I think the real story ... the one that has almost gone totally uncovered ... is the one dealing with media ownership rules, and the regulation of station ownership by the FCC.
Guys like Rove, and DeLay, play hardball, that's for sure. Does anyone put it by them to threaten the corporate media? Does anyone put it by the corporate media, to tuck their tail between their legs and play ball?
So many Americans see President Bush as the timid fool on screen in Fahrenheit 9/11, or the half wit smirking his way through a televised press conference. But not the mainstream media. That is side of the President they have almost totally (a few recent exceptions) gone out of their way to avoid showing any hint of.
I am left to wonder why the image of President Bush held by no more than half of Americans (if that many), the image of a strong leader, is the one we have been bombarded with over the last 5 years, and I am left to think it has something to do with politics and media ownership.
Uncle Dick told George to have the SCJ pick selected by Monday morning. Dubya partied all weekend and didn't get it done. He went to work Monday knowing there would be heck to pay when Cheney came in, when he saw Harriet and got an idea.
He was very open and proud of his concealed carry permit for example. How many of your progressive friends own handguns? Or support concealed carry? Hackett is a great example of what I am talking about. He took the gun issue ... a classic issue that we Democrats often lose moderate to conservative voters on ....off the table by not coming out for gun control.
He was able to reach out to non traditional democratic voters by identifying with them on few of their issues.
But you have to accept the fact that to attract people you have to provide them with a message that they find convincing. It has to be something real. You have to accept that some of these people don't agree with you on everything. The base has to decide if they are filling to cede certain points, or soften on certain issues, to attract new people to the cause.
I for one think the time is ripe to bring some independents permanently into the Democrat's fold, and reach out to a chunk of moderate disaffected republicans. But reading blog after blog I am not sure that is possible. Any move to the middle (yes, that is what it would take) is met with instant scorn within the activist community.
Most post was overly simple, of course. I certainly wouldn't use the term "cut and run." However, I do think Democrats would be well served to develop a plan. A plan that involved a time table for withdrawl.
I advocate claiming victory (point to their elected gov. and constitution), heap praise on our troops, and then call for phased withdrawl over 12 or 18 months. We can even use Bush's example of Iraqi troop strength. If they have 80 battalians, or whatever, then surely some of troops can stand down.
Paul Hackett has one of the best positions going on the war, and I do fear it is close to the one Bush will employ come spring. Declare victory, thank the troops, and cut and run. I agree 100% we have to beat Bush to it.
Democrats have botched it on Iraq. That is clear. I am sure you will see a lot of new positions come 2006. That being said, incumbant Democrats will only get one shot to reposition before Nov. '06 and they will take enough grief over that. I think it is wise to wait as long as possible before changing their position on Iraq (as I am sure many will do) so not to get caught by changing realities in Iraq.
"Join a third party in a local election," you say. This is why the democratic party is where it is today. Its that simple.
It doesn't matter if it is the local, state of federal level, party does matter. Rightwing republicans now this. They understand it perfectly. 40 or 50 years ago they began a fight within a party they did agree with on many issues. But they organized - at all levels - and they raised money, and they developed candidates, and they tested messages, and they never waivered and they never gave in. They were (are?) the political version of 'Terminators'.
Today the rightwing controls Congress and the White House, and the Surprem Court. They got there by developing a powerbase within their party, not by supporting third party candidates.
I think some democrats need to take the long view and see what it really takes to build a lasting majority. Then they need to decide if they are up to the challenge.
These groups and the guys that lead them have no choice but to back Bush. They have invested millions in him, and expect millions more to flow back to them as a result.
Just look at Pat Robertson as a great example. He gets his charity listed on FEMA's site, right below the Red Cross. A good chunk of that charities money flows right into his broadcasting operations. Do you think Pat is going to let one Supreme Court Candidate get between him and some cash?
Look at it another way, if the Supreme Court was solidly stocked with anti-abortion conservatives how with these guys hustle unsuspecting righwing voters for cash?