Friday, June 26, 2009

What's Good For The Goose...

I'm one of those who believe that politics is a full contact sport and that Democrats, historically, have not been willing at times play the game in a way maximizes their advantage. Now there are some things that Republicans do, like just making up shit, or trying to play on people's paranoia that I would never want a party I was associated with doing. However on other matters, like questioning members of the opposing party's patriotism, I feel like whatever they do we should be doing better. Recently I took issue with a post that Time's Joe Klein put up at Swampland about some of the ridiculous attacks that John McCain has launced against President Obama. The truth is I agreed with just about everything Klein said in the post (something that is surprisingly happening a lot more often these days) except for one specific part.

He wrote:

To put it as simply as possible, McCain--and his cohorts--are trying to score political points against the President in the midst of an international crisis. It is the sort of behavior that Republicans routinely call "unpatriotic" when Democrats are doing it. I would never question John McCain's patriotism, no matter how misguided his sense of the country's best interests sometimes seems. His behavior has nothing to do with love of country; it has everything to do with love of self.

To which I retorted:

I want to make a few observations.

1. If you realize that Republican pull the unpatriotic smear out of their back pocket at the drop of a dime then I hope that means the next time you hear it from there whether its a week, month year or decade from now you will LOUDLY call bullsh*t.

2. What does it mean when a Senator acts out of love of self rather than love of country. To me it sounds like you just called McCain out for acting unpatriotically but just didn't want to say the word. And I have a problem with that.

See the problem that I have with it is that he really IS acting unpatriotically. He is ONLY trying to score political points and you yourself acknowledge that. But you try to set up this false equivalence of how Republicans treated Dems who spoke truth to power and what McCain is doing now. See the Dems who were smeared by Republicans for questioning Bush before we went to war in Iraq and who denounced the torture we were doing in GITMO and who spoke out against wireless wiretapping really WERE speaking out in the country's best interest. And they WERE speaking truth to power. And yet the media time and again allowed the Republicans to tar and feather them with the "unpatriotic" smear when what they were doing was the most patriotic thing possible.

On the other hand McCain and his cohorts know good and damn well that all of the things they are attacking Pres Obama is bullsh*t. Thats why when the few responsible journalists out there ask them what they want Pres Obama to say instead McCain nor the rest of them can't give a good response. And again I am preaching to the choir here because you have already acknowledged its all politics with them.

So why can't you call it what it is Joe? Why can't you bring yourself to say he is acting unpatriotically when you know that to be the case? I guess yet again IOKIYAR.

Well its one thing for Villagers to stick their heads in the sand and refuse to use attacks on the GOP that the GOP has no problem with using on Democrats on a regular basis, but its something altogether different in my eyes for Democrats to refuse to do it as well. If you want to take the moral high ground I would suggest you go find a monestary. But in the political world, serious changes that we need to have enacted in this country will be decided many times by which side wins in the court of public opinion. And every once in awhile that means we are going to have to get down and dirty with Republicans in the same fashion they have hit us below the belt in the past.

Well now we hear from Steve Benen that the DCCC at least has decided to go there.

Last week, of course, the situation was reversed, and it was House Republicans "voting against funding our troops." This week, the DCCC is unveiling a series of 60-second radio ads targeting seven vulnerable GOP incumbents on their votes. This one, for example, goes after Rep. Lee Terry (R) of Nebraska.

"Around here, we recognize Independence Day with parades ... and picnics ... maybe a few fireworks.

"But July Fourth is about more than that. It's about remembering those who fought for our freedoms. And those still fighting today.

"Congressman Lee Terry used to understand that. When George Bush asked, Congressman Terry voted to fully fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, last year he said, quote, 'We must give our military every resource it needs.'

"Seems like Congressman Terry is playing politics now. Last month Congressman Terry voted AGAINST funding for those same troops. It's true: vote number 348 -- you can look it up."

The tone of Benen's post comes off, at least to me, as somewhat apologetic. Honestly that ad does my heart good. I don't think there is a damn thing to apologize for when we start turning the tables on Republicans for the slimy shit they pulled on us for the last 8 years. If you ask me we need MORE of those kinds of ads and then we will get public opinion moving more in the direction we would like.

Every single time a Republican speaks out against closing GITMO I would put out an ad saying that they are smearing prison guards who do a thankless job for not a lot of pay every day by making it seem as if they can't handle these terrorists.

Every single time a Republican speaks out against gay marriage as being a threat to traditional marriage I would compare what they are doing to Jim Crow laws. And I would infer that if we say they can't marry today, will we say they can't vote tomorrow?

Seriously, its time to take the gloves off and go after these scoundrels.

Say what you want about the Karl Rove tactics, but in the end you have to admit they were effective.

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