No more sorry
Democrats these days are such pussies. It isn’t entirely their fault. When you’re a political minority, you can’t afford much swagger. The Republicans have controlled everything since Bill Clinton left office, and even during Clinton’s reign they had Congress locked up and made it difficult for him to get anything done. Before Clinton, of course, was Bush the First and the horrible Ronald Reagan, who ripped Jimmy Carter’s solar panels off the White House and did irreparable damage to our culture. With the election literally around the corner, there’s a lot of talk about a backlash against the Republican dictatorship: perhaps people are finally starting to wake up. If the Democrats do take control of one or both houses of Congress this week, they need to grow a pair and never again allow themselves to be walked on, shut out and shut up the way they have been since George the Moron was appointed – oh, sorry, I meant “elected"- president.
Last Monday former presidential candidate John Kerry, who was in California campaigning for the Democrats, made the following statement before a group of students: “Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq."
There was an immediate, outraged, bipartisan response. John McCain publicly, and repeatedly, called for Kerry to apologize to the troops whose intelligence he’d impugned. Hillary Clinton – becoming ever more moderate as she prepares to run for president – chided Kerry for his tactlessness. The media, eager Bush brown-nosers that they are, was sure to give the incident enough coverage that everyone would have an opportunity to comment. In the wake of the furor, some Democrats canceled appearances with Kerry. George W. Bush himself gave a radio interview to drug-addicted hypocrite Rush Limbaugh in which he expressed his presidential disapproval. Under such pressure, it’s no wonder Kerry caved, and by Nov. 1 the media were gleefully reporting, “Kerry apologizes to troops!" Sure enough, Kerry had released a statement explaining that, “my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about and never intended to refer to any troop."
Contrary to the media spin, however, Kerry’s statement wasn’t a complete cave-in. He also noted, “It is clear the Republican Party would rather talk about anything but their failed security policy." And in a separate interview, he turned the tables on John McCain’s demands for him to apologize, suggesting McCain instead ask Donald Rumsfeld for an apology for the job he’s done in Iraq.
Was Kerry’s remark aimed at President Bush or at our troops? It doesn’t matter, because he was right either way. It’s a scandal in a shot glass. There are undoubtedly some very bright and humane people serving in our armed forces, but the majority is less educated people from the lower echelons of society who have no other skills or ways to make a living. That isn’t a judgment, it’s simply the truth. Kerry had nothing to apologize for. The media that attempted to pummel him into submission, and the Republicans who can’t handle the truth about their disastrous leadership, can and should suck it.
People are dying every day, because of their leader’s blind arrogance and ignorance. Public opinion has turned against the Bush Administration and anti-war sentiment is steadily growing. It makes perfect sense for our elected officials to voice the unhappiness of the populace they serve. The Democrats who folded and turned their backs on Kerry the second he ran into trouble are shameless wusses and deserve no one’s vote.
Howard Dean has more spine than most and has been helping rebuild the Democratic Party, yet he faced a similar crisis in early 2004 when he was a contender for president. In January of that year, at a rally in Iowa following the Democratic Caucus, Dean became a little too excited and punctuated his speech with a red-faced yell. The media went nuts, blowing the incident way out of proportion and playing the “Dean Scream" over and over again, painting Dean as a loose cannon with no emotional control. (A politician showing actual human passion? Can’t have that.) The thing the media ignored and people missed was that Dean was shouting to make himself heard over the cheers of his excited audience. His unidirectional microphone had filtered out the noise of the crowd. Later, some within the media apologized for overplaying the incident, but the damage had been done. Dean came in third for his party’s nomination and shortly thereafter dropped out of the presidential race.
If Democrats do manage to ride the wave of the anti-Republican backlash and take control of Congress (or even half of Congress) this week, they need to buck up and refrain from being spineless milksops in the future. They should assert themselves as morally superior to Republicans, or what Republicans have become. They must stop apologizing for voicing what the people of the land are really thinking. Judging by recent elections that placed public figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse “the Body" Ventura in the governor’s office, the public prefers some humor and human character to cardboard-cutout politicians. Democrats can turn the rising tide of anti-Bush sentiment to their favor, but if they do so, they’ve got to become stronger so as to never allow the Republican monopoly of power to happen again. Frankly, our country can’t afford a repeat.