6 comments March 22nd, 2005at 06:54pm Posted by Eli

Another thing that the Democrats must keep in mind is the very high probability that Republican policies will lead to a financial or terrorist-inflicted disaster. An electoral scandal and constitutional crisis is also a possibility: I believe there are limits to just how large a margin election “gaming” and fraud can cover up without leaving behind a gun too smoky for the media to ignore. What happens if that threshold is exceeded, at least to the point where the election outcome is severely in doubt? What mechanisms do we have for resolving such a situation?

In theory, Democrats should be able to capitalize on any of these negative outcomes, as they can all be laid clearly at the doorstep of the Republicans. In reality, they would be pilloried by the Republicans and the media for opportunistically “politicizing” a national tragedy.

Therefore, what I’m advocating is that the Democrats get out in front and periodically raise a big stink (and for the love of God, don’t capitulate!) about the various ways that the 100% Republican-controlled government has made us vulnerable:

  • Failure to aggressively secure ports, Russian nukes, or chemical or nuclear plants
  • Stoking the rage of radical Islam.
  • Profligate deficit spending and reckless, unfair tax cuts, making us a debtor nation with potential archrival China our major creditor and reducing the dollar’s viability as the world’s de facto currency.
  • Destroying goodwill abroad, drastically reducing the chances of any further help in the event of a terrorist or financial emergency.
  • Failure to guarantee free, fair, and verifiable elections, compromising the legitimacy of our government.

This may admittedly be a little much, and some of it may be too abstract and need to be boiled down, but my point is that the Democrats need to be vocal about these issues in advance, so that everyone knows where they stand before the unthinkable occurs. It’s very easy to denounce terrorist attacks or stock market crashes after they happen, and both sides of the aisle will be doing exactly that. But the Democrats will be on the record as having warned of disaster, while the Republicans will be on record as steamrolling and shouting them down. This will give the Democrats standing and credibility to point the finger of blame after the fact.

My first thought was that they should be civil about it, but the more I think about it, the more I think righteous anger is appropriate, and will be harder for the Republicans to counter or dismiss. If you repeatedly warn someone that their actions will hurt America, and they accuse you of being an obstructionist or traitor, then I think you have a right, nay, an obligation to be furious when you are proven right.

Am I rooting for catastrophe? Of course not. I think it is highly probable, if not inevitable, but I desperately hope to be proven wrong.

What I am rooting for is that the Democrats will not let the Republicans get away with saying, “Well, these things happen, no-one could have seen it coming, we must all pull together now and do whatever we say,” as they did after 9/11. They must be held accountable for their willful refusal to protect America from harm.

I fear that the Democrats have neither the sense nor the spine to do this, or that if they do, that the media will not pay any attention. Their only hope may be to somehow find a balance between language sensationalistic enough that the media can’t stay away, but not so sensationalistic that the Democrats can be dismissed as marginal tinfoil-hat loonies. It’s a lot easier when the media is with you than against you, unfortunately.

UPDATE: Actually, I think this is how I would like the Democrats to respond to accusations of politicization (but without the swearing): “This is not about politics. This is about the Republicans lying and fucking up over and over again. They have proven beyond all rational doubt that they cannot be trusted with the reins of government, and we ask that when it comes time for the American people to make their voices heard once again, that they remember which party tried to protect their interests, and which party betrayed them.”

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Economy,Elections,Favorites,Media,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism


  • 1. NYMary  |  March 22nd, 2005 at 9:17 pm

    Righteous anger, indeed.

    I’ve got a lot of that.

  • 2. Eli  |  March 22nd, 2005 at 9:22 pm

    Best kind.

    It’s like political wasabe.

  • 3. charley  |  March 23rd, 2005 at 7:32 pm

    damn eli, you running for something? you would have my vote especially if you leave the ” lying and fuck’n it up over and over” in.

    actually a very salient post. and i’d focus on that port security. it would have made much more sense to start protecting the “homeland” before running out and pissing off the whole world.

  • 4. Eli  |  March 23rd, 2005 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks, charley. I’ll probably be running *from* something before I run *for* anything.

    Port security’s big, but the loose Russian nukes are what really scare me, and the Bushies are scary blase about them.

  • 5. charley  |  March 24th, 2005 at 12:22 pm

    yeah, the loose nukes are scary, especially if they get them into a port. let’s face it the whole damn incompetent, corrupt administration is scary. and the scenario you outline is the primary reason i voted for the first time in my life.

    “if you make the wrong choice the danger is we will be attacked again…”

  • 6. BJ  |  March 30th, 2005 at 2:37 am

    I like the line about restoring the feeding tube to democracy. Good one. How about a letter to the editor with it? Rub it in.

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