I had a few notes asking that I re-post this diary today, so at the risk of drawing some flak (not a lot of experience with this phenomenon), here 'tis.
Ok, so it's a new baseball season, which I celebrate with an old baseball cliche.
Nonetheless, as I peruse the topics on which folks have offered diaries over the last few days, I congratulate the writing and the passion, but I worry about the direction.
We are taking on:
- Michelle Bachmann-Palin
- Glenn Beck
- Sarah Palin-Bachmann
- Rush Limbaugh
- Issues du jour
If this is our focus, we lose.
Whatever happens between now and November that is not a huge disruptive force, we can be sure of one thing -- the Republicans will be focused on beating Democrats. Democrats are Socialists. Democrats are Fascists. Democrats want to expand government and pilfer your families' incomes. Democrats are coming for your guns. Democrats = Bad.
They don't even need to do the "Republicans = Good" part, if they can hammer the "Democrats = Bad" message hard enough. Lord knows, they have enough willing victims and have loaded up on enough verbal ammunition (if not the real sort).
As long as the message and the focus from the Democratic side of the nation's aisle is around the menage of issues I listed above, and more, the Democrats are making themselves more vulnerable, not less. A lack of focus, overconfidence, lassitude, self-satisfaction, a willingness to take on every nutty thing that comes from the right, a willingness to take on every speech that comes from the center and left, and, yes, self-absorption will give Republicans all they can ask for and more. We know there is a Leninist discipline to the conservative orthodoxy -- it is enforced by the party and even more by the Tea Parties. This is what sustained the Republican ascendancy over the last 20 years. TWENTY YEARS! To have anything but shock and horror over that statement is to begin to concede to another period in which the Democrats watch and complain while this nation is led into the dark.
Folks, let's get the focus on the right subject: the repeated, continued and abject failures of the right in the United States of America.
Let's remind ourselves of the litany of failure:
They created a financial crisis through deregulation. Twice. Once in the 80's with savings and loans, and again in 2008 with non-bank mortgages and securitization of high-risk assets.
Their staunchest friends ran companies that bilked hundreds of thousands of people out of their jobs and retirement funds when the companies ran out of control.
They refused to investigate and, indeed, expanded contracts for billions of dollars to companies whose work was so shoddy that they led to the deaths of American service people in the field.
They refused to investigate and, indeed, expanded contracts for billions of dollars to companies whose employees indiscriminately raped and murdered innocent civilians in the country they were hired to help.
They deny scientific evidence and the overwhelming majority opinion of the scientific community that we are warming our planet, perhaps disastrously, with carbon dioxide emissions.
They gave $1.6 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy in 2002 and 2003, kicking off a deficit of 6% of GDP, greater than any since the Reagan tax cuts of the 80's -- which led at that time to US taxpayers spending $0.30 of every tax dollar on interest to service that debt.
They lie to protect insurance company profits, scaring older folks into thinking the government wants to kill them.
They criticize American industry while taking donations from foreign manufacturers to give them tax breaks to set up shop in their own states.
They started a war without provocation under fabricated pretext, leading to the death of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
They started a justified quest to catch bin Laden, missed him, and have wound up fighting a bunch of religious zealots who don't care about the US, but only want to dominate their own country.
They opened a prison on quasi-US territory to avoid being subjected to the US Constitution in treatment of the captured, most of whom are found to be harmless victims of a broad, nonselective gillnet.
They justified torture of captured combatants after the fact in a failed attempt to cover the lie that Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda.
They create many, many reasons for America to apologize around the world, then accuse the President of apologizing when, in fact, he doesn't. They talk about virtue, then lie like thieves.
They threaten to have their states secede from the Union.
They threaten armed insurrection as the only hope for America.
They incite anti-abortion fervor to such a degree that murder is committed in the cause -- multiple times over multiple years with multiple forms of terrorist tactics. In the name of Christ. If it was in the name of Allah, they'd declare another front in the war on terror.
They preach about individual responsibility and accountability. They hold no one accountable for crimes or mistakes in office. Nice work, Brownie. You too, Bremer. Wolfowitz. Cheney. Rummy. Gonzo. Yoo. And those are just some of the headliners.
They fired honorable and highly competent Federal attorneys who refused to use their offices to prosecute in suppression of political opposition. They replaced those people with political hacks.
They employed inexperienced, ambitious political hacks from fourth-rate law schools to do it.
They tried to appoint another fourth-rate political hack to the Supreme Court, except she wasn't radical enough.
They support teaching the young people of this country the patent untruth that the world was created 6000 years ago in six days, and then claim to leave no child uneducated. They call this "balanced debate" when it is a false choice between scientifically supported evidence and pure faith and speculation.
They cry out that Christianity is persecuted in this country and cite as evidence only that it is prevented from establishing Christianity preferentially over all other religions.
They scream for the prosecution of a president who commits sexual peccadillos, but claim privacy and forgiveness for consorting with young boys, soliciting adulterous homosexual encounters in public restrooms, committing adultery with a woman on a personal staff and the wife of a good friend, soliciting prostitutes, committing adultery with a woman on another continent and charging his taxpaying constituents for the travel to do so, and they try to claim that it's somehow different.
Their so-called growth policies netted 2.0% in annual GDP growth and 0.7% annual growth in real wages over their 30-year period of deregulation and voodoo economics, compared to 2.2% annual GDP growth and 2.3% annual wage growth over the 30 years ending in 1979. Fail.
They support capital punishment everywhere, regardless of innocence or incompetent defense, and promote it in other countries against homosexuality. Killing innocents seems to be a large part of the theme here, just after killing in general and profit-making at everyone else's expense.
They betray the under-educated middle class whom they scare into voting for them, rewarding the top quintile of wage-earners with wage growth 5 times that of the middle quintile, reversing the trend of the "failed liberal policy" years of 1947-1973 in which the middle quintile wages actually grew faster than the top!
These are the failures of the right.
The complete, continued and abject failure by the Republicans MUST be our message.
Republican = Fail.
If we confuse the message, wait too long, don't get involved, don't focus, we will be looking at a Scott Brown problem written all across the Congress. Where will that lead in 2012?
When the opposition has a laser beam concentration on their message, we can only succeed with equal or greater focus.
Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin-Bachmann, Michelle Bachmann-Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and all the rest of the nonsense spewers distract us from the issue: Republican = Fail.
We run around wringing our hands and ginning up clever rebuttals. That is spinning our wheels and granting the field to the right.
Republican = Fail.
John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and the rest can say all the stupid, inflammatory things they want.
Republican = Fail.
Every policy, every candidate needs to focus on correcting the failures of the Republican era, that the Republican era betrayed this country and that it is past.
Republican = Fail.