Friday, November 04, 2005
Or is It Just Wishful Thinking
A story in yesterday’s New York Times gave my spirits a real boost. It was entitled, “Democrats Seek a Shift to Issues That Will Favor Them.” It should be blatantly obvious why I found this so refreshing. There are several reasons. First, it could signify that the Democrats have taken that first baby step in the long trek back to legitimacy and respectability (1). A corollary of this could be that the right wing extremists’ reign of terror could finally be coming to an end. Of course it is way too early to jump to such a conclusion. One step does not a journey make.
The Democrats call for a closed session of the Senate could be nothing more than a lucky step in the right direction as they continue to stumble and meander blindly. Also their recent history does not lend a great deal of confidence that their new found backbone is anything more than momentary. After all the beginning of the Democrats’ fall can be traced at least as far back to 1970 with future Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell’s letter to the National Chamber of Commerce. Powell’s letter was in response to the anti-Corporate atmosphere that was being exhibited by the nation’s youth during the Vietnam War. In the letter he called for wealthy conservatives and the Corporate Class to start fighting back. He called for the right to start funding think tanks that would publish books and papers to promote the Corporate Agenda. It did not take long for reactionary right wing extremists to take up his suggestions in earnest. The Democrats have yet to recover. And they can not undo 35 years of work and planning overnight. It will be a long process. However a Democratic revolution like the one the GOP engineered 1994 could speed up the process immensely.
Yet another reason that the Times’ article gave me hope was the possibility that the Times itself was beginning a journey of its own, one back to discerning the truth and being able to grasp the obvious. These are two traits that have been missing from the Times for a while. The Times of 1970 is not the Times of 2005. They have been overtaken and consumed by the Corporate Attitude mentioned above. Perhaps the worst example of this is their use of eminent domain to take someone else’s property in order to expand their corporate headquarters. In their quest to expand their empire they have been somewhat less than diligent in their pursuit of truth. The Jayson Blair and Judith Miller fiascoes are perfect examples of their failure.
In their attempt to be fair the Times gave the GOP response to the Democrats’ actions. There certainly is nothing wrong with that. The first sentence to the GOP reply is,” While Republicans acknowledge that they are struggling at the moment, they reject the idea that Democrats can employ a national theme to win Congressional elections, particularly in House races.” They rightly quote House Speaker Dennis Hastert when he says the Democrats have no plan. Again nothing wrong with that, in fact it is true. But then would have been a perfect time to mention two other huge reasons why it will be difficult for the Democrats to gain control of the House. The first being the corporate payouts to men like the indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff who then divert the money back into the political coffers of GOP Representatives like Tom DeLay. The second being the inventive redrawing of Congressional District lines again by men like Delay that has made gerrymandering a true art form.
So while I have hope for a revitalized Democratic Party and New York Times, it is undeniable that both have a distance to go before that becomes reality.
(1) Why I Am Not A Democrat
(2) Why I Am Not A Republican
The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.
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