Saturday, November 06, 2004

Open Letter to The Democrat Party

20 Lessons For Your Next Campaign

From the Red State of Missouri

I hear my old party is trying to define me, so I thought I would help them out.


Here's a few friendly tips for my fellow Democrats on what to do in your next campaign:

1) If you want me to vote for somebody that is supposed to represent me, middle class Jane average and then try to portray your opponent as a filthy rich stooge for the corporations and lobbyists, try not running somebody that's about a 1000 times more wealthy and has about 1000 times more connections to the very corporations and lobbyists you're talking about.

2) If you want me to vote for somebody that is supposed to represent me, middle class Jane average, try to make sure he or she at least appears like they pay the same kind of taxes that I do and doesn't have most of their money (and spouse's and running mate's) tied up in every tax dodge known to man. Particularly, when your candidate starts talking about raising taxes and spending money. You might be surprised to know that we can add and subtract, too, down here in the red state of Missouri and your magical mathematics didn't add up.

3) If you want me to vote for somebody that is supposed to represent me, middle class Jane average, try not to pick somebody who sounds like they are lecturing their children on their bad behavior and how much we've disappointed them. I've already got one father and mother and that is certainly enough. Mr. or Mrs. Next Democrat Nominee for President at least ought to act like I'm their equal and not their child. Because I am equal. I can equally vote them into office and equally vote them out. (PS...When your lackey's call us stupid, we don't like that too much either; PSS...I might live in the Midwest, but my name's not Mary Anne and I don't really care to be stranded on the island with two people that sound like Mr. And Mrs. Thurston Howell III. I'd rather commit suicide with the dull edge of a coconut shell)

4) I live in the "show me state". If your candidate has a plan, show me the plan. Don't tell me to run off to blankblank.com and look it up for myself. It sounds down right arrogant. I know a lot of people, older than I am, that don't have access to the internet. How do they know what the plan is if they can't read it? Not to mention that I'm in management and if you can't articulate your plan in a five point bulletin in two minutes or less, it's probably so damn convoluted it won't even get out of the gate much less have a chance to succeed. You'll be spending your entire time re-writing and revising your plan and you won't get anything done. We know you think it's cool to hypnotize your audience and send them subliminal messages, but really, they aren't hypnotized, they're just sleeping. (PS...If your candidate sounds like the candidate in item #3, suicide might be preferable)

5) We like "real" people. Don't try to show your candidate as some sports loving, tractor driving, goose shooting, gun toting he-man when he'd rather be skiing in Aspen or wind surfing off of Nantucket. And for the love of God, if he's playing catch with a football, throwing a baseball or fielding a soccer ball that he's never done before in his life, at least take the cameras away from the journalists or ask them to leave. Photos of your guy looking like he's about to be shot by the firing squad isn't very inspiring. I mean, seriously, my five year old niece can catch, throw and take a head shot better than that. And, she plays with dolls. (PS...if your candidate is a woman, don't try to pass off some cookie recipe as theirs when we know damn well they don't spend any time in the kitchen perfecting their "stay at home mom" culinary arts. We've seen that Rice Krispy commercial, too, and throwing flour and water on her face isn't going to work)

6) If your candidate has a crazy spouse, say so. We'll understand. Might even get the sympathy vote. If you're candidate is not inclined to share their family medical problems with us, at least make sure their spouse is heavily medicated before you send them out in public.

7) Message. Let me say that again. Message. Get a message and stay on message. Don't take a poll shot once a week and give us the talking points you think we want to hear because we are actually smart enough to remember what your candidate said the week before. While the elderly might not have access to the internet, people like me can fact check your ass into next week.

8) Speaking of message, if your candidate says "integrity, integrity, integrity" you best make sure they aren't the biggest, lying sack of crap on the campaign trail. Also, you might actually try to put a little "integrity, integrity, integrity" into your message. Particularly if you are going to try to scare the crap out of college students with rumors of the draft. Or, scare the crap out of old people with rumors of the demise of their social security checks. Or, snuggle up to some fat, ugly, smelly, white guy who makes a film full of lies and then tries to pass it off as the truth. Particularly when that guy reminds us of that little creep that used to pick his nose and eat his boogers in front of us, dump red tempera paint on our favorite white dress or fill our locker up with lizards, snakes and other creepy crawly things. One other thing, don't have him sit in the president's box and then deliver your talking points on TV when he reminds us of that slimy peeping Tom we caught with his hand down his pants outside the girl's locker room. It's bad Karma.

9) Star power. Your candidate should have their own star power, not hang out with stars. We really don't find it comforting that the next President might be getting his domestic and foreign policy from Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins or Bruce Springsteen. In the words infamous words of a notable pundit: Shut up and sing! I mean, really, do you think we want our President to be getting donations from a guy that had a photo op with a mass murdering, serial rapist dictator? You know, having hour long chats with Barbara Striesand might work out for Billy Bob Arkansas, he had his own little charisma thing going, but it doesn't look too good when your candidate looks like a cast member of the Adams family and talks like one, too. We stupid people might get confused about who is running for president.

10) Speaking of Billy Bob, I think we're long past the self indulgent, cigar twirling, sex addict stage. If you think your candidate has a problem, don't run them. And if it's just an ex president you're using as a prop, after he narrowly defeated impeachment for lying under oath, screwed everything that walked or crawled into the oval office while he turns down the offer to get the country's number one most wanted future killer of Americans, he isn't as popular as you might think. Think the word "distance".

11) We're over the Viet Nam war. War is war. When we're at war, it's not the right war, it's not the wrong war. It's our war and we like to win. We want the enemies crushed in a timely manner and our men and women home as quick as possible. Barring that, a quick victory, we want our enemies crushed. We don't like "nuanced" endings to our wars. We've been brought up on John Wayne, Patton, the Alamo, Independence Day. Our enemies don't stand a chance and we don't give them any. If you are going to run a candidate during war time, remember "W" stands for winner and not wussie. (PS..if our alleged allies stab us in the back, we want somebody that will at least give the impression of giving them the finger. PSS...We never defer to the UN in a time of war. This isn't the UNA, this is USA. Everything else is second. If your candidate wins, that's what that oath means. PSSS...Dictators are bad. Freedom is good)

12) Speaking of war, if your candidate is an ex hippie anti-war protestor, don't try to pass them of as GI JOE or Jane. Even if your candidate served in the military, if they can't release all of their military records, there's something wrong. Like they were dishonorably discharged and stripped of their medals. Or they consorted with the enemy in a time of war while being an officer or enlisted in the service. If your candidate is a college graduate, you should make sure they know enough geography to know that the Mekong Delta and Se Doc are not Cambodia. You're better off running somebody with no military experience than a faker. Did I mention we don't like fakes?

13) Fish stories. Hey, it's one thing for your candidate to tell a little white lie about the fish that got away, but stories about Christmas in far away places like Mars, or aliens that give them hats, secret meetings that never happened or being at the battle of Waterloo means they are either a pathological liar or delusional enough that they should be taking their spouse's medication. Better yet, don't nominate them for candidate. Remember, "integrity, integrity, integrity".

14) This is not the Peoples Socialist Republic of America. While some of us don't mind giving some of our money for the common good, you shouldn't take that as a mandate to tax us into oblivion. Try a little moderation, for Pete's sake. And if your candidate is going to espouse theories about the "Two Americas" and the "haves and the have nots", you might want to make sure that they aren't richer than the Czar or the Czar's great, great, great nephew. The last candidate that tried to sell us that rotten piece of cheese and claim it came from the moon got his ass ridden out of town on a rail.

15) Talking heads. Speaking of the "common good", if your little messenger talking heads tell us that you want more of our money when we are paying $2 gallon for gas; $3 Gallon for Milk, our house just got assessed for higher taxes the second year in a row and our local government wants to raise our sales tax by a penny to build an "arts and culture center" we've already been taxed "for the common good". So f*ck off!.

16) Ummm...I think you know about the scream thing. Don't do it. No matter what. Even if your candidate gets stung by a bee while he's dropping his pants to take a piss. Silence is golden.

17) If your "base" and "talking heads" are going to refer to us over here in fly over country as stupid, fanatical, fascist, flag waving, evangelical, neo Nazi, digital brownshirts, marching off into kristalnacht, carrying torches and burning books while making a flaming sign of the cross with our torches, we probably aren't going to vote for you anyway, so just forget what I was going to suggest. However, if your base resembles all of the above (exempting the evangelical part), you are in deep shit and should throw away your autographed copies of Mein Kampf and Karl Marx and tell the dry cleaner you won't be picking up your super, duper secret white sheet with the glow in the dark swastika over an anarchists sign and extra panel sown in for your secret plans to sell out the Jews for a piece of (or is that Peace in?)Palestine and give those mean ass mullahs some fissile material, you don't want to miss that plane to France.

18) Geography, Math and the Electoral College. Take a look at that electoral map. The one with all the red and the splotches of blue? Yeah, the blue spots are highly populated areas. Your team does pretty good there. Of course, it might be because it has the highest concentration of poor, drop outs, union members, anarchist college students and elitists that think they know more than the rest of the world because their professor made them read Noam Chomsky until they could regurgitate it like Romans at the vomittarium. Repeatedly watch films of alleged American "crimes" including the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; marines using fire throwers on the island of Iwo Jima; fire bombing Dresden; nepalm in Viet Nam (extra credit if they read your candidate's book); the starving children of Africa; the tears of the last Soviet Premier at the end of Glasnost and the melting of the polar ice caps. Ok. Now that you understand that demographic, you might have noticed in this last election, they were less than 50% of the voting population. We know you think there were more of them than there was of us, but you sincerely misunderestimated.

That red stuff there? I know you think that's fly over country with a population of one hick..er...Person per every square mile, but it's a lot of square miles and that's a lot of people. Heck, I know those states only carry about 5 or so electoral votes a piece, but 20 of them equals about 250 electoral votes. A few others carry about 20 each. When you add them all together, it means that we elect the president. So, it's probably not a good thing to send your candidate into a campaign without really knowing who we are or what we want because he's going to need us next time. Just to show you how friendly we are, I wrote this list of 20 things you need to know the next time you run a campaign. My final contribution will be a little description of the constituency so you might understand what we want next time.

19) We love our country. We love our flag. We fly it on most days, not just holidays. I guess that makes us flag waving fanatics in your eyes. We know that some of your folks think it's ok to burn the flag. Freedom of speech and all that. We understand, but you might understand that it's our right not to like it either. You'll get over it, but I'm not sure we will. We love our soldiers. We know some of your supporters think they're just poor, dumb farm boys and girls with barely any education, but that's what you get when you let those folks think. I know this might scare the hell out of your, but.....[pppssssttt] we have bibles, too.

Before I move on to lesson #20, let me share the words of the great sage and country western singer, Hank Williams Jr.:



We say grace
We say Ma'am
If you ain't into that
We don't give a damn!



20) This is a direct message for the future Democrat Candidate for President.


If you think you might ever decide that you need us again, and we think you will, you will need to do something very, very important after learning the first nineteen lessons.



I want you to think Donald Trump.


Turn to the jackass that is running the Democrat National Committee and say:







Your Fired!

28 comments:

The G-man said...

Thanks for the Saturday morning smile Kat, that was pretty damned good!

ALa said...

Kat: you know...we really do think a like! This is GREAT and I wrote a really scaled-down version of this a few hours ago for my post tomorrow! I was laughing while I read this because we have done many posts on the same theme on the same days! LOL!
I'm going to link yours when I post mine tomorrow!
Have a great night...wish I could share my cheesesteak (actually I got a cheesesteak-hoagie and onion rings...)

Zelda said...

Good funny stuff!

The Cassandra Page said...

Excellent and funny. I have included a link to your post in my summary of election wrap-up columns.

Frater Bovious said...

Well stated. There is something sweet about being ignored by a pompous ass that thinks you are irrelevant, while in fact you are the very key to his or her success.

This election is an example of what is called a comeuppance.
fb

Michael_the_Archangel said...

Kat, I loved it, I laughed till I cried on a couple of those points. I still haven't figured out how to do the 'my favorite links' thing on my blog, but I'm including you on a posting directing folks here. Keep up the super work, you just keep getting better and better.

jaymen said...

Kat:

Great post, but I have a question on #10.

[snip] And if it's just an ex president you're using as a prop, after he narrowly defeated impeachment for lying under oath," [snip]

I'm not sure how to interpret this. Do you mean this to indicate Clinton was not impeached? He was; he just didn't have the dignity to resign from office like Nixon did.

gblagg said...

Very nice. Should have said it before the election though. It's been my opinion that if the Dem party had run a decent candidate, it would have been a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Kat,
what a great commentary. Have read you a number of times on other sites comments, first time I visited you directly (got here from Questing Cat). I will be back. Don't comment alot, but read a bunch. As a former member of 'flyover' country, couldn't agree more.
Dave Glaspell
Honolulu
glaspelld001@hawaii.rr.com

Donal said...

Intresting 1 and 2 apply to Bush as well, he just hides it better. As for 3 your absolutly right that was a major problem of the campaign this year. 4- people dont really care about plans, Bush didnt have any and he won. As for 5 I think we should just ignore canidates pretending to play sports, after all FDR couldnt do those things and he is one of our greatest presidents. 6 lol. 10- so bin Laden is Clinton's fault? I dont remember any Republicans screaming about getting him before 9/11. Anyway your guy did the same, Zarqawi remember him? couldnt kill him might ruin the war you've been planning. Clinton wasnt impeached he was censured, Nixon wasnt impeached either he resigned before they could impeach him- thats not dignity it was the realization he was screwed. 11- you dont like nuanced endings? wait for it you wont like what happens in the end of this war. 12 and 13 when was Kerry's dishonorable discharge, must have missed that piece of info. Kerry probably was in Combodia, read more about Vietnam we were operating there and in Laos to. 14- the Dems may talk about raising your taxes, the Repubs are talking about raising the taxes on your children and grandchildren. By the time Bush leaves office the nation debt will be at 10 trillion dollars if not higher. Neither party can claim to have moderation when it comes to spending. I'll stop at 19 the most depressing comment. Have we reached a point in our country where one party can claim to love their country while saying the other does not. I hope not its not an America that I would be proud of.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Donal, for 1 and 2, you miss the point that in spite of Bush's wealth, he has a demeanor that seems accessible to the average American--somebody we can imagine showing up at a backyard barbecue and being able to watch one of the Sunday NFL games and actually know what teams are playing and what conference they're in and what their chances are to make the playoffs this year. Bush the millionaire seems to be able to relate, while Kerry the millionaire just plain comes off as elitist.

For 3, I think I was the first person I remember making the comparison between Kerry and Thurston Howell III. The accent he had while giving his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 was identical to Thurston's, equally nauseating. He's tried to tone it down since then, but not successfully.

For 4, maybe "plans" is the wrong word to use. People want to know exactly where a candidate STANDS, or from which ideological ground will he or she be making decisions? With Bush it was no mystery. With Kerry, any way the wind blows, Kerry can be quoted as going that way. For the war? Against the war? Tough on terrorists? Cozy with the "peace at all costs" crowd? No veto to France? Yes to a veto for France? Global test? No global test? He was too Jean-Paul Sartre for American audiences, in that he was Being and Nothingness at the same time. As one familiar in French literature, je me sens qualifie de faire cette observation. (Accents omitted out of sheer sloth on a Lazy Sunday.)

For 5, I think the point was that when they do try to play sports for a photo op, it should at least be a sport they know how to play and enjoy playing. It's an extra bonus if they're at least marginally good at it. While Kerry managed to make it to the bottom of the hill while snowboarding, only falling once, I didn't see one single inch of "wicked air", nor does he know how to Shred. No Mountain Dew, for him. (Then again, if I really wanted boarding to be a basic qualification for leadership, I'd be writing in Tony Hawk or Bam Margera for prez, which ought to frighten everyone on both sides of the aisle!)

10, bin Laden is everybody's fault, except perhaps one lone FBI agent named John O'Neill. Clinton lies when he says he was "obsessed with bin Laden", and Bush never even attempted to lie in stating terrorism was a chief priority of his in the first 8 months of his presidency. Only one guy wasn't dropping the ball, and nobody anywhere was listening to him, to where he was even squeezed OUT of the FBI.

My question for you, Donal, is do YOU remember Zarqawi? You know, the al Qaeda member who was IN Iraq prior to the war? People think that without WMDs there's no cause for that action, but to do so conveniently forgets about Mr. Zarqawi.

The hair-splitting on "impeachment" is nauseating from both sides, to me. Yes, Clinton lied about sex. But why wasn't the investigation about the events taking place in Mena, Arkansas, in the 1980s? Why, because it would trace back to REPUBLICANS, that's why. Clinton got where he was by showing through his silence that he could be a team player. His continued silence on those subjects was rewarded by being able to get away with saying it depends on what the definition of "is" is. He could have been nailed, but then, it was not expedient to do so.

For 12 and 13, Donal, you continue to miss the point. He was presented to the public as Big He-Man War Hero, and when you scratched the surface what you really got was bitch-ass Jane Fonda in male drag. NO he wasn't "dishonorably discharged", but that doesn't make his 1971 conduct any less dishonorable. Now, did the Democrats fail to research and fact-check Kerry's background, or did they think it would just fly as-is? If it's the former, the Democrats are politically incompetent; and if it's the latter, they are so completely out of touch with the center of America that they might as well fly to Cuba to resurrect the dreams of a "Worker's Paradise".

There is no evidence whatsoever that Kerry was in Cambodia. Not that it matters other than Kerry living a lie and a fantasy about having been some character from Apocalypse Now. He certainly wasn't there on orders from Nixon in 1968 as he had once claimed. If he were there at that time, it would have been as ordered by the DEMOCRAT, Lyndon Johnson. Deal with it.

14, since when does a Democrat give a flying fuck about the national debt at any time when they want to spend that money on WELFARE or the precious golden-cheeked warbler, or spotted owl habitats? Either you're fiscally responsible or you're not. At least the spending carried out by Republicans makes this nation stronger and kills terrorists--something productive, which cannot be said of subsidizing the lifestyles of the lazy and shameless.

"Have we reached a point in our country where one party can claim to love their country while saying the other does not. I hope not its not an America that I would be proud of."

We have indeed reached a point where one party can burn American flags and then turn around and claim to love their country. Not the full 48% of the opposition vote this time around, but enough of a slice of it to make swing-voters like myself take stark NOTICE of it.

MichaelH121 said...

Come on Kat come over to the dark (Red) side. You are almost there. Just take the first step.

If you have already done so then welcome aboard. We do have lifeboats. The Dems forgot them and they are sinking fast.

Anonymous said...

I might add that Clinton was actually impeached. Impeachment is simply the process by which Congress determines whether a sitting President should be tried for high crimes and misdemeanors. It is not the actual removal from office. Clinton was impeached, but nothing was found to hold him for trial. Hence, he stayed in office.

--Red Five

Donal said...

CSM I see your point about Bush appearing like a regular guy. Your absolutly right on knowing where a candidate stands and not the specifics on every single plan. Yes, I remember Zarqawi- we knew where he was and the Bush admin let him go so they could have their war. I dont view Kerry's actions in 71 as dishonorable- he tried to do the right thing. CSM you said "by Republicans makes this nation stronger and kills terrorists" most of their spending is not for these things i.e. missle shield, tax giveaway to corporations, drugs for senors, farm subsidy, etc. Your right your either fiscally reaponsible or your not- neither are. Also "We have indeed reached a point where one party can burn American flags and then turn around and claim to love their country." I havent seen or heard of any flag burnings aside from nuts on the far left. According to the website of the group proposing the flag burning amendment the CFA http://www.cfa-inc.org/issues/burnings.htm - only 10 of these acts occured in 2003. This is not a wide spread problem in the democratic party any more than cross burnings and antisemtism is for the republican party. But thank you for illustrating my point- its attitudes like those that are tearing this country apart.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Donal, "I dont view Kerry's actions in 71 as dishonorable- he tried to do the right thing."

The right thing would have been a muscular approach from which a withdrawal could be negotiated from a position of strength, which was Nixon's strategy, and which the wrong side of history, in full hirsute hypocritial infamy, reviled as "fascist". Kerry aligned himself with disgusting people and promulgated lies, yes LIES, about our soldiers in combat. He wasn't talking about isolated incidents like My Lai in 1971. He was talking about the lies of the Winter Soldier hearings, with made-up stories of things that didn't even happen. He pulled "thousands" out of thin air and pushed false propaganda that got our POWs tortured and killed for not CONFESSING to the SAME lie. That act was the single most evil of his unfortunate life, and the one thing about which that toffee-nosed sod never deigned to apologize.

"missle shield"

Well, is or is not North Korea a potential terrorist nation?

"tax giveaway to corporations"

Do you think your job or the jobs held by your fellows could withstand one of the Socialists' tax gouges on any business with a GROSS revenue over $200K?

And the day the Heinz fortune pays more than 12% per annum in taxation, is the day I'll not want to throw rotted vegetables at the disgusting Che Jaguaras wanting us "little people" to pay more.

"drugs for senors"

What have they been saving up for all their lives, more booze? And whatever happened to "live fast die young"?

"farm subsidy"

A system that is as likely to elevate an economy as standing in a bucket and thinking you can levitate yourself by lifting said bucket up into the air.

How about letting the MARKET decide what prices should be?

"I havent seen or heard of any flag burnings aside from nuts on the far left."

The nuts on the far left very graciously took the helm of your P.R. campaign before the election and ran such dialectic engines as MoveOn.org, Michael Moore's insipid hate speech machine, and the massive crowds protesting the Republican National Convention. It put a face to the whole of the Democratic Party, something to introduce the DNC to the rest of America.

Now, I DO realize that such nastiness doesn't speak for everyone on the left, and I have close friends who get just as angry seeing that nonsense as I do. But the PARTY did nothing to distance itself from those protests; on the contrary it embraced that hatred and negative energy and subsumed it into its own furnace of vile emotion driving it to defeat last Tuesday. This would be why your Party would do well to take Kat's advice, and tell the leadership, in the tone used by Mr. Trump, "you're fired". They tried to tear this nation apart, and this nation refused to be torn.

Kat said...

Thank you ciggy for trying to explain. You are doing a pretty good job of it.

For Donal, let me help a bit. You know Freud? I believe he was the one that put forth the theory about how everything is tied to ego in some manner (if I'm wrong on the name of the psycho-analysis genius who came up with the theory, please correct me).

In many ways, this election was very much tied to people's egos and it showed. It is even showing right now while we discuss this. Hopefully, I will not offend you when I ask you to look past your ego and it's ties to the win/loss of the situation and look past my attempt at humorous poking at the party to understand what I was trying to say.

Points such as running a rich man against a rich man and then claiming the rich man didn't care for the people, just businesses and rich people, come off very wrong to people. Not just in Missouri, everywhere. You see because it is the pot calling the kettle black. NO matter what the idea or platform of one rich man over the other. It just did not look or feel right. It also runs into the "moral issues" factor. Whatever Kerry may have thought he was running for, the fact is, his campaign had the smell of hypocracy on it and that is a "moral issue". He was trying to dress up a mercedes benz with mudders and roll bars and sell it to the people as a 1 ton 4X4 pick up and they didn't buy it.

And, please note that I never said that these folks were un-patriotic or un-American on the Democrat side. I understand that they were working for what they thought was best for America. But, as Ciggy pointed out and I am trying to tell my fellow Democrats, who give all the appearance of not listening, the party let their message get whacked by the far left. I am sure that their are many less fringe Democrats. I know some. But the party did not craft it's message well and they did not control those who were representing them.

I mean, when Joe Lockharte goes on TV and says the allies are "bribed" and Allawi is a "puppet"? Speaking of ego, I was actually writing a letter to the party, a more serious one, in hopes of pulling them out of this foolish spiral into oblivion while they try to figure out why they didn't hit it with the people they normally do. Here, I try to explain how "allies" are looked at by "average Joe":

"Allies are friends. Maybe some in the party forgot that message. For your "average Joe", attacking his friends is an attack on him; ie, attacking our allies is attacking America. You let the Republicans bounce you around the political court as "Anti-American" while you tried to cover your mistake by digging a bigger hole claiming the right to "free speech" and "dissent" against the government was very "American" and claiming otherwise was "anti-American" you totally missed the point and kept digging. It's about human psyche and the message, not your "rights" to dissent."

You see, I'm talking about running a political campaign, not the touchy feely "dissent is American" crap. I mean, understanding the demographic and crafting a platform and message. Not about how patriotic anyone is personally. The message got over run by the uber left of the party and it stayed there the whole campaign. Any message that the Dems were trying to convey to the people as the party of the people, was totally lost on this demographic because what they saw and heard did not represent them.

And yes, flag burning is an attack on the American ego. I know it seems terribly incomprehensible to some folks in the "reality based community" (I saw that on a "progressive site" and have been laughing ever sense), but the flag is an extension of America. The people are America. What happens to the flag, happens to America. What happens to America, happens to the people. Yes, it's an extension of the ego and some folks on the uber left of the party like to sneer at that and some folks in the center of the party are just concerned about insuring people get their free speech as entitled under the first Amendment without being arrested. And, you know what, I actually agree with them. Our fore fathers actually meant to be able to burn the flag of your government. Burn their leaders in effigy. Everything, because they did the same things to Britain. So, I can even understand it.

But again, we aren't talking about your rights, the constitution or who is more patriotic than the other. We are talking about the message. we are talking about understanding how the attacks on symbols of America are an attack on the average American's ego. And the elite of the party can roll their eyes and make petty remarks about it, but that just serves to hammer it home even more. The message of the party did not resonate with the people. Period. The party does not have a clue who these people are. Period.

Instead of figuring it out and crafting their message and picking their candidate and choosing their spokes people wisely, they let the party and the message get out of control and it just plain scared the hell out of some people.

And yes, MM in the President's box was another extension of America bashing = bashing americans' egos and, if people are honest with themselves and the party, they would understand that and never do it again.

9/11 had smashed the American people's ego. It was a nasty wake up call. They were just coming to grips with it and building that ego back up. And we need that ego because it drives Americans to do bigger and better things. when somebody like Mr. Moore comes along and tries to hammer that ego and then is embraced by the party, the party is now tainted with his ego smashing hammer.

And the party refused to recognize it. it was like watching a bunch of Dodo birds run flapping and squawking off the edge of a cliff to their extinction. And now, the few dodo birds left are milling around the edge trying to decide if they should jump off, too.

and you see how ego works? You Donal, are very invested in the party. I attack the party, you think I'm attacking you and you respond in kind.

This is about the survival of the party as a representative of the American people. The people that put the Democrats in the white house and gave them their majority in the Senate. Those people are average working class families. They don't join ANSWER or read Chomsky or even really give a damn who he is. they aren't interested in revolting against America because they like it. they get up and go to work and raise families and struggle to pay bills. But they live here, they love here and they die here. If the party is going to appeal to those people then their message has to be about those people, for those people and the party needs to look more like those people.

And it doesn't mean that there is no place for the ultra libs in the party, but I think it behooves the party to remember that the ultra libs are actually a minority in American society and putting them in the fore front of the party will not result in getting middle America back. They will keep pushing until the party that was the party of these people is gone and all that is left is for people to cling to the party of the "compassionate Conservative" because it looks more like them and seems more interested in them.

If the Dems want to take back the white house in '08, then Hillary will not be it unless the country is in such a freaking mess the people will just want to kick the Republicans out of office. And frankly, it doesn't look that way because the Republican President just pulled off some of the biggest feats in recent history. 9/11, destroy the taliban, bringing back a devestated economy, depose a left over enemy from the nineties (Saddam; and that's why the whole WMD thing didn't matter to people) and starting to change a whole region that was once a complete mystery to average joe America.

You can take that list and try to twist it however you want, but that is how it appears here.

The only way the Democrat party will be able to come back in 08 is a candidate that looks like average Joe America, talks like JFK (the real one) and can espouse the tenets of freedom and the average man. He'll have to glom onto some of the inititives of the Republican party as well as be seen as very active in Foreign affairs and helping to bridge some of the Gap as well as crafting the next world initiative for peace. But he or she will have to be very strong and not afraid to flex American muscle.

He or she will have to be seen reaching across the table to the Republicans and really working towards improving America and the people's lives.

Today, I don't see that candidate. They don't exist. the party is going to have to look around and find that person. And let me tell you, Hillary ain't it. I wouldn't mind a woman, but Hillary has too much baggage.

so, if the Democrats really want to re-shape the party and bring these people back to them, they will stop scratching their heads and grabbing their asses talking about Christian Fundamentalists and start talking about real people who really vote.

Geesh..I feel like that prophet, crying in the wilderness.."Hear my voice, oh, Israel..."

Donal said...

CSM, the Winter Soldier hearings were not full of lies, some maybe were but not all. Our soldiers are the best in the world but they are not supermen- when you take men in a high-stress stituation facing an enemy that blends into the population and then give them orders to shoot anything that moves, bad things will happen. Kerry never apologized because he still belives he did the right thing. Yes, North Korea is and if the missle shield worked I'd be all for it but it doesnt, it costs billions of dollars, and at this time we have more pressing concerns to pay for. The current nuclear fear is that terrorists will smuggle a nuke into our cities not that N. Korea will bomb us. Also the Dems arent the only ones who tried to tear this country apart- both sides are. Kat- I agreed with alot of what you wrote, I just touched on the ones I disagreed with. I've never aligned myself with either side, I have voted on the candidates themselves not their party (this time I voted against Bush beliving Kerry couldnt do worse with a Republican congress reining him in). I'm confused by all the flag burning references, they tend to be isolated incidents and I dont remember it being an issue at all. You say the dems didnt distance themselves from this issue, well the reppubs didnt distance themselves from cross burnings which had about the same amount of relevance. Yes, the dems are in trouble they need to let the moderates take control of the party again. Every election I hope that either side would run a man like Kennedy or Theodore Roosevelt, it hasnt happened maybe it never will. As for running Hiliary in 08, I only have this to say if they do I swear to God I'll register as a Republican. But I belive that if they run someone besides her that the democrats have a shot in 08. Maybe I'm wrong but I dont think you can create a free, democratic Iraq that isnt lead by people that hate us- the last being the most important and the most difficult. Right now we are in the middle of what this president has created, in 4 years I think we'll have an idea of the results- good or bad (I hope good but remain doubtful)

Anonymous said...

From 31 January to 2 February 1971, the VVAW, with financial backing from actress Jane Fonda, convened a hearing, known as the Winter Soldier Investigation, in the city of Detroit. More than 100 veterans and 16 civilians testified at this hearing about "war crimes which they either committed or witnessed"; some of them had given similar testimony at the CCI inquiry in Washington. The allegations included using prisoners for target practice and subjecting them to a variety of grisly tortures to extract information, cutting off the ears of dead VCs, throwing VC suspects out of helicopters, burning villages, gang rapes of women, packing the vagina of a North Vietnamese nurse full of grease with a grease gun, and the like. Among the persons assisting the VVAW in organizing and preparing this hearing was Mark Lane, author of a book attacking the Warren Commission probe of the Kennedy Assassination and more recently of "Conversations with Americans", a book of interviews with Vietnam veterans about war crimes. On 22 December 1970 Lane's book had received a highly critical review in the "New York Times Book Review" by Neil Sheehan, who was able to show that some of the alleged "witnesses" of Lane's war crimes had never even served in Vietnam while others had not been in the combat situations they described in horrid detail.


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The results of this investigation, carried out by the Naval Investigative Service, are interesting and revealing.

Many of the veterans, though assured that they would not be questioned about atrocities they might have committed personally, refused to be interviewed. One of the active members of the VVAW told investigators that the leadership had directed the entire membership not to cooperate with military authorities. A black Marine who agreed to be interviewed was unable to provide details of the outrages he had described at the hearing, but he called the Vietnam War "one huge atrocity" and "a racist plot." He admitted that the question of atrocities had not occurred to him while he was in Vietnam, and that he had been assisted in the preparation of his testimony by a member of the Nation of Islam. But the most damaging finding consisted of the sworn statements of several veterans, corroborated by witnesses, that they had in fact not attended the hearing in Detroit. One of them had never been to Detroit in all his life. He did not know, he stated, who might have used his name. Incidents similar to some of those described at the VVAW hearing undoubtedly did occur. We know that hamlets were destroyed, prisoners tortured, and corpses mutilated. Yet these incidents either (as in the destruction of hamlets) did not violate the law of war or took place in breach of existing regulations. In either case, they were not, as alleged, part of a "criminal policy." The VVAW's use of fake witnesses and the failure to cooperate with military authorities and to provide crucial details of the incidents further cast serious doubt on the professed desire to serve the causes of justice and humanity. It is more likely that this inquiry, like others earlier and later, had primarily political motives and goals.


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In April 1971 several members of Congress provided a platform on Capitol Hill for the airing of atrocity allegations. Rep. Ronald V. Dellums of California chaired an ad hoc hearing which lasted four days and took testimony from Vietnam veterans. Some of the witnesses were old-timers. One Peter Norman Martinson had testified before the Russel tribunal, been an interviewee in Mark Lane's book, and appeared before the CCI inquiry. Some new witnesses sounded as if they had memorized North Vietnamese propaganda. Capt. Randy Floyd, a former marine pilot, ended his testimony by telling the committee that he was ashamed to have been "an unwitting pawn of my government's inhuman imperialistic policy in Southeast Asia... And I am revolted by my government which commits genocide because it is good business." For his testimony Floyd drew the praise of Congressman Dellums: I would like to thank you very much for the courage of your testimony and the preparation and details. We are deeply appreciative of the fact that you came forward today."


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A certain amount of this guilt feeling was probably encouraged by the leaders of these groups, all staunch opponents of the war, and there is reason to think that at least some of the atrocities confessed at these rap sessions (and perhaps later repeated in public) were induced by group expectations and pressures. Some were the product of fantasy on the part of emotionally disturbed individuals. Robert Lifton, another psychiatrist involved in these sessions who believes in the frequent occurrence of atrocities, recalls the case of one veteran who after a year's attendance in the rap group could "confess that he had been much less violent in Vietnam than he had implied. He had previously given the impression that he had killed many people there, whereas in actuality, despite extensive combat experience, he could not be certain he had killed anyone. After overcoming a certain amount of death anxiety and death guilt, that is, he had much less need to call forth his inner beast to lash out at others or himself."


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One of the stories told and retold was that of prisoners pushed out of helicopters in order to scare others into talking. It is, of course, possible that some American interrogators engaged in this criminal practice, though not a single instance has been confirmed. We do know of at least one case where such an occurrence was staged through the use of a dead body. An investigation by the CID identified the soldier who had taken the photograph; it also identified a second soldier who acquired the picture, made up the story of the interrogation and mailed it and the photograph to his girlfriend. She in turn gave them to her brother, who informed the Chicago Sun-Times. On 29-30 November 1969 the picture and the story appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Washington Post and generated wide media interest. A lengthy investigation by the CID, which began on 8 January 1970, established that a dead NVA soldier had been picked up on 15 February 1969 after an operation in Cia Dinh province (III CIZ) and adduced other details of how the picture had been posed. The commander of the helicopter in question was reprimanded; the two crew members who had pushed the body out of the aircraft had since been discharged and therefore were beyond the Army's disciplinary jurisdiction.

read more.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

I'm not sure how, but my comment flipped to "anonymous" unintentionally. It was me.

Kat said...

Ciggy,

Thank G-d. I thought I'd been invaded! LOL

Bigandmean said...

Kat and Ciggy,
Brilliant work, both of you. I absolutely marvel at the talent on these blogs. Why aren't the two of you working in somebodies' campaign? If I ever run for anything can I call for advice?

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

Bigandmean, for me Kerry was kind of a "special case" in drawing me to actually support a Republican candidate. Normally I think of myself as merely a hawkish independant with a libertarian social agenda and moderate economics. I could easily see myself voting anti-Republican in the mid-terms if no-fly lists continue to harrass airline travellers, and if gay marriages get put to the forefront as a greater enemy to the Administration than, say, Musab al Zarqawi.

I despise the methods of the far left, but sometimes I see the point the center left tries to make.

Reaganesque said...

Excellent Post!

Emmunah said...

I would normally be in favor of the more progressive guy, but the party of the democrats is starting to scare me. They seem to think if you hug enough people, they will all love you. I just don't think they believe that people are out there that hate us. They seem to talk a lot about "freedom" for all the impoverished in the world, and bitch non-stop about the Republicans upholding all the dictators in the world, but then when someone finally tries to overthrow a dicatator, they start screaming about illegal war and occuptation...it almost seems like the far left salivates at the defeat of anything Bush likes, stands up for, or what the majority of America values. That's not what I thought democrats were all about. It's not what their political platform says, but it seems like what they are saying on all the forums.

Happy New Year Kat!

Kat said...

Em

Yep. That's the problem. They got crazy. I don't like crazy so I had to jump ship. I never realized how one crazy could sound worse than another, but there you go. The insanity had started to spread like typhoid.

I'm against typhoid. :)

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year to you!

leftyjones said...

Kat,
You are clearly happy with where you are and who won. Good for you.
I used to be a Republican once but can proudly say that I no longer am.
It was the right decision for me and I moved forward.
The first step to moving on is to admit the facts.
You aren't a democrat anymore.
Maybe one day the democratic party will attract you again.
Most likely they won't.
The older people get, the more set in their ways they get...the more inflexible...the more afraid.
As a result, you're probably where you are to stay.
Let me share with you what happens when you leave a group and try to share your thoughts...

No one cares except the group you are joining up with.
You see, they love converts.
BUT...they will agree with Democrats on one thing.
Your post could just as easily be titled: "Why Kat voted Republican"
The Democrats won't hear you.
And for this...your new compatriots will be glad and will say things like..."I hope they don't listen, we'll keep on winning elections if the continue to ignore the people....etc. etc.
And they will grasp this idea and hold it dear.
Until they lose.

Everything is cyclical...history proves this...swings to the right, swings to the left.
You just try to do the most good you can when you win and you try to stop your opponents from doing to much harm when you don't.

Meanwhile, enjoy the embracing that your new friends give you because honestly, they are the only ones listening.
I don't say this to be pissy...I say it from experience.
Have fun with your new friends.

Joe Gier said...

Wow!... If ever there was a time that I wish I had said something like that, it was this. Bravo! and thank you!

DaKruser said...

Howdy Kat. I can say that because I'm a Mid-Westerner too. Fact is, I was raised, believe and will continue to vote Democrat even if they were only running a broken-legged dog against the Republicans. Trouble was, they did. I voted for him, and now I'm stuck with just a dog for President. Ok..with that said, all the neo-cons writing their retorts....
You are right on a WHOLE bunch of levels here, Kat. Fact is, the Looney-Left (not just the Centerist/Left like most Democrats) DID hijack our party last year. They did their level-headed best (and succeeded) in creating an entire election platform that could have been called the "HATE BUSH" platform. The people who swung the last election were NOT the Neo-Cons, although in a certain few, that Narcissism may well exist. The FACT is, that the Centerist Vote made the difference, and Most if not ALL of your 20 points exhibited this. I hate to admit it...but the reason Clinton won the second time was EXACTLY the same reasons as Bush did this time. Hate does not win elections. Americans don't like to switch boats in mid=stream, and for them to do so, you have to give a reason beyond, "HE'S A CROOK!!!" or, "HE LIED!!", or some other equally stupid statement. I mean, for real. Name me a Politician that ISN"T a crook, or DOESN"T lie!
We can disagree on certain issues and still be a Democrat, but I hope you won't fall victim to the Dark Side like so many of the others of our generation.
Keep up the good work, and....
Vote Democrat!!!!!!!