Wednesday, December 08, 2004
I Have A Plan. Tink? Come On! You Gotta Come!
One exuberant moment, yelling like a cheerleader to his disspirited supporters, was blown out of proportion... and the man who said this today was judged unfit to lead.
Four years ago, the President won 49 percent of the vote. The Republican Party treated it like it was a mandate, and we let them get away with it.
Fifty one percent is not a mandate either. And this time we're not going to let them get away with it.
Our challenge today is not to re-hash what has happened, but to look forward, to make the Democratic Party a 50-state party again, and, most importantly, to win.
To win the White House and a majority in Congress, yes. But also to do the real work that will make these victories possible -- to put Democratic ideas and Democratic candidates in every office -- whether it be Secretary of State, supervisor of elections, county commissioner or school board member.
Here in Washington, it seems that after every losing election, there's a consensus reached among decision-makers in the Democratic Party is that the way to win is to be more like Republicans.
I suppose you could call that philosophy: if you didn't beat 'em, join them.
I'm not one for making predictions -- but if we accept that philosophy this time around, another Democrat will be standing here in four years giving this same speech. we cannot win by being "Republican-lite." We've tried it; it doesn't work.
The question is not whether we move left or right. It's not about our direction. What we need to start focusing on... is the destination.
When some people say we should change direction, in essence they are arguing that our basic or guiding principles can be altered or modified.
What they fear most is that we may really begin fighting for what we believe -- the fiscally responsible, socially progressive values for which Democrats have always stood and fought.
I'll give this to Republicans. They know the America they want. They want a government so small that, in the words of one prominent Republican, it can be drowned in a bathtub.
They want a government that runs big deficits, but is small enough to fit into your bedroom. They want a government that is of, by, and for their special interest friends.
They want a government that preaches compassion but practices division.
They want wealth rewarded over work.
And they are willing to use any means to get there.
There is a Party of fiscal responsibility... economic responsibility.... social responsibility... civic responsibility... personal responsibility... and moral responsibility.
It's the Democratic Party.
The pundits have said that this election was decided on the issue of moral values. I don't believe that. It is a moral value to provide health care. It is a moral value to educate our young people. The sense of community that comes from full participation in our Democracy is a moral value. Honesty is a moral value.
If this election had been decided on moral values, Democrats would have won.
It is time for the Democratic Party to start framing the debate.
By the fucking punditry who wanted no one from his side to win anyway.
We will win. We will save the country and the world from those within who would destroy it for profit and power. It may take years. But we will win, for all the right reasons.
We. Will. Win.