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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Backbone wanted

Beltway Democrats are having the vapors because a few outspoken, high profile people like Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi are suggesting an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Oh gosh, oh golly, that's the worst idea since Dean's scream, says one Georgia Democrat (or is that the only Georgia Democrat?)

The agita comes as Vice does what he does best: head off to secure location and slander administration foes as traitors. "That would be unwise in the extreme," says Vice about immediate withdrawal, being an expert on both lack of wisdom and extremism.

Can we get a new script please?

Polls show there is a strong sentiment in the country that we are on the wrong track in Iraq. There are basically three schools of thought: Bush bitter-enders; set a timetable and turn it over to Iraqis; and get out now. The GOP, for the most part, represent the bitter-enders. 'My president got us here and I will ride with him straight off that cliff,' they say in the spirit of LBJ backers. Democrats, for the most part, populate the other two schools.

Beltway Democrats, however, are auditioning for the role of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz, afraid not simply of a decision, but afraid of debate. Because if they attempt a rational discussion in the face of GOP demagoguery, well, gee whiz, they may look weak.

Guess what, your weakness is showing in your meekness.

The rap against the Democratic Party is not that simply that it is weak on defense. The rap is that it is weak in the knees, afraid to take a position that may offend potential voters. As that paralysis from analysis spreads it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Americans don't trust Democrats because they have become too mealy-mouthed to say what they believe.

W and Vice are as wrong as the day is long but they are not afraid to shoot their mouths off and savage their critics. Their courage is on display by the fact they now only speak at military bases and tightly controlled GOP fund-raising events.

Democrats prefer to savage themselves if one or two people suggest that maybe we try to talk about issues of substance.

The donkey party's chances of regaining the House and Senate look fairly decent right now because of GOP corruption and the coup staged by the religious hard right doesn't sit well with lots of open-minded people.

But if the Beltway "leaders" continue to behave like jackasses and cringe in their shadows rather than discuss withdrawal options favored by a majority of Americans, they will continue to be targets for the GOP attack machine that has virtually nothing else going for it.

Maybe Beltway Democrats should read of the part of the Scarecrow and wish for a brain.


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