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November 09, 2007

Lecturing the Choir
Posted by Moira Whelan

A Message to everyone: quit luring Democrats into the weeds and start beating the crap out of Republicans who aren’t giving us answers we very much deserve.

In the space of a week, I’ve read emails, blog posts, and news articles comparing Clinton/Edwards/Obama etc on everything from what their feelings on what Peruvian imports of coffee beans and guinea pigs says about their commitment to America, to their detailed plans on training for some Iraqis but not for others, to how much cloud cover would have to be present in order for one of them not to bomb Iran.

I’m seriously sick of it. I do not dispute that it is important to get candidates on the record as much as you can about as much as you can, but this actually goes for ALL candidates, not just half of them.

Take a tour of the websites. Democrats have so much policy on their sites that forests would actually be destroyed if one attempted to print it all. Republicans on the other hand, articulate sound “policies” on how they don’t like terrorists. Democrats provide journalists with pages and pages of advisors who support the candidate. Republicans, on the other hand are considered “well staffed” with two or three crazies (and not a single responsible conservative elder statesman) advising them.

Our loyal choir shouts accusations of Doublespeak! and Flip Flop! at Democratic candidates. We parse and parse again what he or she meant to say about Pakistan or foreign leaders. We compare the HUGE differences among every plan to accomplish the same goal.

In the meantime, the future standard bearers of the Bushies go entire interviews on Sunday shows never once being asked to talk about anything other than their personal lives…let alone our country…let alone anyone else’s.

After all of this, our choir then accuses Democrats of being in the weeds and mealy-mouthed. (My favorite part is when Very Serious People insist that The Candidate needs a policy on the obscure subject they happen to work on, and then weeks later, complains that The Candidate is getting too detailed and the message is muddled. Campaign staff should feel free to kick these people in the head for this act, as well as for thinking they know anything about message.)

Regardless of how you perceive your role in this big bad universe, all of the candidates are not being forced to answer all of the questions. When something doesn’t get done, it’s everyone’s fault. To those who forced the Democrats to go on the record and into the weeds by dogging, watch-dogging, helping or advising, my thanks to you. I now have a clear idea of where every Democrat stands as well as what kind of shoes they’re wearing and the color of their socks.

Please now consider using your talents to make Republicans feel the same heat. 


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A Message to everyone: quit luring Democrats into the weeds and start beating the crap out of Republicans who aren’t giving us answers we very much deserve.

Why Moira? Beating the crap out of Republicans is what the general election is for. Right now it's the primary season and the task for Democrats is to select a Democrat. It's an important choice, and the debates, arguments, attacks and responses are a vital and constructive process. Aside from selecting a candidate, it sharpens the issues, sharpens the responses, adds depth and detail, and toughens up the eventual nominee. It also clears away a lot of BS and rhetorical slop.

I personally haven't paid the slightest attention to what the Republicans are yakking about on their side. Once both sides have a candidate, I'll be happy to jump into that fray with zest. But first things first.

The press appears to be making the same mistakes as they did in 2000 and 2004 by being extremely hard on the Deomocratic candidate for either being too vague or complex, but letting the Republicans get by with making extremely stupid statements about 24, a fictional T.V. show,in order to justify the Bush doctrine or torture.

And just think, we've got almost another year of pure baloney--since presidents NEVER adhere to campaign promises. Remember the Compassionate Conservative? Tune it out, is my advice. Not having a TeeVee helps.

Now to actually go to a website and take the time to read this passionate political propaganda--that takes courage that I don't possess. Or am I just being wise not to pollute my mind with such poll-driven political poop?

I say that we elect a president based on looks, personality and public speaking ability. Why change?

Um... I hope you aren't intending to tell me who to criticize and who to stay quiet about. I'm a liberal and a Democrat. But I'll call "traitor" on a guy like Joe Lieberman if I must, even if I risk losing an election over it. Barack Obama was wrong to campaign alongside an anti-gay bigot. He'd be a way better president that Rudy Giuliani, but that's not the point. Hillary Clinton would be a way better president than Mitt Romney. She's still got foreign policy views that need vetting.

I'm hard on Democrats because I'm a Democrat. Let the Republicans weed out their own pasture.

If a little more self-criticism within the party primaries will allow us to avoid promoting someone who, like last time, manages to lose (what should have been) a slam-dunk general election? Criticize away.

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