Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Post Mortem

I don't know quite what to say this afternoon. This year has been very hard for me politically, and being the kind of person I am it has therefore taken an emotional toll as well.

As the presidential campaign began in 2003 I frankly was not very engaged. I didn't believe that the Democratic party knew how to beat Bush and I didn't see any of the Democratic candidates being able to take him. But I am a believer in the old adage, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. When the mainstream media and mainstream politicians began attacking Howard Dean I took a second look at him and I liked what I saw.

I thought that Dean could beat Bush. I believed that we needed a candidate who wasn't afraid to define the GOP, instead of waiting for them to define Democrats. I thought we needed an anti-war candidate. We needed someone who would say that the occupation of Iraq was a huge mistake. Despite Kerry's vote in favor, Bush's lies would have made it easy for him to say that he based his vote on a belief in the existence of WMD. Instead he insisted that he still would have supported the occupation. Doug Ireland tells us why this was a fatal error.

When the Dean campaign was destroyed by the corporate media and the DNC and DLC I was very, very angry, but I realized I had to accept it and move on to the probable nominee, John Kerry. I then got my second kick in the stomach as I watched Kerry campaign. He was clearly an empty suit. He allowed himself to be framed as a flip flopper and the most liberal Democrat in the Senate. Because there was no response from him or the DNC the words stuck. Just one week ago I heard someone who said he wanted Kerry to win refer to him as the most liberal Senator.

In the past month I became more optimistic about Kerry's chances. The increases in new voters made me think that Kerry could pull it off. Unfortunately, I was right the first time. I was right when I decided to miss most of the Democratic convention. I didn't see the Dems having a clue, not even a tiny clue, about how to convey a message that voters needed to hear in order to vote for them.

Rather than repeat myself I will refer you to what I have said already in my Black Commentator column. In my September 9th column, The Unthinkable, Bush Wins I spoke of my frustration that Kerry and the Dems continued to dismiss the Democratic base, especially the peace movement. How is it possible for a sitting president to have 400,000 people take to the streets against him at his convention while the opposition acts as though nothing happened?

On September 30th I talked about what we should do today. In the November 3rd Movement I said the following.

"The clumsiness of John Kerry on the campaign trial is not only a reflection of Kerry the man, but of the dysfunction promoted by the hapless Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Leadership Conference. The only outcome worse than a Kerry defeat, would be continued deference to the people who made it happen. "

My friends, it is time to act on my long standing fantasy and give Terry McAuliffe a good old fashioned beat down. Bill Clinton needs a few licks as well. I held off linking to this Counter Punch piece about the true corruption of Terry McAuliffe, Bill Clinton's boy, and the entire party apparatus as well. The time has come to lay it all on the line. Our party is run by hacks and crooks, and the sooner we acknowledge it the sooner we can begin to change things.

We have to become the leadership. We have to run for office. The Democrats who let us down have to face primary challenges. If you say you want a revolution, and you ought to, now is the time to act like it.