very person of George Bush is to be attacked and denigrated with every slur at their command.

Readers of this page and friends new and old are to be forgiven if they have formed the impression that I am a staunch supporter of the President. I can see why they may feel this way. Email correspondents I have never met echo them in even more strident tones. But they are all, I am sad to say, dead wrong.

The facts of my own political history are this: I have never since I began to vote in 1967 voted for a Republican candidate except once in New York City when I broke down and voted for Rudy Giuliani's second term. Other than that one "slip" I have been voting Democrat my entire life. Until now.

I will spare my gentle readers the details of my own political odyssey since September 11, but I will note that as of last year I was determined to vote Republican instead of Democrat in the coming elections more out of sorrow than anger.

But that was then and this is now. Now I have come to the place where the whole sorry spectacle and circus of the Democrats over the last year has finally angered me. The party whose ideals once excited me has become a parody of itself, a dangerous parody. Instead of inspriation it delivers either numbing boredom or sheer despair at its intellectual and spiritual poverty. Instead of telling us what sort of New Jerusalem it would have us build as our City on the Hill, it takes us into the slums of the soul. Instead of waving the bright banners of how, it dons the rags and bones of defeatism and appeasement. Instead of leading the parade, it wants to make us content with following after the elephants with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. When it needs to supply us with someone to believe in, to follow, to admire and to trust, it offers up John F. Kerry and his rollicking side-kick Ted Kennedy. It’s like after sitting through the long and tedious circus of the primaries, the Party went out and chose Emmett Kelly; the saddest clown of them all.

From the party that gave us FDR, Truman, JFK and even, yes, LBJ, the Democrats have gone through a process of gradual but increasingly shrill devolution to the party of such weak, tepid and compromised souls as Carter, Clinton, and now Kerry. And the men the Party puts up are only the shadows of the compromises it has made with itself. And it has made many compromises over the years.... and become the poorer for each one of them. Perhaps the reason the Democrats are still so obsessed with Vietnam is that it was the war that pitched them into the quagmire of their own making; a quagmire that sucks them deeper into the pit of inconsequence with each passing election.
True, they did start to climb out of the quagmire of sixties politics and Vietnam with Clinton, but it was only for a few years until Clinton’s own sixties tendencies sucked them back down.

Politics is a profession founded on hypocrisy. This we all know. But, at the same time, we also need a politics that somewhere within it has a shred of uncompromised decency and more than a little courage. Neither of these qualities is self-evident in the Democratic Party today. There's not a lot in the Republicans either, but it at least is measurable even if it still is in short-measure.

What we see instead is a party that has been so out of power for so long, and is so deeply out of touch with so much of the body politic that it has turned in upon itself in its hunger for power and, through starvation, has begun to consume itself from the core out.

That's why we see these snide and creepy slips beginning to erupt from deep beneath the surface of the party in incidents where the deaths of Americans are celebrated and decent public servants are denigrated through racial slurs.

This is why we are starting to see such chilling incidents as the ad in a newspaper in Florida by a Democratic Political Club calling for the killing of Donald Rumsfeld.

That's why we are almost certain to see a move in the next few months on the part of the Democrats to bring a Bill of Impeachment against both the President and the Vice-President. It won't pass. It won't be expected to pass or even make it to the floor. It will be there just for the "news-cycles" it will churn up.

And this all arises from deep within the monsters from the id that now control and move the Democratic Party across out political landscape like a mob of extras from The Dawn of the Dead. It's an indecent and disgusting spectacle and I suspect there's more than a few million long-time Democrats who are revolted by it.

Bush-Hate, racism, calls for the death of Republican cabinet members, snide innuendo, joy at the death of Americans in Iraq, the endless political thumbsucking of the 911 Commission, and there's more on the way, much more. It's a tired, sick and crazed political party that is so greedy and hungry for power that it will do anything, including selling this country down the drain, to get it back. I'll have no more to do with it. I'm not the only one.

What did I ever see in it? Oh, there were lots of things. But they are all long gone and not likely to come back. The Democrats once had a lot of great ideals and they acted on them. Now they just mouth those ideals and look for the main chance to tell you how bad, how really bad for the country Bush is -- and by the way did you know he stole, he really, really, stole that last election. And, oh yes, he lied.

Right. Got it. Next.

In a way, what the Democratic party is now is somewhat like a first wife thought about at a safe distance from the divorce. You know you loved her at some point but you can't really remember why. You know she was beautiful to you then, but now you can only see the ruins of that beauty, and you are glad you got the best years. You know that, yes, you must have been happy with her and had a lot of good times. But now you can't remember where or when. In fact, when you think about her now you can't really believe you wasted all those declining years with here just because you believed that somehow, some time, she would grow sane, beautiful, and young again.

Life and politics though don't run backwards. One the hardest things to learn in life is when to leave, that's why we're always leaving late. It's not that the Republicans are running the most decent game in town. It is only that lately they seem to be the only game in town, at least the only one that puts America first. That's why I'm getting on their train. At least to the next stop.

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Posted by Vanderleun at April 13, 2004 11:32 PM | TrackBack
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