Thursday, November 08, 2007


I Write Letters

My local Blue-Dog Rep's Newsletter was about "honoring the Vets. on Veterans' Day" or some such, so I fired this e-mail off to him:

Rep. Boyd,

Today in my e-mail inbox, I received a newsletter from you asking us
to honor our veterans. Perhaps the best way to honor our veterans is
to make sure that they have not served in vain but rather to protect
our freedom. Perhaps the best way to honor our veterans is to ensure
that our involvement in Iraq ends swiftly so that soon to be veterans
can come home before this war takes any further tolls on them.

And yet, the Democratic party, elected to a majority in Congress do
something about the war, elected to do something about President
Bush's assaults on the freedoms which so many veterans have fought to
defend, has failed to place any meaningful checks and balances on
President Bush. I urge you and your fellow Democrats to start showing
some spine in opposition to President Bush, to start showing some
party unity in message in your opposition to the horrendous policies
of our current President.

True, many Democrats fear that by opposing Bush's war-mongering they
will look weak, that by putting up a unified partisan face, they will
look partisan. But, as that great hero of America and the Democratic
party, FDR, once famously said, "the only thing we have to fear is
fear itself." Ironically, it is the very weakness of the Democrats in
opposing Bush, the bully at home, that convinces people that the
Democrats are too weak to deal with bullies abroad; it is the
Democrats' failure to unify around a message -- that some Democrats
insist on trying to present themselves as "moderate" while inevitably
presenting other Democrats as "radicals" -- that makes those who do
oppose Bush seem "partisan" rather than representative of the majority
of Americans.

The media may allow the President and his allies to present their spin
while they muddle the Democratic message, and the pundits may, pace
the Federalist Papers which describe how political ambition can secure
liberty, be aghast that politicians act politically, the media may
then turn around and sneer at the GOP enough so that people, including
evidently a fair number of Democratic politicians, think the media is
on our side (c.f. Eric Alterman on "playing the refs"). But if
Democrats stand strong, together and on message, no matter whom the
media chooses to speak to, the American people will learn that the
Democrats stand for them -- not for some idol of bipartisanship or
that a few Democrats are partisan bomb throwers; the American people
will learn that the Democrats stand for liberty and justice for all,
no matter how the media tries to frame the issues.

But first the Democrats have to take a stand and take it in a
graceful, unified and well-articulated manner. I urge you and your
fellow Democrats to do such a thing.

[D. Alberich S.]

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