"I must save this government if possible. What I cannot do, of course I will not do; but it may as well be understood, once for all, that I shall not surrender this game leaving any available card unplayed. - Abraham Lincoln
When Lincoln said that, it was a Civil War which threatened to divide our country. Today, there isn't a war between citizen and citizen, but between citizen and government. Why? Because the Bush administration has attacked the interests of the American people, squandered its fortune, and caused so many to die in war. Today's divide is not between north and south, but between the people and its government, a government which has proved over the last few years that it is created by and for the powerful rather than the citizenry of these United States.
There are times when a certain form of governance becomes toxic, where those in the public trust act not as civil servants, but as self-serving politicos. We are living in such a time.
The Congress no longer belongs to ordinary Americans; it belongs to the lobbyist who can cut the largest check. The Presidency no longer leads, but misleads. And the Judiciary (specifically the Supreme Court) is set to belong to the most vile, extreme, and un-American element of our society.
Democrats can either surrender this government to a party which seeks to destroy it, or we can take Lincoln's advice and play our available cards. To those who say filibusters--judicial, patriot act, etc--are too politically costly, I say that failure to filibuster is conceding that this nation isn't worth fighting for. Instead of worrying that we will be labeled "obstructionist," I say we filibuster Alito, filibuster the Patriot Act, filibuster time and time again until this crazy government comes to a screeching halt. Enough is enough. The list of scandals is overshadowed only by the list of names of the 2,190 whose deaths have yet to be honored by this administration.
At what point will our party realize that it's not just the midterm elections at stake here? Politics is secondary to the fact that our country has changed, drastically, over the last several years. What is that change? It is the unraveling of the American flag thread by thread. It is erasing the Bill of Rights letter by letter. It is, ultimately, about waking up one day and not recognizing this great society as the "America" we know and love.
This new year requires a new attitude by the Democratic Party. The party must acknowledge the gravity of the political climate today. It is not a time to crack jokes on Sunday talk shows; it is not a time to mince words or to parrot political consultants. It is a time to speak with the courage and conviction that is required when one is fighting for the heart of their country.
Democrats will not win by pledging to "do better." We will not gain a majority or even the Presidency in 2008 by approaching the American people as politicians. If we are to win, we must rediscover what it means to serve at the will of the people. We must show voters that we are willing to fight, not just talk, for their interests.
Time and time again, we've heard pundits gleefully recount the fact that the GOP is suffering, but the Democrats can't capitalize on it. It's true, to an extent. Where Bush is at 40% approval, he should be at 10%. Where we are ahead in congressional polling by 10 points, we should be ahead by 30. Why have we not been able to react properly to the plethora of scandals the GOP has laid before us? Because of fear.
Fear is what stifles the speech of our leaders, tying their tongues so they can't say the word "LIE." They write letters blasting the administration, but it is fear that holds them back from expressing the same level of outrage when speaking on national television. Fear is what caused so many Democrats to run away from Murtha's plan. We fail as a party not because we lack conviction, but because our words and actions are paralyzed by fear. We're afraid to be labeled as cowards, as commies, as traitors.
And in those rare moments when Democrats have spoken based on conscience rather than poll numbers, we, the party faithful, get all excited. The blogosphere buzzes with cheers for the "smackdown". Thousands of comments are dedicated to the discovery of "a spine." But what does it say about our party that we rejoice in what should be a commonplace event?
A Democrat speaking clearly, truthfully, and following through on his speech should not be an anomaly. It should be the norm in our party. Yet where there should be outrage and action on the part of our leaders, we get instead silence or mealy-mouthed platitudes and ineffective soundbites. "
From Daily Kos, (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/1/8/204534/2589)
That says it all. It is time for Americans to march to the sound of the guns and take back this government from the thugs and the fascists.
Who's with me?