My posting over at Pam's
Here's what I posted for Pam in her absence - I hope readers here find it worth pondering . . . .
Groggy Good-Morning from Rochester in Blue New York
'Bean, formerly a regular contributor to Julien's List, is a Cranky-and-Irritable member of the Democratic arm of the Democratic Party. As a GLBT healthcare-professional-in-training, he is passionately devoted to liberal politics and to his evolving career in the operating room. He also possesses a deep-seated passion for dark chocolate and snazzy cars. 'Bean and his life-partner Eric (a Physics professor at a SUNY university) live in Rochester, New York.
Good morning blenders.
I'm already behind schedule as I woke at 0100 and 0400 because poor Hubby's congested sinuses rumble when he lies on his back. I needed a bathtubfull of Java in my brain before trying to type - mostly to ensure I pay at least some attention to things like "grammar" and "spelling" and "a little coherence."
It's VERY nice to be back at the blend, as briefly as I will be here: I love my work in the operating room as I am finishing this particular phase of my education (and, hence, rarely visit any blogs because I have no life, at all, of any kind) . . . but I confess I miss the intensity, stimulation, and some of the personalities here.
That said, I wanted to start my part of the Guest Blend Experience with a gripe.
Yep - a gripe: I'm genetically cranky as the long-time regulars know. I just ain't one of those liberals who wants to hug a single damn thing and I don't ooze "caring" and "warmth" from my pores. I never have been "cuddly" and, in truth, I doubt I will ever be.
Anyhow . . . .
Yesterday, while watching the local 11-o'clock news in Blue New York State, I noted the following:
(1) Republican Tom Reynolds, Pedophile Supporter and Enabler (henceforth, PS&E in place of "Pedophile Supporter and Enabler"), airing attack ads stating, "Millionaire Jack Davis will cut Medicare, Medicaid, and job growth programs. Millionaire Jack Davis will raise taxes. Millionaire Jack Davis is just another tax-and-spend liberal New Yorkers don't need." Republican Reynolds, PS&E, and his attack dogs include taped, out-of-context statements right from Davis's mouth to "support" Reynold's claims.
I'll be blunt - these ads by Republican Tom Reynolds, PS&E? These ads are good. They're very good.
These ads are, not surprisingly, also profoundly dishonest and misleading - but what can one expect from a Republican more vested in protecting his own job, his party, and the most high-profile child molester of this Shining New Century to-date?
(2) Democrat Jack Davis is airing the most pathetic "It's time for a change" rebuttal to Republican Reynolds, PS&E, I have ever seen: Davis would have a better rebuttal if he hired a bunch of high school drama students and gave those students a cam-corder and 20 bucks.
Worse, Davis and his ads ignore that Republican Reynolds, PS&E, has dutifully followed Dear Leader's policies (Medicare cuts, Medicaid cuts, other social-service and retiree program cuts), all the while filling his fat pockets (and astoundingly-large belly) along the way.
(3) An ad supporting sHillary Clinton, Republican-Lite, with an interesting mix of words and imagery. I don't remember specifics, but phrases resembling "Hillary Clinton voted to prevent further terror attacks on New York and supports legislation protecting the symbols or our great nation," juxtaposed with images of sHillary, surrounded by a forest of American flags; "Hillary Clinton supports legislation protecting mothers and their children," juxtaposed with images of sHillary and an African-American mother holding a newborn baby.
(4) A news report following these commercials stating that Republican Reynolds, PS&E, is now ahead in the polls - and this in a DEMOCRATIC state.
I think what I am seeing here, in my own small part of the nation, reflects the problems of the Left in the nation as-a-whole.
Specifically, these problems:
(1) Republicans are better at playing a clean-faced game of very dirty pool than Democrats. As proven by going back to Nixon, playing dirty pool with the guise of a gentleman (or gentlewoman) just plain works.
Voters like tough politicians.
(2) Democrats taking the "moral high road" because "we are better and above that sort of thing" does not work.
The fact that a man, Republican Tom Reynolds, PS&E, who knowingly aided, abetted, and protected a known child molester for years, is LEADING in polls . . . and worse yet, he's leading in polls in a DEMOCRATIC state.
There is the mirror-side to this issue, too: whenever Democrats jump on Republicans for the Republican's misbehavior, the Republicans shriek "Unfair! Unfair! Partisan politics! Partisan politics!"
Ironically, those same Republicans, such as Tom Reynolds, PS&E, are the first to attack - even when the Democrat has done nothing.
Democrats need to take a lesson from this particular tactic.
Voters like tough politicians.
(3) No matter how far right ANY Democrat steps (ESPECIALLY sHillary Clinton), NOBODY Right-of-Center will vote for that Democrat: the Right-of-Center will always vote for a Republican.
By pandering to (1) The Base, (2) the business community, and (3) the Protestant Christian community, Republican Tom Reynolds, PS&E, is a few points ahead of the Democrat . . . and this lead is in a BLUE state.
Voters just plain like tough politicians.
Which leads me to a second, related gripe.
On this particular issue of Democrats pandering right . . . sHillary's ad is an utter joke. Mind, that ad is polished, professional, slick-as-hell, and stylish. sHill's Madison Avenue friends (i.e. Rupert Murdoch - who helped her raise funds earlier this campaign season, as you may remember) served her well.
The irony is that, with the imagery in the ad, sHill's makes overt allusions any political junkie will recognise. And those allusions are actually why I don't remember the ad as vividly as I would like: these allusions were so well-done, so right-pandering, and so unexpected I went into cognitive shock. I really could not believe this was an ad for a Democratic candidate. That moment, I instantly realized the ad was NOT targeting New York Democrats. SHill's ad is targeting center-right political junkies, who will catch and understand the imagery.
The images in sHill's ad (1) point towards her vote for the Iraq war; (2) her cheerleading for Bush Administration policies in Iraq; (3) her co-sponsoring of anti-flag-burning legislation; (4) her willingness to "compromise" on abortion; (5) her continued support of both DOMA and a Federal Marriage Amendment; (6) her pro-Reganomics stances (stances she shares with her husband Bill) supporting both tax cuts and pro-business, not pro-worker and pro-New-York-Citizen, policy.
In light of all I have shared this morning, I just have one question I want answered (ouside of, "When is sHill getting the hell out of New York to return, permanently, to Arkansas?").
Where are the strong Democrats?
Feingold, who regrew his testicles after losing them during the 2000 Ashcroft debacle (Feingold cast the deciding vote in favor of Ashcroft, an "Olive Branch" to the Bush administration: it seems Feingold has since seen the error of his ways), does anyone outside the (1) net-roots, (2) minorities, and (3) GLBT folks have a spine out here in Democrat Land?
Are there any strong Democrats around who can fight - especially given we don't need to spin-and-lie like Republicans to win at hardball given both the facts and issues (and, one would hope, our ethics, too)?
I will vote this November.
I will, for the most part, vote Democratic this November.
I surely will not vote for sHill this November: I will vote for her Green Party or Socialist Party of Communist Party opponent.
But I have to confess, in more cases than I would like, when I cast my vote this November? I will also worry that my vote is being wasted on the lesser of two evils.
So, anyone know? Democrat with a spine? Seen one lately? Or are we, The People, The Party Backbone, and The Party Checking Account screwed yet again?
Will we, once again, not win by fighting for anything - but rather win because people have grown disgusted with Republicans?