« From the Great Beyond | Main | Steady as she goes »

Insufficient hysteria

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday October 26, 2006 04:28 PM

Bobw writes:
Cursor links an article by Robert Parry from Consortium News suggesting the Dems are making a mistake in believing they can ride to victory merely on Republican bad news, instead of saying loud and clear what's wrong with the Republican vision, domestic and foreign.

Of course, maybe they dont know what's wrong with the Republican vision. But I suspect it's just their instinctive fearfulness and toadyism.

The Parry piece is a little odd. His main point seems to be that the Democrats are insufficiently hysterical:
As Democrats go through their biennial rite of premature victory celebrations, they are inviting defeat again by obsessing on polls about how many congressional seats are “in play” rather than on explaining to the American people what a Republican victory on Nov. 7 would mean to the nation.

If the GOP keeps control of Congress, Bush would be strongly tempted to double up on his bloody wager in Iraq with military attacks on Iran and Syria. That expanded war would guarantee reprisals by radicalized Muslims around the world and thus draw the United States into a virtually endless conflict.

At home, the consequences of indefinite war would be fatal, too, to the already wounded American democratic Republic....

Of course, what Parry oddly overlooks is that it would be a little bit surprising for the Democrats to start objecting now to policies they've consistently failed to oppose, or even actively supported. Not to mention that the type of Democrat on which the party seems to be pinning its hopes is a Democrat like this:
A right kind of Democrat
GOP-held House seats are threatened by a crop of conservative foes.
By Janet Hook, Times Staff Writer

He is pro-business and antiabortion. He is an evangelical Christian and an avid hunter. But, unexpectedly, Heath Shuler is a Democrat, and he is running for Congress in North Carolina.

Shuler is part of a phalanx of unusually conservative Democratic candidates who may deliver crucial victories over GOP incumbents and help their party win control of the House.

...[O]f the Democratic candidates most likely to be elected....[s]ixteen of them have been endorsed by the Blue Dogs, a coalition of conservative Democrats. Several used to be Republicans. Shuler was recruited to run as a Republican a few years ago but opted not to.

... With so many conservative-leaning candidates at the forefront of the Democratic effort, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has, at least for now, stuck to a minimalist agenda that steers clear of grand, liberal ambitions. Instead, Democratic leaders are focusing — and almost all serious Democratic candidates are campaigning on — a more limited, six-point agenda that includes raising the minimum wage, repealing tax breaks for oil companies, restoring college tuition tax breaks, cutting Medicare drug costs and other plans they believe could draw bipartisan support.

You will note that there is nothing in the six-point program about torture, civil liberties, privacy, war, or any of the other things that Parry is worried about.

I fully endorse Parry's own hysteria; indeed, I'll call his hysteria and raise him one torchlight parade. But if the Democrats aren't hysterical, perhaps it's because they're just fine with all the things that worry Parry and me.

The real puzzle, I think, is why on earth Parry considers this election so world-historical. Granted that things are headed in a very bad direction, what on earth makes him think that putting Democrats in Congress would make a difference? The best he can come up with is the claim that Republican victory would encourage Bush to persevere in his wicked ways, which is undoubtedly true; but does Parry seriously believe that a Democratic victory would have the opposite effect -- or indeed, any effect at all?

Comments (7)

js paine:

read this by father sublime
and got on the blower to my
"source with the inside sources "
tucker acheson

" repubs win ....win what ??..
oh the congressional thing...
nope makes no diff the cheney kriiegs are
out of biz..for the duration ....look
its all about damage control
as we drift sideways into 08

syria iran they're just
places on the map again ....
the north koreans ??? .... nope
not so long as the reverend moon
can be kept out of the cabinet
when rumsfeld resigns"

so you all have the word
the globe is safe for

either way it goes next month
we're headed for a spate of
"dormocratic" rule


What, are you joking? This US midterm election is by far the most significant historical event in the history of universe since the last US election.

I know this, cause the blogs tell me so. Kim Jong-Il blew up his possibly nuclear bomb in order to affect our pissy little House elections. Isn't that awesome!

A nuke? You mean, that was supposed to be a goddamn' nuke? Huh, I thought it turned out to be just a medium-yield tactical cherry bomb.

Oh, and btw, this is only a mid-term election, meaning that the '08 debacle really will be the absolutely, positively, most important ever event since since the cooling of the Earth to a temperature suitable for life -- or, perhaps even the most important event since the accretion of a large disk of dust and rock debris around our Sun.

Indeed, I expect the 2008 US Presidential Election to be an event of significance rivalled perhaps only by the first nanosecond of Existence after the Big Bang.

Eh. This fear-the-republicans thing is all over the blogs. The dems have nothing worth voting for so they're relying on fear of republicans (just like republicans rely on fear of terrorists.)

Really, the best they can hope for is that people will get sick of their fear rebop and tune out completely. No one honestly believes a dem congress will make a damn bit of difference.

J. Alva Scruggs:

The Democratic fear thing on the blogs is as annoying as the constant, self-important, apocalyptic hooting and gibbering of the wingnuts. It comes around like a pitch from a dishonest stockbroker, who makes his living advising gullible pensioners that the sunk cost fallacy doesn't apply, just this once. I'll bet Pavlov never dreamed of achieving such perfect conditioning; subjects that train themselves and then go forth to spread the lurve.


"The dems have nothing worth voting for so they're relying on fear of republicans (just like republicans rely on fear of terrorists.)"

Man, I've never heard the two-party scam described so well in a single sentence.


I thought I was being somewhat sarcastic, but I actually saw someone on DKos say "the most important election of my lifetime."

As Alexander Cockburn wrote two years ago, how is this more important the all the elections in the Cold War when the destruction of the planet was an option on the table for the President?

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Thursday October 26, 2006 04:28 PM.

The previous post in this blog was From the Great Beyond.

The next post in this blog is Steady as she goes.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31