Saturday, January 20, 2007

John Edwards FTW

The Democratic candidates include people who would be the first (partly) black President, the first woman President, and the first Latino President. Also included is a handsome, charismatic white guy from the South. Obviously if you're the first X President, it means X has never won before. Charismatic white guys from the South have won before.

Does anyone really need to even discuss this? How self-indulgent can the Democrats be to even consider running all these minority candidates? Yes, Bush is very, very widely hated, but he lost in both 2000 and in 2004, and he got in anyway. If you control the vote-counters and the Supreme Court -- there are only two out of nine Supreme Court justices whose families don't receive money from the Bush family in some way -- you don't need to be popular. The Republicans have an incredibly powerful and effective nationwide election-stealing machine at their disposal. United Nations witnesses aren't even allowed in US elections any more, and everybody knows the vote-counting machines are rigged.

In a situation like this, you need a candidate who everybody can get behind, not these ridiculous token "first this" and "first that" candidates. It's always the Republicans who score the "first this" and the "first that" anyway. Republicans use token "first whatevers" to give support to policies that are bad for whichever demographic the first whatever happens to be the first member of. So fine, let them have their little trick. Because whenever the Democrats try that, they try to put in a "first X" who supports policies that are actually good for X. That never works.

The Democrats are way too interested in being precious and groundbreaking. They need to quit all this prancing about and get some shit done. It isn't about drawing attention to yourself and being special. It's about doing what works. George Bush out of the White House isn't victory. When the rapist takes his dick out, that doesn't mean you won, it just means the worst is over. It won't be victory until George Bush is in jail where he belongs, and all the terrible damage he's done has been reversed.

And that means victory might actually be impossible. Ask a kid whose mom or dad died in Iraq if it's possible to undo the damage Bush did.

But let's not think about the children. Our grandchildren are going to be paying for the Iraq war. It's not going to take decades to fix all the damage Bush did; it's going to take generations. It's great that the Democrats got control of Congress, but that's not the real victory. The real victory comes when the soldiers come home, we get some sane economic policies, and we rebuild New Orleans. Whoever takes the reins next is going to have a lot of work to do.

In politics, work requires the ability to get people behind you. Hillary will never have that. She's a polarizing figure, and the nation is already way too divided. Even if she gets in, she'll never have the clout John Edwards would have. There's no point electing a President who'll turn lame duck the minute the Democratic Congressional majority falters even a tiny bit.

It's like, you've got tons of Republicans who are thinking of casting the first vote for a Democratic President that they've ever made in their lives, and you want to give them the only candidate that would make them change their minds?

How stupid can you be?

For Hillary to be running at all is disrespectful to the country. Same with Barack Obama and, if he runs, Governor Richardson from New Mexico. These people only stand a chance of getting in office at all because there's so much outrage against Bush. But you only have to look at the way they act to realize that they don't actually share that outrage. They're much more motivated by their own ambition than by any concern for what the country needs.

The work doesn't stop when the election is over. That's when the work begins, and the nature of the work is building support so you can build policy. These people aren't thinking about building support after the election, and the reason why is they aren't really interested in building policy. They don't really care about the country. All they want to do is go down in history as the first XYZ.

The Democrats need to quit being such a bunch of fucking wankers and get some work done.

I realize all this stuff -- minority candidates shouldn't run because it jeopardizes the party's success -- sounds a lot more like Republican thinking than Democratic thinking, but Republicans seem to do better in elections nine times out of ten. I don't want to be right, at this point; I just want to win. You could put Hitler in the White House and probably be in a better position than we're in now.

But there's a more important thing here as well. Democrats traditionally disdain things like the fact that they really only ever win with Southern male candidates. They don't like admitting to this sort of thing, and they act as if all they have to do is ignore this simple fact of history, and maybe it'll disappear. The thing is, if you really want to get the support of a large number of people, you have to stop fearing their prejudices. Prejudice is a kind of fear, and the only way to deal with fear is with compassion. If they want things like universal health care and an end to the war in Iraq, but they need the comfort blanket of a traditional authority figure who looks the way they expect an authority figure to look, where's the harm in that? Change is scary. Give them their fucking comfort blanket and make shit happen already.

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