Saturday, November 26, 2016

Memories of 2004, Part Three

Back in 2004, we on side of the angels were staggered to discover that 62M Americans would choose to put their higher cognitive functions in cold storage and instead take council of their fear and spite and invincible ignorance by handing the country back to a manifestly and criminally incompetent administration led by an idiot who had gotten creamed in every presidential debate.

(Fun fact!  Within five years, most of the meatheads and weasels who were crowing from the rooftops in 2004, touting George Bush as the greatest leader since Charlemagne and bragging about making the Libtards cry were busy doing exactly what we predicted they would do:  burning their Bush/Cheney lawn signs, calling themselves "Independents" and swearing on the lives of their children that they had never even heard of George W. Bush.)

So as you might imagine, the question of "What to do next?" came up a lot.

Here was one loud and clear reply to that question from the late Steve Gilliard.

From Steve's blog, 11/5/04:
What to do next?

After seeing Bush's nauseating press conference, I realized this isn't 2000. He's not getting a chance. Even the Daily News, which endorsed him, prays he won't lie any more. I bet Laura said the same thing before he went to rehab.

Look, let me say a couple of things:

1) Leadership is hard. It is a very hard thing and sometimes you have to make the hard decisions.

John Kerry did.

Ask yourself this: in the opposite position, do you think George Bush wouldn't have ripped this country up to keep his job, even if the numbers weren't with him?

George Bush doesn't make hard decisions. He makes easy, simple ones. And while it would have felt good to smack Bush around a bit, it would have only delayed the inevitable.

So let's get off his back. He did what he had to do, and that was the hard decision. Not the easy one.

Democrats have a nasty habit of turning on their candidates. They ripped into Gore mercilessly. mocked him, even after he lost. Especially after he lost. We WILL NOT repeat that. We need leaders, strong leaders who have a vision for America. And we have them. Not just one, or two, but a room full. We have people who can fight, run and win and who can support down ticket candidates. I can understand what happened after 2000, but now. We were too close, hit too many right notes to turn on each other.

Let the GOP do that.

Because all the fundies who think Bush represents their "family values" are going to get a shock. The GOP has been shining them along for a long time. Why would they stop now?

There seems to be an addiction to the search for the new. Let's avoid that this time. Let's rally around Kerry and Edwards and encourage them to speak for us. Make so that people know them long before 2008. We don't need ideal, we need people who can be trusted and who are familiar. Who can challenge Bush on his schemes.

Why? Because we need presidential quality people to lead the party, not just functionaries. We need to take a page from the Europeans and have candidates around for more than one cycle.

Look, Nixon ran twice, Reagan ran three times (1968,1976,1980). Same with Bush. Michael Dukakis disappeared. Al Gore vilified. Where are the senior leaders who can rally the party and raise money? Let the media talk up Hillary Clinton. They need something to do. But we're gonna do things differently this time. Look, if Kerry got blown out, then yeah, but he didn't. And we will need him when the war turns rotten. Let him be a true liberal statesman and not just a candidate.

2) Bush gets no breaks. He fucks up, we hammer him. We raise all kinds of issues, from his vacation time to his plan to gut social security. They chased Clinton for six years. He never got a chance to breathe. All bad deeds should be punished. Bush wants to act like he has a mandate. Let's not pretend he has one. We oppose him from today. We demand answers for Abu Gharib and the missing explosives. Fuck Andy Sullivan. He doesn't start over and we cut him no slack. None. He speaks, we protest. They say get over it, we say fuck you. You didn't get over Clinton. Nope. Not this time. Because our goal is to drive as many of you from office as possible. We don't want to work with you on gutting social security or some dumbass medical savings plan. We plan on stopping you.

3) We protest this war, and if he dares, a draft. We do what we can to stop this madness. No more arguing over ANSWER or whatever. If they want to march and focus on the issue at hand, which isn't Palestine or Mumia Abu Jamal, but Iraq, fine.

4) Nader was wrong. The two parties are very different. If you don't want to see that, fine. But you're wrong. A lot of people complain about how the Dems are corporate owned. Well, we raised millions this time and we're gonna have to do more, a lot more. And that means everything from school boards to writing letters and giving money. Kerry had to stop fighting, the Dems in Congress better not, if they want to keep their jobs. Accommodation doesn't work in the face of evil. Never has, never will. These people want to kill the New Deal and if we don't fight them every step of the way, they will. And God knows how long that will take to fix. We know Bush is wrong. We have to act like it.

5) Stay involved. Give a damn and do not give into your darkest fears. Stay and fight, and every bit helps. Avoiding Wal-Mart is a start. Tell them why Target gets your dollars instead. Don't just fixate on politics. It's about schools, the media, how you spend your money. If you want to make change, you have to change.

We are a band of brothers and sisters. We can do great things together. But we have to dare to do them. If you want a new America, a better America, you have to build it here, today, now. You cannot wait for someone to do it for you.

Part One here.

Part Two here.


Marc McKenzie said...

Thanks for posting these Driftglass. I'm afraid to say that I never read Steve Gilliard's writings backin '04, but thanks to you I have gone to his blog and corrected that.

He was, of course, correct. And he was also correct about how stupid Nader was, and of course, what we have to do now.

I will say this--as much as I dislike George W. Bush, Donald Trump is already making Bush II look like a Mensa member.

CM said...

//And he was also correct about how stupid Nader was, and of course, what we have to do now.//

Perfect is always the enemy of the good and good enough. People on the left never fucking understand this.