Monday, November 15, 2004

But I’m just a little hobbit! What can I do?

We lost this election for 2 reasons: people don’t know what Democrats stand for and we’ve got a bad reputation on national security. We’re going to change both those things in the coming months, but first we’ve got to play a little defense. You can help.

Today, Democrats say things like: “I see your point, let’s figure out some way we can figure out a mutually acceptable solution to this problem.” Under normal circumstances, this instinctive bipartisanship is a great thing.

We’re not under normal circumstances.

Understand the Enemy:
Responsible Americans don’t oppose George Bush because of where he stands on the issues. Heck, Democrats thought prescription drugs for Medicare was a great idea!

George Bush must be opposed because the most dangerous thing in American politics is a leader who does not observe the checks and balances of our democracy, whose cronies believe they should have carte blanche to take any action they desire and who are willing to undercut any American tradition or institution in order to consolidate their grip on power. It doesn’t matter if they justify it by claiming divine right or a nonexistent electoral mandate, it’s dangerous and we’ve got to fight it tooth and nail.

Radical Right Republicans are nothing like your Republican friends. They do not want to engage in honest debate and persuade the nation to accept an agenda that they believe is in the best long-term interests of the people of the United States. They simply believe they should be in charge. They want to take power and keep it forever. Period.

Demand Leadership
We’ve been beaten enough with the bipartisanship bat. It’s time to stop treating these guys like responsible adults, and time to start treating them like the genuine threat to democracy they are. Unbelievably, this message has still not gotten through to Democrats—Joe Lieberman is still saying that if Democrats are just a little kinder and gentler, George Bush will have a change of heart and play nice.

So ask yourself, what are you afraid is going to happen with George Bush in power? Do you care about the environment? Do you care about appointing judges who will defend liberty (pro-choice, anti-torture)? Do you care about civil rights? Freedom of the press? Leading the world with a strong foreign policy? Winning the war on terror by going after foreign terror networks and having real domestic security?

Decide what’s important to you and then write a letter or call your Senator or Representative about it (emails don’t work; use real paper and a stamp). Tell them that it’s not enough to quietly mitigate some of the damage that Bush’s laws and appointments are doing—we have to let people know what we’d do differently. Demand they get aggressive, and tell them to be loud about it—start showing people why voting for Democrats will make America better, stronger, and safer! It’s time to fight for what we believe in!

This is a damn good start. Let’s be clear, this bill will not pass. But it’s just the kind of fight we need to pick. It’s high-profile and it tells every American who we are: Democrats are the ones trying to give kids healthcare, and Republicans are the ones who actually could do it, but who won’t. We all need to sign this petition, not only to tell people what we stand for, but to send a message to every Democrat that we want them to fight. More like this, please!

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