Don’t Trouble Yourselves

Atrios had this:

Party strategist David Axelrod explained the Democratic wariness: “We already fought that battle [over Bush’s veracity] and we lost. He got elected again. So even though the memo is important, there’s a sense that people don’t want to revisit the lead-up to war. Although I’m not sure I agree with that, when you look at the number of Americans dead today.”

This is why people don’t respect Democrats. This thing, right here. This is what kills the party, and we all need to recognize that, or we’re going to spend the next 10 years losing elections and talking about how since we lost, we can’t do anything that might help us win.

Read that statement again and try to picture it being said in anything other than the voice of George McFly. Uh, eh, I dunno. We don’t think people really wanna hear about stuff, we don’t know, we lost, we suck, we’re losers, we’ll just be over here. Go on killing our kids.

Do you see what this guy is saying? Yeah, there was a war. Yeah, it killed SEVENTEEN HUNDRED soldiers. Yeah, we think the reasons it was puffed up were a bunch of bullshit, but it doesn’t matter, because we lost one election, and that’s enough to send us scurrying back to our little hole where we whine and complain that nobody listens to us. That’s enough to make us forget about those seventeen hundred (and counting), forget about their families and friends, forget about the answers we owe them for killing them. No wonder people think we’re the party of pussies. No wonder people think we’re weak. Read that again. That is weak. I read that and I see a guy whose ass I could kick with one hand tied to the opposite leg. Jesus.

First of all, Axelrod’s contention isn’t true. Kerry and his campaign didn’t challenge Bush’s veracity and he didn’t challenge the leadup to the war. I love John Kerry, I think John Kerry would have been a brilliant president and maybe still should be. But John Kerry voted for Bush’s war and then in the WANING MONTHS of the campaign, when literally nothing else worked for him at all, John Kerry said Bush wasn’t giving the troops enough ammo, he wasn’t giving them armor, he wasn’t giving them enough brothers and sisters in arms to fight with. He never said, Bush is a liar. He never said, this war is based on the assumption that you’re all too fucking stupid to think for yourselves. He never said, I trusted you, George, and you sold me out, and you sold out the American people. He never said, this war is a lie.

We didn’t lose that fight. We barely got in it. And we only stuck our big toe in out of desperation, and that’s why it looks like Democrats aren’t serious about this war. Why we aren’t serious about national security. Because we didn’t stand up and say loudly and clearly every one of us no sniping no background noise no dissent within the party we didn’t stand up and say this war was based on lies and we want an accounting for it.

John Kerry attacked on the war because nothing else made a dent and he did it too little and he did it too late. And David Fucking Axelrod up there thinks that’s enough, we timidly raised our voices at the cocktail party once and somebody looked at us funny, and that’s it, we won’t ever talk about it again. Never mind we were right. Never mind the dead are still dead. Never mind there are 1,700 families missing a face, missing a body in a chair at dinner.

Never mind the Iraqis. Never mind that in 50 years when our children and grandchildren are asking why there was another terrorist attack, why “they” hate us, never mind that we’ll never be able to explain that when 10 members of your family are killed by a bomb shot from a gun made in the USA that has “new testament” on the barrel, you wouldn’t forgive, you wouldn’t forget. Never mind that we can’t begin to wrap our arms around the size of what we’ve done, that if there truly is a hell and heaven we’ll have to answer for crimes we can’t comprehend yet, everybody’s sick of talking about it, or so the Democrats say.

Second of all, even if it were true, what does that mean? We look truth in the face and say it doesn’t matter if people don’t want to hear it? We call a lie truth just because it’s easier? Why not just agree that we do want to ban the Bible and force you to get gay married because if we choose this pansy-ass path of least resistance I don’t think there’s any way in which we could possibly buy into Republican propaganda more.

When one poll tells us to shut up about an issue we shut up. They don’t shut up. They keep shouting until you listen to what they want you to hear. They tell you something’s important until you believe it, even if you can’t actually say why. When we think in our own heads that we’re just too tired for this fight right now, that we’d rather move on to some area where we don’t suck yet, even if that area’s shrinking like an ice floe in Argentina, we walk away. And people keep dying.

People keep dying. Americans. British. Iraqis. People keep dying. This is a war, the Freedom Fellators keep telling us. This is a nation at war. We can’t walk away from that because we’d just rather NOT right now, okay? We’ve given people no choice about how to feel about their political parties at war. The Republicans are the ones shouting honor the troops, honor the cause they fight for. We’re over here, saying can’t we move on. And another bomb goes off, and another house and another family and another town is destroyed. How can we move on from that? How can we not say, we deserve to know the true story of this war, the beginning AND the ending. We demand to know what your plan is. What are our objectives, when will we reach them? When can my neighbor and my cousins come home? And if this is not the way to fight terrorism, what is?

Nah. That’s a downer, that whole conversation.

So let’s talk about health care some. But only if it doesn’t upset too many people.