Monday, November 28, 2011

The Hate

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sends frequent e-mail messages to its mailing list. The list comprises the Democratic Party base, and the purpose of the e-mail is to solicit contributions from the faithful. Here are some of the messages sent out over the last few months:
Guy Cecil, 9/16/2011:
Have you been watching the Republican debates? Jaw-dropping: The Tea Party audience cheered Ron Paul’s suggestion that freedom means letting an uninsured man die. Another audience cheered the 234 executions Gov. Rick Perry has presided over. Michele Bachmann calls the EPA a “job-killing” agency. Clean water and air? Who needs it?

Harry Reid, 9/19/2011:
Rick Perry calls Social Security a “monstrous lie.” Paul Ryan dreams of ending Medicare forever. And the Republican response to the thought of an uninsured coma patient? Grisly, callous shouting from the audience. They want to reverse the steps our country took to care for the sick and prevent our parents and grandparents from living in squalor.

JB Poersch, 9/20/2011:
Fair is fair. But Republicans don’t care about fair. They only care about winning. If our economy is destroyed, so be it. If the middle class withers, tough. If seniors are worried about their Social Security and Medicare, too bad. As long as Republicans control the White House and Congress, they couldn’t care less.

Dick Durbin, 9/28/2011:
Déjà vu. The House Republicans again drove us toward a government shutdown, this time holding hostage the victims of floods, wildfires, and hurricanes. Their ransom demand? The gutting of job-creation programs.

Guy Cecil, 9/29/2011:
Republican presidential candidates call Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” They boast about how many executions they’ve overseen. They stand smug and comfortable as their debate crowd boos a gay soldier serving in Iraq.

James Carville, 9/30/2011:
Picture Washington under total Tea Party control. Mitch McConnell will privatize Social Security. Jim DeMint will end Medicare. And kiss the EPA goodbye since Tea Partiers think clean water tramples on their constitutional right to be poisoned. The Tea Party’s like kudzu – you give ’em an inch, they take MILES.

Guy Cecil, 10/6/2011:
The New York Times just reported on a brand new study on Republican voter suppression tactics, and its findings are worse than any of us could have imagined. According to the report, 5 MILLION voters – more than decided the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections – could be affected by this coordinated GOP effort to skew the 2012 elections.

Guy Cecil, 10/19/2011:
Republican strategists think that Democrats can’t win if they cripple our voter registration activity; if students, minorities, and working Americans aren’t allowed to cast ballots, and if they can disqualify 5 million Americans from voting. That’s why the Koch brothers and their corporate allies are backing a coordinated effort to manipulate the rules in 2012.

Jason Rosenbaum, 10/26/2011:
Last week, every Republican senator filibustered President Obama’s bill to put 400,000 educators and police officers back to work. You read that right: Teachers. And. Police.

Dick Durbin, 10/28/2011:
Republicans have their priorities. America’s middle class isn’t one of them. They’re all about giving more to those who have the most. Helping the 1 percent at the cost of the 99. Boosting billionaires and big corporations while demanding the rest of America pull harder on their own bootstraps.

James Carville, 10/31/2011:
I swear, if Republicans loved Big Oil any more, they’d name their kids ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. Big Oil just posted multibillion-dollar profits – AGAIN – and what are Republicans doing? Filibustering a jobs bill. Refusing to make billionaires pay their fair share. Basically anything they can do for the benefit of their wealthy buddies in the top 1% -- and at the expense of the middle class.

Jason Rosenbaum, 11/4/2011:
For the third time in three weeks, Senate Republicans filibustered a bill to create jobs – this time through rebuilding America’s crumbling roads and bridges. Unbelievable. These lawmakers won’t lift a finger to put people back to work and get our economy moving again.

Guy Cecil, 11/22/2011:
The supercommittee negotiations have failed. Why? Because Republicans simply REFUSED to make billionaires and big corporations lift even one finger to help reduce the debt. In fact, they’re demanding TAX CUTS for their biggest benefactors, the top 1%. Instead, here’s who Republicans think should shoulder the burden: Seniors on Medicare. Middle class families who want to send their children to college.

And so, Republicans are killers. They cheer executions, favor dirty air and water, and enjoy letting the uninsured die. Republicans are homophobic and are without sympathy for victims of floods, wildfires and hurricanes. Republicans are callous and insensitive, and are bent on keeping students, working Americans and minorities from voting.

Do these characterizations seem fair? Is this what is right and natural in America?

It is definitely what is “right and natural” if you are one of the millions of people on the DSCC mailing list. The DSCC embraces the hatred without a second thought. Republicans are bad people, and that is simply a DSCC fact.

I think there is a comparison to be drawn between the actions of the Democratic Party and other political/religious movements throughout history. The Democratic Party positions The Serenity as its version of “heaven on earth” and the hatred of Republicans as the energy for the movement.

Contrast that with the current political/religious movement in Iran. The Iranian theocracy positions its concept of heaven from the Koran and uses the hatred of Jews for its emotional energy.

In the Iranian view of heaven, there are no Jews. In the Democratic Party view of The Serenity, there are no Republicans.

I know: Nothing to see here. Just keep moving…

Update 3/8/2012:
The awareness of political hate is getting stronger.  Note the iconic poster.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Serenity

What do you call the Democratic Party’s collection of ideals? I think “The Serenity” captures it.

America’s Democratic Party is a “bring your own abstraction” kind of movement, where all who come find serenity in their passions being indulged.

Note the political contrast: Republicans are a “one trick pony.” We believe in preserving the founding principles of the Constitution. That’s it. Everything else takes a back seat. Separation of Powers, the Rule of Law, Freedom and Personal Liberty: Those are our tenets. If you’ve got another agenda, go somewhere else.

That “somewhere else” is the Democratic Party. Do you envision a world free of hunger and poverty? That’s what the Democratic Party is all about. Is your passion a world independent of fossil fuels? That’s the Democratic Party. How about world peace, economic equality and freedom from personal stigma? Yes, those are Democratic Party ideals. That's The Serenity.

People are drawn to the Democratic Party because it feels their pain. In the Democratic Party, your ideals have legitimacy and sanctuary in The Serenity.

What drives Republicans crazy is the inconsistency gap between idealism and effect. How can people be for world peace and yet favor a party that supports targeted killing? How can people be for equality and yet support political favoritism?

It might drive Republicans to distraction, but it is the human condition. We accept unexpected consequences when we perceive that an individual means well. We accept the bending of rules when our leaders tell us the ideal is simply not practical at the present time.

The key is perception. As long as we perceive our political party is “with us,” we are tolerant. When that perception embarrasses us, we strike back.

The election of 2012 will be about perceptions and embarrassment. Get ready for the fireworks!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Code of Conduct

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, Founder and Publisher of Daily Kos

The members of our armed services are governed by a Code of Conduct. It is a document that begins, “I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”

It is meant to provide guidance to our soldiers in the event they are captured by an enemy force. It is the document that requires them to provide only “name, rank, service number and date of birth” when questioned in captivity, and to “evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability.”

I’ve wondered if the Democratic Party is governed by a Code of Conduct. It seems that one exists, even though it is unwritten.

Why bring this up? Over the weekend, the Daily Kos had a post from a Diarist that was a spoof on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement (h/t Glenn Reynolds). Here is the title:

The text of the post describes how the Tea Party is engaging in bad behavior. The idea is to entice viewers to read the post, and then have them be surprised by the examples that are linked. Each of the hotlinks connects to coverage of a protest action in the OWS movement, not the Tea Party.

I read the post and then went to the Comments section. That’s where the drama unfolds. The comments range from a simple “WTF?” to a spirited defense of Communism. (One is led to believe that Communism is misunderstood because it has not been implemented properly as yet.)

There is also a sense of violation. The remarks are animalistic in tone. The diarist is characterized as a troll who has defiled the content of the Daily Kos. The intimation is that the person who contributed this post must be either ignorant or terribly naïve. The submission is ridiculed with the intent to intimidate.

If there is a Code of Conduct associated with the Kos Kids, the first paragraph of "The Code" might look like this:
“I am an American with a (D) after my name. I will never accuse another member of the Democratic Party of being a racist. I will never refer to a fellow Democrat as being homophobic or bigoted. I will forever strive to increase the power and authority of the Democratic Party.”
I think that most readers of The Daily Kos are aligned with the Democratic Party. Their solidarity of spirit is their strength.  They have a single-mindedness and devotion that is inspiring.

Unfortunately, that may not be in our best interest.

Refer back to the comments in the highlighted post and the defense of Communism. Wouldn’t an interesting debate question be, “Is Communism a ruse for placing large groups of people under authoritarian regimes?”

Things are getting interesting out there, and the people at the Daily Kos are convinced they know what is best for the rest of us.

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