Monday, March 13, 2006

Donkey Poseurs

In his comments about a previous SLANTblog post, “Is Miller Going High Road, or Low?” Conaway Haskins, of South of the James, suggests some Democrats seem "programmed to lose," even "afraid to win."

Well, I agree with him.

It seems to me this attitude began to have sway in the donkey party when many lefty Dems in the 80s had no real answer for Reagan’s success in building the big tent the Republicans have used ever since. They were baffled. Instead of confronting the Reagan-thinking directly on the issues of the day, they preferred to strike a pose that said -- "We were correct about Vietnam and Civil Rights, we’ll always be correct, no matter the issue. One day you’ll see that’s so. We’ll wait..."

They are still waiting.

Still wrapped up in striking backward-looking poses. Still living in the Glory Days when their causes were cool. Still quibbling over syntax and purity, still losing elections.

Now some of them are foaming at the mouth over what a thoughtful man, James Webb, may have said over 30 years ago about the subject of women serving in combat zones. Never mind how much has changed since then, to them Webb can never be a "real Democrat" if, as a young man, he believed something that is now out of style.

You know what, dear reader, most of the men that I know of the liberal persuasion, who are also combat veterans of Webb’s generation, still think women shouldn’t be in combat zones. (By the way, most worry about how young men will act under fire in a co-ed foxhole, rather than whether or not women can fight.) Sorry, but it's true and I've asked lots of them about this. Are the purists going to drum them out of the party too, as being anti-feminists?

Are we really going to say that a group of 50-some-years-old men, with firsthand experience in all-out combat, should be branded as "less-than-real Democrats," because on one issue they might have a generational prejudice? Then again, is it a silly prejudice, or a belief that was forged in a crucible?

Those are fair questions?

Honest people can debate them without calling their opponents barbarians or fools, and attempting to ostracize them. A political party that can’t hold together while such differences are settled by time is going nowhere fast.

Those Miller partisans attempting to brand Webb as unworthy in this particular way are perfectly willing to lose to George Allen in November as long as they can say they struck the right, or is it left? pose, again. Winning and governing isn't what they are about. What they are about is something to ponder, too. Can you dig it?

3 comments:

anonymous said...

I was talking about James Webb with a member of the PDA last week, who was getting all upset because Webb was in the Military.

I said, "Of course he's in favor of a strong military, that's why he opposed the Iraq war: it's stupid and weakens American in every way."

He agreed, but later he said, "you mean he was actually in Viet Nam?", then getting demonstrably angry. "So how many people did he kill."

I said, "How many did he need to?"

If Americans were pacifists, America would still be a British Colony. Jeez. No wonder Dems lose.

A note to Miller apologists: Dennis Kucinich will never be elected to any office in Virginia, stop trying to demand every Democrat hold his beliefs.

Alice said...

Well sure, if someone prefers a different candidate they must have a death wish. It could not possibly be because they looked at the same set of facts and reached a different conclusion.

And yeah, Harris Miller supporters have such a problem with the military. That is why we supported Chuck Robb over Allen in 2000. Or something.

Anonymous said...

I don't normally read these things, so don't have a blogger ID. But live in NOVA and could not agree with you more.
Very good article, or blog, whichever you call them.
It seems people would rather cut off their noses to spite their face.
(and would the person who is so upset that he was "actually in VietNam" be that upset with the current Iraq war vets - especially the many ones running as Dems?) And if he/she is - then vote for the guy who has spoken out against the war from before day 1.
This is an unprecedented turn, and the Dems should be welcoming these people of courage with open arms, not saying, "ummm, you don't have the credentials to be in OUR great party."