Sunday, November 28, 2004
Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome, C'mon In
Hi there! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. My name's Tom Smith, and I'm a comedy musician, science fiction/fantasy fan, inveterate punster, and a living example of why prospective Peter Pans should stick to a low-fat, low-carb diet. On Atrios, Daily Kos, First Draft, and a few other blogs, you may have seen me post as "filkertom". ("Filk" is SF/fantasy music, kinda folk-rockish -- think Weird Al's "Yoda". "Folk" got misspelled once, and the name stuck.)
And this here blog is dedicated to starting, finishing, and winning a fight.
See, there was this election a few weeks ago. Final score: 51-48, or 51-49, depending on how you count. (And the counting isn't even done yet.) Within the statistical margin of error.
But BushCo is claiming a "mandate".
I actually made several attempts at this first post, trying to figure out the tone I wanted (which may not necessarily be the right tone, but it's the tone I wanted). I finally got close to it after reading this brilliant post by Mel Gilles on "The Politics of Victimization".
But I got it when remembering several online discussions I'd had with a good friend over the past few months. Good guy, trust him forever... but we differ politically. And he's the type to say, "But you see, here's where you're wrong...."
Smart guy. But all of his facts are out of the Republican playbook, and he's only checked them by those sources. Or he thinks the examples are isolated. Or all the investigations aren't in yet. Or it wasn't the higher-ups, it was a few bad apples/eggs/some other metaphorical edible. Or, or, or.
My good friend, y'see, was convinced that, on any given political subject, I was deluded, and he knew best, and he wanted to bring me around to his way of thinking. I thought pretty much the same thing about him. But I was yelling, "CAN'T YOU SEE THIS INCREDIBLE EVIL GOING ON!?" And he was saying, "No, no, you only think it's evil...."
I quit going to church decades ago, but I think I've got a pretty good handle on good vs. evil.
- Torture is evil.
- Lying the nation into war is evil.
- Shifting the tax burden from the rich to the poor is evil.
- Fucking up the environment for the sake of corporate profit for your friends is evil.
- Saying you want to help children and old people, and then underfunding the programs intended to do so, is evil.
- Discriminating against people, especially for something over which they have no control and which doesn't hurt anybody, is evil.
I'm sure some people will consider this assessment harsh. Especially some people on my side of the political spectrum. The ones who want to figure out How We Can Win The Hearts And Minds Of Middle America Next Time.
Please understand when I tell those folks, from the bottom of my heart: Fuck you.
We're not going to win those hearts and minds. Theirs are narrow little lives, and the Repub Machine has manipulated them through lies and fear into thinking of us as the enemy.
Believing we can make nice with people who are enthusiastically kicking us is stupid. Time to fuckin' kick back.
Being nice and playing by the rules hasn't worked. Our opponents aren't nice and don't give a shit about the rules. All they care about is power. I don't advocate violence or illegality in any way, but No More Mister Nice Dem. I'm not gonna roll over while these bastards slide the greatest country in the world, the grandest experiment in freedom in history, down the razor blades into oblivion.
Anyway. I could go on like this for awhile, preaching to the choir, when this is really meant to be preamble to the larger point, and the twofold purpose of the blog:
First, to rip the guts out of the Democratic party, and rebuild it into something stronger.
The Democratic leadership can't cut it. Not as it is now. Our willingness -- indeed, instinct -- to consider all sides of a debate has crippled us. All forms of Republican -- from the most blaze-eyed fanatic to the most reasonable scholar -- have become adept at using our innate uncertainty against us.
Old white men who call themselves "pro-life" while advocating an illegal war and the death penalty tell us we're wrong about torture. And we let them.
No more. We're right, we're on the side of good and truth and justice and we even want to help you Repubs who we're fighting against, and we will save ourselves from you and you from yourselves if we have to kick your fucking teeth in to do it.
It is time to find ways to stop the party leadership, the Old Ways of doing things, and to build something better. We have to find leaders who aren't afraid to say "the wrong thing" just because it's not what the Right Wing is saying. And we can't back down from our principles, because they're the basic principles of good: Don't Hurt People. Keep The Peace. Help Those Who Need It. Make Friends, Not Enemies. Don't Mess Up The Place.
If our leaders can't say that, they aren't our leaders.
Second, to get rid of the Bush Regime and its foundation of supporters.
See, you've got a very thin mandate, Dubya. Not really a mandate at all. Only half the voters in this country agree with you. The rest of us disagree with you profoundly. We think you're incompetent at pretty much everything except fixing elections; we think you're breaking all kinds of laws; quite a number of us think you're a war criminal. And we will fight you through every legal means we have until you and your cronies are removed from office and, preferably, thrown in prison.
More to the point: A lot of the people who voted for you are people you lied to. They believed you when you said you were on their side, when the truth is you are only interested in helping your friends and larger donors. At some point, they're going to realize you've fucked them over as badly as you've fucked my side over. And then you'll find out exactly how much "political capital" you've got.
Mandate, My Ass.
and thanks for explaining where filker comes from. I have yearned to know.
::opening Cool Blogs folder, dropping in Mandate, My Ass::
two questions: If it turns out Ohio and/or Florida were fixed and Kerry actually won, do we still want to gut the Democratic Party? And two, are you still interested in a photo of my Mandate, My Ass! t-shirt? It's not attractive so much as alarming.
And, heck, yeah, I want to see a picture of you in the T-Shirt. I'm a straight male and breathing. Besides, I like to think I have more useful definitions of "attractive" than some guys. ;)
Your LJ post said "bring your facts", so here are some sources I just ran across. Casualty reports from the DoD -- this is more of a "Mission Accomplished, my ass" than a "Mandate, my ass", but it's all part of the same mess. I plan to cram these (politely or viciously, depending on the person) down the throats of those people I know who would actually disagree with BushCo if they ever bothered to actually check facts.
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/ and, from the upper righthand corner of that page, http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf
I couldn't have picked a more apt title, either. As another future President of a different time and place once said "We didn't start this fight, but, by God, we're gonna finish it."
Don't blame me...I voted for Bill 'n' Opus!
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