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THE BROOKLYN FACTOR

By       Message GABE HEILIG     Permalink
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I love Washington. Everyone here's got everything figured out, except what matters.


Pardon me-I'm a visiting barbarian from Brooklyn who runs a resume service in the Pentagon. I talk with hundreds of military strategists every year, the brains and workers behind the guys busy yakking to the cameras.

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Here's my take on where we are.

America needs leadership-primal leadership-the living power of unity between mind and soul, something all of us can instinctively feel, and follow. We don't have it yet. Instead, we have a nasty choice between political counterfeits and political cowards.

Let's start with the cowards-the Democrats: or, to be more accurate, Democrumbs, since that's what they settle for. Democrumbs don't get it about winning, so they settle for policy sophistication. Democrumbs think you win by sounding more informed than the other guy. No: you win by beating the other guy. And you win votes by being as emotionally shadowy as voters themselves are. Then they trust you.

In Brooklyn we learn about this.

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It's called Staying Alive.

What should Democrumbs do? Us bums from Brooklyn, we know-Democrumbs need to go for the jugular. Or, to put it in Washington policy lingo, exert some "primal leadership". That is: go for the jugular. Everyone has one, even Karl Rove.

Right now, Rove, Cheney, and Bush are afraid the Democrumbs might wake up and notice this. Democrumbs need to wipe off the ashes of defeat and spit them back. Let Bush and his handlers figure out how to justify all their non-mistakes, piling up like bodies in the desert. Let Bush topple off his smirking throne and rejoin the human race.

Ah yes, race-that abiding American issue. Which brings us to: the Republicans-or, to be more precise, the Republicons, still engineering a takeover by the Republicon American Christian Empire (RACE). Substitute gays for Blacks as the current hate object and you get the picture. Republicons have learned how to engineer millions of Christians to dive straight into their shadows, to combine hatred with self-righteousness-and feel patriotic about it. This is a stroke of emotional political alchemy, something Democrumbs don't fathom.

Democrumbs think voters want to be treated nicely. Republicons know better: they understand the human shadow. They know that many red-blooded voters want to kick somebody in the gut-or feel like they just did. Republicons even gut-kick their own voters-that's how committed they are to principle. They divide tax spoils among their backers, not their voters, then cover their tracks with laws that do the opposite of what they're called: The No Child (Except Yours) Left Behind Act, The Healthy (Clear-cut) Forests Act, and The (We're the Only True) Patriot Act.

In Brooklyn, we call this "bullshit." That's a technical term, by the way, not a profanity. Bullshit = what people say when they're not willing to tell them the truth. And the more important the truth they're not telling, the bigger the load of bullshit. Republicons are bullshit artists who paint their masterpieces on the canvas called Reality. But history is a cell in which all of us sit, with mirrors on every wall and only one door out. The handle to that door is called Truth, and Republicons fear it like vampires fear garlic.

America faces this sad truth: Democrumbs have no guts and Republicons have no soul. If Republicons can build a soul, maybe they'll create victories for more than just their base. (Anyone care to bet on this?) And if Democrumbs can grow some spine, maybe they'll learn how to win, period. (Me-I'm betting on the 'crumbs, but I'm not emptying my wallet.)

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My advice to Democrumbs: let history work its will, since you don't seem to have one of your own yet. Rove and the 'Cons are looking to sucker you into taking the long fall they see coming in Iraq. They got you to vote for the war last time. They want to pin it on you again. They know the score: spinners yak first-history bats last.

We're living in an era when the fan of history is spinning faster and faster, and plenty stuff's heading straight at the wall. The country feels what's happening. We're not used to it, but at a certain level of pain the truth becomes unmistakable.

In the meantime, the lies keep coming from the 'Cons, which only makes the truth easier to feel. Most of us judge the truth in our bodies, in our emotional, physical, and moral bodies. We can feel a lie. And we're feeling it.

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Since 1993, I've run the only commercial resume service ever given a lease to do business in the Pentagon. Other than that, I'm a poet and novelist/screenwriter who's been a consulting speechwriter for the Department of State and The White House.

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