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This is in response to Delaware Dem's diary about the conflict between the political activists who want to go to the mattresses over ScAlito, and pragmatic political junkies who say this is a losing effort and our resources should be concentrated on strategy for future ballot box battles.

DD accuses activists of lacking situational understanding and implies we are not reality-based to insist on a do or die fight over BorkThomasScAlito, because we can't win.

Well, maybe we can't win.  But that is a poor reason not to fight.  I hate to bring up Texas in a positive context at a time like this, but when everything is on the line you fight as hard as you can even in a losing cause.  Remember the Alamo.

All great causes look hopeless and even silly at the start.  A group of slaves petitioned the Massachusetts legislature to abolish slavery in 1773.  Talk about having no chance of winning--what was the point?  "Nothing" happened as a result of the Seneca Falls convention in 1848.  It was obvious that women could never get the right to vote until men voted to give it to them--a seeming impossibility.  Men and women were starved and beaten and killed in the effort to organize for collective bargaining and better working conditions--what a lost cause when the owners had all the money and all the power.  It was political suicide for the Democrats to include civil rights in their platform in 1948.  It just split the party and empowered the Dixiecrats.

If you wait to fight until you are sure you can win, then you never begin to fight.  If you are only going to fight when you are assured of victory, it is even easier for an evil opponent to defeat you.  All they have to do is intimidate you into thinking you can't win.  Then you roll over for them without their ever having to put up or shut up in an actual fight and prove you can't win.  That's really giving the other side more power than they actually have and more power than they deserve.  Make them earn it.  Don't just hand it to them.  Don't wave the white flag before the first shot is fired.  Make them use their ammunition!  Nuclear option?  Call their bluff!  If nothing else, be the mosquito that annoys the hell out of them and drains their resources.  No uncontested seats!

This is a time to draw a line in the sand.  This is a time to fight.  And not about Roe, but about whether we want a president or a King.  It's about whether we want one party control of the White House, Congress and Supreme Court.  It's about whether we want to have private conversations without being overheard by RoveCo; about whether the power of the presidency can be used to punish political enemies without recourse or consequence; about whether Bush can make people disappear indefinitely without trial and without access to counsel; about whether the president can do anything he wants in time of war even if Congress, the SCt and the Constitution say it is illegal.  Most of the American people are with us on those issues.

It's also about Roe, of course, and whether women are equivalent moral actors with men, with equal ability to make life and death decisions.  It's about women's rights in general: whether wives can make their health care choices on their own or notify their husbands just as children must notify their parents.  And speaking of children, can ten year olds be strip searched at the whim of the police?  Can four year olds be put on no-fly lists?

Can progressive churches can be punished for preaching peace while conservative churches are subsidized by the taxpayers for promoting the president's political agenda?  Can conservative denominations determine the secular legal standard of behavior with respect to sex, marriage, child-bearing, child-rearing, end-of-life care, and educational standards and access from elementary school to graduate school?  And can conservative religious leaders be allowed to define morality only in terms of sex and its consequences, and not in terms of: caring for the poor and disadvantaged; lies, greed and hypocrisy in the exercise of power; killing and imprisoning civilians in a war of choice; unjust application of the death penalty; economic and physical exploitation of workers; and general stewardship of the earth?

Most important, it's about whether we want cabinet officers and justices on the highest court of the land to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or whether it is OK to be CondoLIEza Rice, John Ashcroft, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito: conservatives who are ashamed of their true views, afraid to be open about their political agenda, who can only get confirmed to cabinet posts and lifetime appointments to S.Ct. seats by hiding and dissembling and outright lying about what they really believe.

This is a time to fight even if we are sure to "lose."  This is not the only battle, it is one in a string of battles.  We will win some and lose some.  When we first begin to fight, we may lose them all.  But we are building a foundation to inspire those who come after us and give them hope that one day we will win.

When the Roberts/Thomas/ScAlito court starts doing outrageous things we want people to remember we warned them.  We want to be able to say "Don't Blame Me, I'm from Massachusetts" -- we did everything in our power at the time to stop them.  Never has it been more important to be on the right side of history.  "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

What follows is a delicate analogy, and I may get blasted for it, but since we are talking about the perceived strength of the "daddy party" I think it is relevant, and it is based on a true story.

There was a couple where the woman was raped.  A guy broke into their basement apartment at night when they were both home.  The man of the couple sized up the guy, decided he couldn't take him in a fight, and basically did nothing while the woman was raped.  He made a perfectly rational judgment that he would get beaten to a pulp by this guy and his girlfriend would still be raped anyway, so it didn't seem like a reasonable choice for him to get injured and still be unable to prevent the sexual assault.  He did all the right things after it was over--comforted her, put bars on the windows and got better locks for the doors, but the relationship was permanently damaged.  Was she justified in expecting him to risk serious injury in a losing effort?  Was she justified in using that as a measure of the depth of his previously professed deep love for her?  Would she have more respect for a man who put himself at risk on her behalf in such a situation, even if he knew he could not win?  What do you think?

I love my country.  The core of what this country was founded on is under attack in so many different areas I can't even begin to list them all.  I have more respect for the politician who tries to stop the assault and gets slapped down, even bloodied, than for the one who sits on his hands and says look, this is one I just can't win, but I promise I'll give it a good try at some point in the future when I think I have a better chance.

The assault is happening now.  What are you going to do about it now?  Even if the little you can do doesn't seem like enough, do it anyway.  Make a statement.  Stand on principle. Send a message about the measure of your love for this country and commitment to the ideals on which it was founded.

There may not be a "later" for any of us if we don't show the depth of our commitment NOW.

Originally posted to TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:40 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm aware of the revisionist history (4.00)
    that says the Alamo wasn't everything we were taught it was.

    But as a rallying cry, it still has power.  I'm just using the phrase "Remember the Alamo" almost as literary shorthand: Fight even when it seems hopeless, because even if you lose, you may ultimately win.

    Every single progressive victory in history was achieved based on that principle.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:46:35 AM PST

  •  I'm aware of the revisionist history (none)
    that says the Alamo wasn't everything we were taught it was.

    But as a rallying cry, it still has power.  I'm just using the phrase "Remember the Alamo" almost as literary shorthand: Fight even when it seems hopeless, because even if you lose, you may ultimately win.

    Every single progressive victory in history was achieved based on that principle.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:47:25 AM PST

  •  sorry about the double post (none)
    if an administrator sees this diary early and can delete one of them, be my guest.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 01:52:23 AM PST

  •  Good point - "Fight, or lose" (4.00)
    If you wait to fight until you are sure you can win, then you never begin to fight.

    We must fight this nomination, because by stacking the courts we lose not only Roe v. Wade and 30 years of law precedent; we'll also have little chance of convicting this Administration of their criminal actions, or protecting our elections (and what little integrity they may still hold), or getting to the bottom of several investigations.  In short, we lose the country.

    We cannot afford to paint our nation into a corner from which only coordinated & potentially violent or illegal actions will be the only course for those who wish to re-establish our Constitutional rights & freedoms.

    For me, "I have not yet begun to fight" doesn't apply.  I'm fighting now, with my pen - it's the weapon of choice that I am best versed in.

  •  A man's reach must surely exceed his grasp (4.00)
    else what are the stars for?

    Thank you for this post.  Of course we have to fight, otherwise we're just sheep already shorn of our wool, waiting quietly for the bolt to the base of the skull.  

    W - all boots & hat, no cattle

    by Mosquito Pilot on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 04:18:02 AM PST

  •  Weighing P's & C's (4.00)
    As I said in GreyHawk's post, I've spent a great deal of time weighing the pros and cons of making a stand now, against confirmation. Both strategies might do severe damage. Therefore, it's much better to go down fighting. I say make a stand! History is riddled with tales of grabbing victories from the jaws of defeat!

    Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time.

    by cRedd on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 06:11:31 AM PST

  •  AMEN (none)
    Now or never.  If we get rolled on this battle, we'll get rolled on the next one, too.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Fri Jan 13, 2006 at 08:46:21 AM PST

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