I have heard, read, and even written about the lack of courage on the part of the Democratic Party. I think perhaps the Democratic Party is being sold a bit short on that issue. I believe there is courage among the Democrats. I think the problem is it's not the kind of courage they need to show. They need to show the courage of the dying.
The Democrats are afraid to take the risk of standing firm on issues. We saw it with Al Gore in 2000. Where he could have easily grabbed hold of the environmental issue as he has recently with his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, he allowed his fear of looking like a raving liberal tree-hugger to steal his thunder. Instead of being true to his issues, he allowed himself to be painted as wishy-washy. We saw what happened.
We saw it with John Kerry in 2004. Instead of lambasting DUBYA on issues such as ethics, starting a war built upon lies, the economy, and so many other issues he could have easily morphed into a true mandate from the people, he argued fine points and fell into trap after trap laid by the Republicans. He even allowed the Swift Boat liars to steal his heroism in Vietnam. Instead of slamming DUBYA as a draft dodger, he let himself be painted as less than heroic. And now, he sends out emails where it seems he has grown the fangs he should have bared in 2004. It is just a bit too late now, John...just a bit too late.
If the Democrats really want to make sure they get what they want, i.e. winning the House and Senate away from the Republicans, they need to learn from their past mistakes. They need to take bold stands, make bold statements, and dare I say it, show a united front in the face of the Republican spin machine.
I have heard Bill Maher on more than one occasion talk about the difference between the Republicans and Democrats is the Republicans have "the courage of their convictions," on their side. No, I disagree. The Republicans don't have courage of convictions; they have the courage of the house.
I am not speaking about the House of Representatives. I say "the house" as it refers to a casino. Anyone who knows anything about gambling knows that the house wins more often. Why? Because that's the way the game is rigged. They make the rules, they own the roulette wheels, and they make the chips.
It's easy to win at poker if you use marked cards, stack the deck, and deal. The Republican political machine is that rigged poker game. They have the media, and highly paid spin alchemists (marked cards). They have the dirty tricksters (stacked deck). They have the song and dance routine down to a fine art (the deal). They cheat at every turn, and it's obviously working for them.
For the Democrats to have any hope, they need to take off the kid gloves. They need to fearlessly show how the game is being rigged. They can't afford to play by the rules. They need to go beyond mudslinging. They need to sling the truth! They need to do this without regard to the possible repercussions. They need to make a real stand, and not get suckered into playing into the hands of the Republicans.
It's not like this is a tall order. Point out the lies that have been told. Point out the violations of ethics. Especially, point out the number of congressmen who have been eating from Abramoff's trough. Point out the lies that lead to the Iraq War. Point out the theft by deception at the gas pumps. Point out the death of the middle class, the increase in the poor, the ruined economy, and the rest of the scars on this country wrought by Republican hands. It's not like it takes a rocket scientist to see there's plenty of things wrong in this country.
The courage of the dying, it's the only thing that is going to work. Don't make the same mistakes made by Gore and Kerry. Make a courageous stand! Call a liar a liar! Call a traitor a traitor! Don't settle for half measures.
It's clear that honesty doesn't seem to mean much to most people. If it did, DUBYA would have never seen the inside of the Oval Office after January of 2005. He wasn't chosen because he was honest, he was chosen because he appeared courageous (and those rigged Diebold voting machines didn't hurt, either).
I hope that the Democrats can find the courage of the dying. It's the only thing that's going to give our country and its citizens a chance. Anything less will only insure that congress will remain what it is today, a huge group of yes men afraid to stand against the corruption and mendacity that is the DUBYA regime.