Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

7/17/2006

Incompetent Dems

Filed under: Politics — Dangerous Dan @ 9:10 pm

One thing that has truly amazed about American politics in the past four years is that no matter how many problems the Republicans have, how many missteps they make, scandals that pop up (real, imagined, and exaggerated), or how low Bush's approval ratings go, the Democrats have been utterly bereft of vision and have been completely clueless as how to take advantage of any of it. What has kept the Republican party in power the last several election cycles, more than anything, has been the Democrats' complete incompetence. The Dems can't find their ass with both hands and the Repubs can at least manage to land one hand on a buttock when they go looking for it.

As I've skewed more libertarian (with a strong conservative streak) and seen the bang-up domestic job the Repubs have done with their majority status (yet more bread and circuses, bigger government, more pork, poor execution of priorities, and giving up when the going gets tough) I'm no friend of the Republican party, though I usually vote for them only because Dems are far more distant from my politics. So it is with some amusement and consternation that I watch the opposition party constantly being given golden opportunities to make inroads on the majority and to be a responsible minority party and then just messing up every time. Plamegate, Tom Delay's indictment, Duke Cunningham, Iraq, and others and the Dems haven't been able to make a single thing of any of them.

And now there are high hopes among Dems that they'll be able to retake the House in this year's election and possibly gain in the Senate. I wouldn't count on it. These same hopes were around in 2002 and 2004 and look what happened.

Some liberals like to tell themselves the fairy tale that they lose because they don't play dirty like the Republicans do or that they just don't know how to play dirty. Anybody who tells himself that is lying to himself. Both sides come to play, but at this point in American politics, the Dems just aren't very good at it. That is, they know how to play dirty politics and they do it; they just don't do it very well.

Ultimately, it comes down to leadership and vision and the Dems lack both. Harry Reid’s a stuffed shirt, Nancy Pelosi comes off as a San Fran loonball, and then there’s Dean. The Dems did themselves no favor by selecting Howard Dean as their party chairman. It's still amazing that they picked as their dear leader a guy with a failed presidential run whose campaign famously imploded and who amassed a phantom internet funding empire. What, was Gary Hart too busy? Typically, an organization chooses a proven winner to lead it, not a loser who became an instant punchline and who has a reputation for amazing soundbites.

And then the vision problem. Dean and the Dems can't seem to figure out anything to say about themselves other than that they're not Republicans. Here's Howie at a speech last week:

You know, people say the Republicans are tough on defense. How can you be tough on defense if five years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still at large, the Iranians are about to get nuclear weapons, North Korea's quadrupled their nuclear weapons stash. . . .

Explain to me how it is that this president is tough on defense? I think this president is weak on defense and he's hurt America because he hasn't done the right thing.

So what do you propose instead? What's that? Eh? Speak up!

Oh, but don't worry, through magic fairy dust, we wouldn't even be in this situation now:

If you think what's going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn't, because we would have worked day after day after day to make sure we didn't get where we are today. We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together the Northern Irish and the IRA, when he brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians.

That's right, due to the persistence of the Democrats in an alternate timeline, they would have been able to salve over a centuries old problem. And they'd have the moral authority of Bill Clinton who popped in for a photo op for the Oslo Accords (but did no work in the matter) and who failed spectacularly at the end of his presidency to broker an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. That failure (to be fair, it was mostly because Arafat was a snake not interested in peace) led to the latest ongoing intifada, which got to us to where we are today. Ironic? Sure.

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