...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Thursday, May 15, 2003
      ( 12:15 PM )
Fringe Benefits

Okay, it's time to talk Election 2004 again. It has been on my mind to discuss this issue for quite some time, but I keep getting new thoughts on it and so put off the blogging. Well, it's time to go. This week, Howard Dean ("the doctor is in") released his healthcare plan this week, which after a quick once-through I find to be brilliant. Ruminate This pointed me to a Washington Post article from yesterday about the "New Democrats" (aka the DLC) and how they aren't so happy about Dean. I've said before that the DLC is NOT the way the dems should go... they are false leaders and though they have declared themselves the true representatives of the Democratic Party, they are not. They exist for the interests of big business and I would hesitate to even call them "centrist." In my view they aren't even democrats anymore. I think the DLC is fooling itself when it attacks the likes of Dean and the other nominees who don't follow the DLC party line.

They call Dean an "elitist liberal." What? He is against gun control, he has a balanced budget platform - sure, he feels that same-sex couples should be allowed the equal rights as two-sex couples when they get married, sure he feels that all children under 18 deserve guaranteed health care, sure he's not for conquering the world...but elitist liberal? The powerbase for the Democratic Party has moved so far right that someone like Dean is considered a "fringe" candidate. This is not good.

Like I said before, I think that most of the Nader voters in 2000 weren't Greens, but rather disaffected and disappointed Dems --everyone I know who voted for Nader was not a Green. I also don't think that Nader voters were the "fringe." In fact, I think that they were more likely the heart of the Dem party, and most of that heart didn't vote in the first place. All of these people, plus those who voted for Gore in the last election are going to come out in droves to get Bush out of office. These people, the heart of the democratic party, the majority of America does not subscribe to the DLC/GOP view of the status quo of government. Especially now. We have the biggest deficit in history, we are heading very confidently towards deflation, we are cutting money for the most crucial of social programs, we are living with unfunded mandates for homeland security and education... most of the voting American public knows that things can't continue this way.

It's time for a truly fresh perspective. I think that the DLC and the Democratic party are going to be surprised come the first primaries and caucuses next year. I think when Lieberman and Graham end up at the bottom of the heap and the grassroots come out in droves for the likes of Dean, Edwards and Kerry, there is going to be a wake up call for the Party. I believe that even with the corporate media and the hammers of DeLay and Rumsfeld ringing every day with praises for BushCo, he didn't win the election in 2000 and all the votes that would have made it a clear defeat are now going to be arrayed against him as well. I see a great benefit in the numbers of progressives, liberals and plain old run of the mill dems coming together behind someone like Dean. He is not a Washington insider (which was a plus for Bush during his campaign), he has a successful record in governmental reform, he has fresh ideas and a balanced platform. He and the other non-DLC candidates are not the one we should be railing against right now. I don't see how they can be termed "fringe" candidates when they are representing the bulk of american democrat voters.

Every opportunity needs to be taken by these "fringe" candidates to speak out: the bombing in Saudi Arabia, the deficit, the plan to eliminate the 40-hour work week, everything. DeLay and the GOP are going to be hammering against them anyway, and their mantra of "this shouldn't be made into a political issue" isn't going to wash if the Dems come back everytime with: EVERYTHING THE PRESIDENT DOES IS A POLTICIAL ISSUE. BushCo has not made one decision based on the national good, it's all been about political currency. Everyone knows the talking points issued to the media by the white house are all hypocritical falsities. It's time for the Dem candidates to speak out and not be afraid to come back at the neo-con spin machine like Kerry did several weeks ago.

It's not a "tax-cut", it's a "deficit plan". It's not "education reform," it is "Leaving Children Behind." It's not "security" it's "unfunded mandates." It's not a "war on terrorism" it's an "attack on civil rights." Rinse and Repeat. The fringe of this nation are only considered so until they prove they are the majority. That time is coming, and I think I will stand with the fringe on this one.

P.S. Talk about a fringe way of making a point. It's refreshing to see politicians take a stand for something. Save the Texas Reps.

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