Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dealing with trash left by Wingnuts

Digby at Hullabaloo makes some important points on what the Democrats MUST remember if they get a majority in this election. I've tacked on some excerpts here but go read the whole piece it's excellent.
Taking Out The Trash

That "majority of the majority" is especially important when looking at this period of Republican rule. In one of the most cynical decisions of their reign (and there have been many) they consciously governed without any support from the opposition, even to the point of scuttling popular bipartisan legislation rather than allowing the opposition to participate in any meaningful way. There has never been a case of partisanship so severe in American history.

Throughout this period they successfully manipulated and co-opted the media in a thousand different ways. Their decades long project to mau-mau the press about its alleged liberal bias and the emergence of rightwing media served to obscure this story as it was unfolding. The leaders of the political media became ensconced in the new Republican political establishment and reflected their attitudes and biases.

Probably the starkest illustration of that was
this famous comment about Bill Clinton by the dean of the Washington Press Corps:
"He came in here and he trashed the place," says Washington Post columnist David Broder, "and it's not his place."

He was ostensibly speaking about the president having an affair but it is redolent of the common Republican view that after Ronald Reagan, the Republicans had a permanent lock on the presidency that was rudely foiled by this interloper. Republicans constantly mentioned that Clinton won with a 43% plurality and therefore, 57% of the nation had rejected him. Oliver North even said "he's not my commander in chief," during his unsuccessful race for the Senate. Senator Jesse Helms said [Bill Clinton] "better watch out if he comes down here [to North Carolina]. He'd better have a bodyguard."


The kind of "bipartisanship" that the old lions are constantly going on about was killed in the 80's and 90's by a political machine that consciously set out to demonize first liberals and then Democrats. David Broder and his friends in
Washington can't wrap their minds around the fact that there was a deliberate right wing strategy to kill bipartisanship because they reluctantly went along with it, were duped by it or embraced it themselves.

--So, why am I taking this little trip down memory lane of which most of you are all too well aware and need need no reminding? Because we are very possibly going to win this election and you can very confidently place a large bet in Las Vegas that the cries to end the partisanship will be deafening. I have little
doubt that the entire Washington press corps is gearing up for a full scale vapor-fest if the Democrats attempt to demand even the slightest bit of accountability for the past six years of corruption and failure. The Democrats have to accept that they will once again be fighting the entire political establishment.

We may win this one but we are basically the janitors, winning the contract to clean up after the conservative frat boys trashed the place for the last few years. And Daddy Broder believes it when his boys tell him it was the cleaning people who caused all the damage because he just can't bring himself to admit that they are out-of-control misfits because they come from good families and dress so nicely when they come to the club. We need to make sure the dean and all his friends have their noses rubbed in what their boys have been up to all these years before we can ever hope to do anything but take out the garbage and change the sheets every few years.


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