Bob Cesca over at Huffpo Says “It is Time for Democrats to Get Loud and Fearless”. I agree.
Democrats can and should get loud and fearless. But it will always be hard for us to play the game up to the level of the Republickers*. The Republickers have one major advantage. Ignorance. They are armed with the willful ignorance of their intelligentsia, and the plain ol’ ignorance of their Joe the plumbers and Sarah Plains. In both cases ignorance is the strength of the Republican party.
We have only to look at very recent history to make my point. When Obama came out with his plan to “freeze spending”, even though it was immediately clear that the plan was economically of no consequence, that it was a cynical effort to pander, and that it was a publicity stunt to counter Republicker lies about the deficit, us Dems and libs went ballistic. The media stars on MSNBC were forlorn and angry. The left-wing blogosphere was buzzing with the Obama betrayal. Paul Krugman, Joan Walsh, Robert Reich , Andrew Leonard and Huffpo slammed him. The comments in threads on liberal web sites were about Obama disappointment.
Now Imagine if a repub prez made the proposal instead of Obama.
Every repub politician would be publicly praising the proposal, On Fox the talking heads would be celebrating. Wing nut blogs would be going into overdrive touting it. Right-wing think tanks would be publishing studies to make his economic ant hill of a proposal into a mountain of positive expectations. Comment threads all over the internet would be flooded with Teabaggers , Becker heads and Ditto heads parroting the right-wing meme. And of course Dems would be slamming it too. But not nearly as passionately. Because after all, in truth the actual policy is pretty meaningless. And it is the same kind of doublethink bull the Repubs sling all the time. So what is new?
Ignorance is the strength of the Republican party.
Are the qualities that lead us to become liberal people, the same qualities that keep us from fighting fire with fire?
Are willful ignorance and progressive thinking mutually exclusive ?
Are you a lib or a dem ? Has my use of the word “Republicker” and my gross generalizations about them made you angry or uncomfortable?
If so, advantage Republicker.
We on the left in today’s America have our own strengths. Chief among our strengths is TRUTH. As Steven Colbert famously said, “Reality has a liberal bias”.
The enemy of truth-telling is the inherent uncertainty of everything. Communicating truth is a complex and subtle proposition. It takes time. It takes an audience willing to pay attention to layers of back and forth arguments. We saw how the truth works for us when Obama spanked the repubs recently on TV.
We can get loud and fearless. We have to get loud and fearless. We should be screaming the truth. But we should acknowledge, that our chief strength is harder to get loud and fearless about. We have a much harder means to implement than the Republickers.
Still when we can find it in ourselves to wallow in the muck, when we can embarrass and belittle the Republickers and Con-jobs, we should do that too. We Dems need to grab some of that electoral low hanging fruit that responds to simple base attacks. We need to change convention and socially acceptable behavior.
Please my fellow kind hearted Libs, if you can’t let yourself sling mud and spin outrageously biased memes, don’t give those of us that can do it crap. We are just trying to move Professor Overton’s window…
*(pronounced RE-PUB-LICKERS, e.g. people from New York are New Yorkers)