Monday, February 08, 2010

Party of No and Don't Know

To the Chinese, this is a year of the tiger. It should be the year Dems in D.C. find their spine.

The traditional Asian view of tigers differs from Occidental ones. Tigers are deep in thought and intellect, but very short in temper. The latter is what has been missing among our Dems. Of course, we recommend that they not leave home or enter the House or Senate without their spines.

I'm glad to see that more of us are calling for Congressional Dems and of course that President to call the Republicans' bluff. Make them filibuster, make them openly halt the work of Congress, just because they can. Make them show the American people that the Dems have the ideas and the fixes and they are pathetic, impotent naysayers. Whip out the Victorian era "Fie on you, foul villain!" curses.

A calmer view to the same effect was the admonition today from my favorite Financial Times columnist, Clive Crook. In his, Republicans and the politics of No, he wrote of the disfavor the Obama Administration wallows in:
This shift is remarkable not just for its speed but also for how little the party has done to deserve it. In the longer run, this surge may even hurt the Republicans, because it is rewarding them for having almost nothing to say...The Republicans’ main achievement has been to contain their own internal conflicts. The trouble is, they have done this entirely by uniting against their self-wounding opponents rather than by forging an alternative programme.
The spineless Dems, with a 60, now 59-Senator majority has done the minimal to restore our nation's health after the financial meltdown and eight years of the gigantic borrow-and-spend deficits that marked Bush the Lesser and in many ways his father's and Reagan's administrations.

All that craziness was only too clear in the hoots and cheers the wacky Tea Party folk have been getting and that tundra mayor Sarah Palin got in her Obama-slam speech over the weekend. We should set aside the emotionality of the TPers and the distortions and outright lies of the failed GOP VP candidate. The importance is that many Americans need to believe in those fantasies.

They are frightened and pretend they are being rational and self-righteous. They turn on Obama after a year to fix huge problems 8 to 20 years in the making and ask with Palin how his hope thing has worked out. Sure the thoughts behind the slam are irrational, but they truly need to feel safer, financially, physically and, well, as Americans. They want to believe that with great American effort we can defeat terrorists in a short time, while so many other nations around the world have not been able to in decades. They want to believe in far too many fantasies to record.

Back on planet earth, it's not enough to counter Palin's lies and whittle away at the troubles facing the nation. Dems need to make bold strikes in legislation and execution to keep the recovery underway. The GOP has shown too clearly that they 1) want the Dems to fail so they can get back in Congressional control and be grossly incompetent again and 2) have no proposals or solutions themselves (see Crook's one exception in Paul Ryan).

The Dems need to swallow hard, very hard and say, "Try to stop government and legislation when you have no alternatives. You will fail and the country will see you for what you are." Yes, that takes guts, but it's what those in Congress are supposed to do in hard times. These are as hard as times get, boys and girls.

By the bye, we'll be kicking this can up and down the hall tomorrow, Tuesday, February 9th at 2:30 Eastern on Left Ahead! The live stream is here and the show will be available on both sites and iTunes afterward.

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