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We’re not as bad as the other guys

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

I found it disturbing when people would defend some of our mistakes in Iraq by claiming we were better than Saddam, as if our goal was merely to be somewhat less evil than an authoritarian dictator who gassed his own people and ran rape rooms in his torture prison.  It appears the Democrats are using a similar strategy going into November: at least we’re not as bad as the GOP, right?

When DNC chair Tim Kaine was on the Daily Show a week or two back, Jon Stewart rightly lambasted him for the absurdity of their “Don’t give them the keys” approach.  Kaine had no real retort other than the tired statements of GOP perfidy.  Sure, the GOP did a lot of stupid venal petty shit during their years in power.  So, Dems, what are you doing different? They don’t seem to have a very compelling argument in their favor.

I could list all the ways in which I’m disappointed in the current administration and the Democrats in Congress, but Glenn Greenwald has a great piece today which has many nice links and great points to make.  Unlike some of his articles, this one is not biased against the GOP.  Greenwald is very clearly documenting the failures of the Democratic party, and even if you’re happy to see the Dems fail, it’s interesting to see in one place all the many ways in which they are using fearmongering and low expectations to try to hold onto power (power they haven’t really taken advantage of while they had it).

Change you can…definitely not see.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
it's easier to punish those in power in a multi-party system because someone won't have had their hands dirty recently. in a two party system there aren't many choices, so unless someone has been out of power for a long time, everyone's hands are dirty.

Your arguments are valid, however, given the lack of options, going more GOP and rewarding them for what they have done in the last two years doesn't sound like a better option to me.
Sep. 14th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
I can see plenty of merit in that point, but if you're trying to excite your base and maybe even some of the independent voters, there has to be a better message than, "we're not quite THAT evil." It would be easier to come up with a different message if they'd actually accomplished much that people wanted. Public option, DADT repeal, not giving trillions to bankers who keep it in giant Scrooge McDuck vaults... whatever.
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I agree that in trying to excite your basse, you've got to make a better argument, and democrats are acting ashamed of what they have accomplished by not talking about it, but they are operating in a theatre of fear that talking about what excites the base will turn off the independents. This is almost certainly wrong, given their likely GOP opponents. It's also true that primaries are still going on. I hope that when the election really heats up they come up with something better... however, I am not holding my breath. I keep wondering where there democratic operatives are with the cajones to be proud of being democrats and what they stand for. FDR would be ashamed.
Sep. 14th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
What have they accomplished that would make good copy?
Sep. 14th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
you mean like "good copy" that fits on a bumper sticker? Or actually good things they've done?

And again, my point was that what counts as "good" to the base, may not count as "good" to independents, and certainly not to conservatives or libertarians. Which bias am I appealing to?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )