SQUISHY SOFT 'DEMOCRATS' Have you heard about the newest political party? You probably saw them, and mistook them for someone else. They are called The Invertebrates. Their symbol is the jellyfish. Dozens of Democrats, especially the leadership, have defected to the Invertebrate Party. Their “I sorta kinda disagree with W” squishiness has made possible the triumph of the fanatical. Their opposition to the agressive rightwing is so spineless, so timid, and so lacking in confidence, it can only be described as cowardly. Why is the leadership of the Democratic Party so lacking in - well, leadership? Why are they so paralyzed when it comes to mounting any kind of credible challenge to the Bush agenda of war without end and decimation of the economy? Does anyone in the Democratic Party have a single idea which does not mimic the Republican Party? It appears that, collectively, the Democratic Party is struggling hard to straddle the right of center line the Republican Party is straddling, so it makes it impossible to recognize them as anything but Bush-lites. The Democratic Party may have had all the “moderate” it can stand. There’s nothing “moderate” about George W. Bush and the Republican Party. As a matter of fact, a larger agenda of fundamentally changing the role of government is taking place in Washington, and no one is doing anything to stop it. The problem isn’t that Democrats are on the wrong side of the issues. They are afraid to make an issue of being on the right side - not to mention directly in the middle of mainstream America. For example, three out of four Americans believe the latest round of tax cuts will not significantly reduce their taxes and fewer than 30 percent think the cuts are the best way to stimulate the economy. A majority of Americans are intensely concerned about the skyrocketing unemployment rate and out-of-control budget deficits. But Democrats gelatinate when it comes to challenging a president who consistently provides more and more tax cuts for the wealthy. Some of them shoot out a few stinging words, but, inevitably, hitch themselves to that piece of Republican taxcut seaweed and float. On foreign policy, numbers also favor the Democrats. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates that 57 percent of Americans are oppposed to investing the proposed years and billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq; however, Democrats twitter into semiliquidity when it comes to providing forceful opposition to the Iraqi quagmire - “Gosh, it may take a while, but we should fight the war on terrorism”. And even though Weapons of Mass Destruction, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden have not been found, Democrats fear being called unpatriotic and unAmerican for speaking out about the wrongheaded and arrogant way pre-emptive invasion has been carried out without the support of the American public and the world. And on it goes. The majority of the American people agree with the Democrats on protecting the environment, safeguarding Social Security, improving the quality of education, and providing greater access to affordable health care. They agree that corporate criminals must be prosecuted and that corporations must start ponying up their share of taxes instead of being given “corporate welfare”. All of this makes the inability by Democrats to provide alternatives and opposition to the Bush administration even more infuriating. And shameful. There are nine Democrats running for President in 2004. Some of them are talking tough. A few have stridently spoken out against the destructive policies of this White House. But many of them, as Congressional members, have complied with Bush, have hemmed and hawed, but given wholehearted support of the war in Iraq and the tax cuts. They now expect us to believe they will stand up to the right wing forces wanting more tax cuts for the wealthy and more military aggression, even though they have previously been hesitantly milquetoast. One of the greatest of all Democrats, Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. So to all you fearing, apprehensive Invertebrates, heed the word. Otherwise, you may find yourself to be just another washed up jellyfish on the political shore while the rest of us try to figure out how to live in a country that is broke and at war with the next enemy-of-the-month.

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