Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Moral value Democrats

I have yet to get around to giving my free advice on what the Democrats should be doing - which can't possibly be worse than the advise they have been taking - but in the meantime I recommend this article (or here) by John Nichols as being one of the few wise things I've read. Based on what the grand pooh-bahs in the Democratic Party have been saying, it appears they are headed to a real disaster by turning away from what the majority of Americans support to an attempt to win over the haters. Since they can never win over the haters, this is sheer lunacy, a kind of political suicide by attempting to out-crazy the Republicans and carve off their own political base. Voters will just see it as more opportunism, another goose hunt put on for show. I detect three elements to this new Democratic ideal of becoming the party of what Americans misleadingly call 'moral values':

  1. A tendency towards puritanism in orthodox socialism, best seen in the policies in some communist regimes, where a distaste for certain kinds of human behavior is hidden behind a supposed commitment to socialist purity.

  2. The continuing futile efforts by Democrats to win over those southerners lost when the Democrats did the right thing and embraced the civil rights movement. Ever since these voters were lost, the Democrats have been engaged in a hopeless quest to get them back. Why is it that the Republicans can consistently win Presidential elections with non-southerners - including the fake Texan George Bush, a yuppie New Englander who picked up his accent snorting cocaine in Houston bars and had a fake Potemkin ranch built just in time for his campaign to be the Republican candidate - but the Democrats are stuck on the idea that they must run a southerner?

  3. A desire by the Democrats to find an excuse to avoid their real problem, which is that voters are not fooled and see clearly that they have become the Republican party 'lite', just another political shill for the interests of big corporations. Had Paul Wellstone not been murdered by the Republicans and lived to retirement, you know that he would not have become a multi-millionaire corporate lobbyist. The problems of the Democrats are exemplified by the fact that Tom Daschle, forced into retirement by the voters, will become such a multi-millionaire fronting for large corporate interests. The elite Democrats would prefer not to give up this chance to make millions, so they prefer to pretend that their problem is a problem of these odd 'moral values' - which don't seem to encompass the fact that it is immoral to murder innocent civilians in Iraq - and not a problem with the fact that they are rightly perceived as a hypocritical version of the Republicans, representing greed while pretending to be virtuous.

The stupidest thing you can do in politics is to try to fix a problem you don't have, thus alienating your base, while ignoring the real problems you do have.


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