The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 May 2004

The next-to-last Democrat

Remember the concept of the Loyal Opposition? Emperor Misha (only his best friends dare to call him Darth) knows what it means, and he's bothered disturbed saddened disgusted by the absence of same:

[T]his nation, every nation, needs a loyal opposition, and there was a time when the Democrats were just that. A check and a balance, just as the other major party, the Republicans, were a check and a balance to them.

Sure, it leads to compromises that have left me furious many a time, but I'm sure that this is an emotion felt on the other side of the aisle in equal measure. The important thing about a loyal opposition is that it tends to keep both sides at least relatively honest, forces them to weigh their options and think through their positions instead of just ramming them through without fear of opposition or consequences, and that's important.

Unfortunately, the Democrat Party that filled that role so well in the past is no more. It has been hijacked by screaming fanatics so deliriously hungry for power that they'd sell their own country to the wolves to lay their hands on the reins again, and such a party is worthless. No, it's more than that. It's dangerous. Lethally dangerous.

They shy away from no tactic, no matter how dangerous and damaging to this war for our existence that we find ourselves forced into. They care not one whit what the consequences of their lies, slander and divisive methods are to the safety of all of us, they care only for one thing: Power.

And not only that, they fail in the duty of a serious and worthwhile opposition, the very reason that such a thing is important: They offer no alternatives. All they have to offer is "anybody but Bush", at any cost.

The handwriting started appearing on the wall, I think, with the wholesale rejection of the Presidential candidacy of Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat not at all out of step with the rest of his party — except that he understood the war effort and the necessity of bringing it to a proper conclusion. And in response, members of his party turned out in droves and voted for people who promised to turn tail and run instead. Joe's war stance wasn't significantly different from the President's, after all, and the current belief in the Democratic power structure is that if George W. Bush says the sky is blue, there's obviously some GOP conspiracy, no doubt engineered by Halliburton, to suppress all those other colors.

I'm not defending everything that's been done in Iraq by any means; in fact, I think the Bush administration made a ghastly error in judgment by disclosing to the American people the fact that the Iraqi people are people who would like to live their lives with some measure of freedom. Had he characterized them instead as, say, organisms which should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, the Left would be lining up to demand the removal, by any means necessary, of Baathists, private militias, disgruntled Shi'a, and all the other Middle Eastern miscreants who are complicating the, you should pardon the expression, peace process.

Meanwhile, John Kerry, a man with exactly one actual conviction — that John Kerry should be President — moves swiftly to assure the corrupt and the corruptible that under his Administration, the International Community, those wonderful folks who were conspiring by Saddam's side all those years, will once again be the Source of All Wisdom and that all their work wasn't in vain, and that the United Nations will be restored to its former glory, as theatre (and occasional paymaster) for the world's despots.

So I wait for the Democrats to come to their senses. Which they will, eventually. I figure one good drubbing at the polls should do the job. And it can't be this "yeah, but we really won" crap that we had to endure in 2000; it's got to be at least 350-188 in the Electoral College, and the GOP has to pick up seats in both houses of Congress. It's got to mean a new entry on Terry McAuliffe's résumé, and a large hole in George Soros' wallet. It's got to be big enough to leave them wondering "Where did we go wrong?"

I just told you. And once you've cleaned up your act, I'll still be here. Because, after all, I am the Loyal Opposition.

Posted at 9:02 AM to Political Science Fiction


TrackBack: 9:56 AM, 19 May 2004
» Carnival of the Vanities #87 from Dispatches from the Culture Wars
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside. I thought about coming up with some really clever theme for this week's Carnival. I thought about doing it like a real carnival barker, telli......[read more]

TrackBack: 2:16 PM, 19 May 2004
» Another Democrat that gets it! from democrats give conservatives indigestion
My goodness, they're springing up out of the woodword! This post was featured in today's Carnival of the Vanities, but I wanted to make certain you didn't miss it! I'm not defending everything that's been done in Iraq by any......[read more]

Agreed! But I feel you ended your post too soon. Even though things sometimes have to get worse before they get better, the Bush Administration doesn't deserve a free ride in this thing either. Both parties need a wake up call by voters and non-voters alike. I become more convinced each day that changing our election process is desperately needed. And I'm not just talking about the Electoral College either. But that discussion will never happen until American voters start basing their vote on something more than acronyms.

Posted by: Mike at 12:43 PM on 16 May 2004

Lieberman's position on Iraq was wrong, its been proven wrong and he still has yet to admit it.

What's noble about that? Why should Democrats line up behind that record of failure?

I consider it a miracle of luck that the Democrats dodged the Liberman bullet. He was the worst of the worst candidates and he would have lost in a landslide as progressives came to realize that his positions ARE NOT in line with liberal values on issues like Iraq. On other issues he looks good but he is lacking in core liberalism that Democrats look for in a candidate.

In case you haven't noticed he has lost most of his core support and his extremely poor showing in the presidential primaries, despite being extremely well positioned says that people of progressive/liberal tendencies do not like the man's positions.

Posted by: bruce at 6:38 PM on 16 May 2004

That's a ... novel theory, bruce.

I think more people in the Democratic Party agree than disagree with Lieberman about Iraq, but distrust him because he sold out everything he believed in to be Gore's running mate.

In any case, people of liberal/progressive tendencies aren't going to decide this presidential election. They never have yet.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:20 PM on 16 May 2004

Well McGehee, considering we disagree on the fundamental definition of liberal... fire breathing, baby eater's who would vote for Osama rather than Bush... we might both be right.

Lieberman did moderate his views when he was the Gore VP running mate, this gave him some steam coming into this election primary, but then he opened his mouth and let his real political views come out..

re: my theory, how do you explain that a well known senator who rode a nearly winning ticket couldnt even pull past the low double digits? Tha man should have been a steamroller!

Posted by: bruce at 2:37 PM on 17 May 2004

Maybe because people don't vote for (or against) the running mate? Or maybe because they realized they couldn't trust anything he said after he sold out everything he really believed in, back in 2000? Which is what I said in my previous comment! Yeesh! Are all you lefties denser than neutronium, or is there really only one, touring the blogosphere using different names to comment on different blogs?

Lieberman did moderate his views when he was the Gore VP running mate...

"Moderate"? "Moderate"!? He went from a moderate-to-liberal to a Gore-like raving lunatic leftie.

Lord, bruce, how's the weather over there in Bizarro world?

Posted by: McGehee at 4:29 PM on 17 May 2004

Hey, he's only 110 miles from me, fercryingoutloud.

Speaking of running mates, I ran off at the mouth at Tagorda's place, to the effect that I couldn't support the ticket no matter who was #2, be it Halle Berry, Dave Barry, or Cheri Oteri. Obviously I'm not drinking enough, or something.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:34 PM on 17 May 2004

So, Charles...

I guess that means you'll be filling in your (completely secure, accountable, accurate, trackable, low-tech) Oklahoma scan-tron ballot for GWB this year? ;-)

Posted by: Dan Lovejoy at 2:17 PM on 19 May 2004

Um, there's a reason they call it a secret ballot.

Posted by: CGHill at 4:48 PM on 19 May 2004


The function of a loyal opposition is to agree with what the party in power says?

Even if the party in power fails to advance credible evidence of its claims (WMD in Iraq, connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq, etc)?

Even if the claims of the party in power notably fail to be vindication post ex facto?

That is what qualifies as an 'opposition' party?

Posted by: NBarnes at 5:00 PM on 19 May 2004

Well, we keep finding bits and pieces of WMDs — unless you think, say, a gallon of sarin is insignificant, in which case I invite you to pour some onto your porch — and, as it turns out, al-Qaeda did a fairly sloppy job of covering its tracks. You'd know this, of course, if you'd been paying attention.

BushCo, on the domestic front, comes off as something less than laudable. But the idea of handing over the nation's foreign policy to someone who worries more about what people think of us than whether people are shooting at us — well, I'd just as soon not contemplate that this close to dinnertime.

Posted by: CGHill at 5:35 PM on 19 May 2004