Watching the Democrats squirm in pain after last week’s election is so much fun! It’s even more enjoyable now when I don’t have the levers of governmental power in my hands, so I have to be, get to be, more creative in defeating these liberal pinko weenies.
The wimpy Left still hasn’t caught on or figured out how to combat our smashmouth, in-your-face politics. They think of politics as a game. We know it’s a war — for power, control and free access to the national cash-register. You don’t hurl yourself at your enemy and then retreat and lick your wounds; you remain geared up to attack again and again. Permanent war 24-7.
The great thing is that everything is unfolding pretty much as we drew it up several years ago, after we got our Congressional ass whupped in 2006 and our presidential nuts pretty much crushed in 2008. Our party was as popular as the creeping crud. So we could see the electoral handwriting on the wall unless we had a solid plan for how to get back into power.
Our side didn’t have any policies that the majority of the American people would support, but we did have ways to frighten and bamboozle them into voting for us. You can’t go wrong underestimating the gullibility and stupidity of the public. Our bend-the-truth campaigns (what the pinkos like to call our reliance on the “Big Lie” technique) work like a charm, especially since we control so much of the mass media that sets the parameters of what passes for reality. He who controls the dictionary controls the world.
But that’s mostly playing defense. If I’ve learned nothing else in my decades in politics, it’s the truism that you should never let the enemy define you and your policies. You need to be in permanent campaign mode and constantly on the offense.
Impeaching The Big Dog
For some for-instances, consider Bill Clinton. We slapped him upside the head constantly with one supposed scandal or another — even, or especially, when we totally made up the scandals — and then impeached the Big Dog for his sexual indiscretions. Yeah, sure, we knew we weren’t going to convict him. That wasn’t the point. The point was to tie him up in knots, make sure he couldn’t govern, taint Gore in the process, and insure a Republican (Dim Son) in the White House in 2000.
The Democrats, those poor chumps, are always looking for peaceful, gentlemanly ways to get what they want. So they were predictably clueless when we hauled out much of the get-Clinton playbook for Obama in 2008. We made sure to hand him a steaming plate of crap as he entered the White House — an economy on the brink of total meltdown, two unwinnable wars, corporate dominance of most aspects of our lives, an imperial foreign policy, etc. — and then watched as he desperately tried to climb out of the smelly pit we dug for him. Our goal was to never let the guy relax for a minute into the presidency. We just kept flinging the smelly cow pies his way and forced his administration to take time out from governing to go into constant clean-up mode by responding to our effective political-guerrilla tactics: presidential “bowing” to the Japanese emperor and Saudi king, “death panels,” not wearing a flag pin, his birth certificate, “czars,” “socialism,” giving a speech to schoolchildren, etc. etc., ad nauseam)
You don’t have to defeat your enemy in the elections. Instead, you inflict a never-ending series of wounds — death by a thousand cuts — that rob him of dignity, throw him offstride, make every day of his presidency a nightmare of constantly having to fend off well-publicized attacks. Steal his mojo, alter his momentum, bog him down in Beltway political minutiae. It’s the American way. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner know that; just keep tearing apart Obama’s agenda, keep votes from happening, start investigations in the House into anything and everything Obama- and Dem-related, keep denouncing “the government,” don’t approve his appointees, delay, delay, delay. 2012 can’t come too early for us to regain the White House and Senate.
The stupidity of our pinko opponents never ceases to amaze me. They’re constantly whining about how our behavior demeans democracy and crazy shit like that, as if we care about all that. We don’t give a flying fig for democracy — that’s just the game we have to pretend to play. We’re after the bigger fish that come with assuming power. We made out like bandits during the Cheney/Dim Son years. We could do it again, and we will do it again, if this Boy Genius has anything to say about it. Turdblossom to the rescue! Feels great to be needed again, as the master playmaker behind the scenes.
Falling Off the Tiger’s Back
Which brings me to some unpleasantness, diary. The goddamn Tea Party. I warned GOP leaders about the dangers of riding that tiger. We needed their bodies and energy and votes and publicity, but to get them, we had to deal with supporters showing up at rallies armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, and, worse than that, with wackos who couldn’t get elected dogcatcher, they were so extreme. Didn’t matter during the primaries, but when a number of them won those preliminary elections and wound up as the Republican nominees, we effectively lost the Senate. Primaries, I kept telling anyone who would listen, are to energize the base; general elections are the ones everybody else votes in.
You can’t nominate scary nitwits like O’Donnell and Angle and Buck and Paladino, et al., and expect to win the elections. Sure enough, the voters got scared off by their rhetoric and past actions and defeated them. The fallout was that the Dems held onto the Senate. If we had taken both branches of the legislature, we could at least envision impeaching Obama in the House and trying him in the Senate — effectively wrecking the final two years of his presidency, like we did with Clinton. Now all that is gone.)
I kept telling those extreme candidates to rein themselves in, keep their traps shut until after the voting about their real policies and plans; instead, I urged them to just keep reiterating the GOP buzzwords: “small government,” “deficit,” “no new taxes,” “freedom,” etc. etc. But no, aside from that shape-shifter Rand Paul, most of them felt they had to stand up for what they (but few enough others) believe in: all that “birther” stuff, and wanting to do away with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the EPA, Education Department, the IRS, etc.
The Palin Perplex
I think those far-out Tea Party candidates caught the Palin disease. They probably knew they were going to lose, but by being so out there, they became heroes and role-models to the far right and will make shitloads of money on books and speeches, and, with their name recognition, can keep running for office forever.
Look at Palin. She wants to be the next president in the worst way — and it would be the worst way for the GOP, and the country. (What on earth was McCain thinking??) But she’s made herself the darling of the extreme right and they’ll follow her off the electoral cliff, and maybe take the rest of us conservatives down with her. I’m still hoping I can lure Jeb into re-considering a run.
A Flesh Wound?
“We have scotched the snake, not killed it,” Macbeth tells his Lady. Obama clearly has been wounded by the midterm election results, but it could have been, should have been, even worse for him. He’s still in the White House, and so is Harry Reid and enough Senators to make some majority trouble for our agenda.
Obama will make feints to the center-right, but on key matters, he’ll try to ride it out, re-energize the Dems in Congress, and stay true to his inner principles (even though he’s effectively compromised most of those by now; he’s so damn easy to roll).
We’re entering the post-election shake-out phase, where the new political alignments begin to figure out how to move, how to organize themselves, what kind of battles they’re willing to fight. The Dems alienated their progressive base and paid the price for disrespecting them. They stayed at home on Election Day or voted for the Republicans, just to send a message. So now the Dems have to figure out how to placate those progressives — all those black voters, and young voters, and activist voters — so that they’re back on board for 2012.
And we Republicans are facing much the same situation. The politically savvy folks I represent have to figure out how, and how much, to deal in reasonably friendly fashion with the Tea Party crazies while not pushing them out of the GOP completely. It’s a delicate dance, and I’m not sure we have leaders capable of that kind of political complexity (and I include Beck. Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of the rightwing bloviators). They want revenge, destruction, blood. I just want to get back in power.
In point of fact, diary, it kinda looks I’m the best qualified person to lead the party back to the White House and total control of the system. But, of course, I can’t say that out loud. I’ll have to wait until those that matter figure it out and call me in (at high fees, I can assure you). Back to the future!
Copyright 2010 by Bernard Weiner
Bernard Weiner, a poet/playwright, has peeked into the diaries of numerous politicos over the years. A Ph.D. in government & international relations, he has taught at universities in California and Washington, and worked as a writer/editor for the San Francisco Chronicle. He currently serves as co-editor of The Crisis Papers (www.crisispapers.org). To comment: firstname.lastname@example.org.