Selling out values for political expediency is disastrous

Rahm tells freshman Congressional officials and candidates to take a harder stance against illegal immigration at a time when republicans are turning off entire segments of the population because he doesn’t want the republicans to attack Democrats as being weak on immigration.

Nancy Pelosi takes impeachment off the table before any investigations are even underway, leading to Contempt of Congress charges being ignored because, well, the thought is “what are you going to do about it anyway?”. 

A horrific FISA bill was passed in August because, well, a number of prominent Congressional Democrats didn’t want to stand firm and were afraid of being accused by the republicans as “soft against terror”.  Never mind the fact that it is the same republicans who rubber stamped a cut-and-run from Afghanistan, the escape of bin Laden (still at large if he is still alive), the reconstituting of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan pretty much unfettered and have been the party of torture.

Reid, DiFi and Nelson trade a dollar to the Senate republican for two quarters by allowing a racist with a horrific track record like Southwick to get a lifetime appointment by getting a promise for the republicans to not hold up future appropriations bills.

Retroactive immunity for telecom companies wasn’t immediately smacked down as absolutely unacceptable under no circumstances, and Reid didn’t have the back of Dodd, Biden or Obama when they promised to filibuster or put a hold on any bill that contained this language. 

A “secret compromise” between Reid, Schumer and a number of Senate republicans regarding FEC appointments such as the most odious Hans von Spakovsky would allow someone with one of the worst records in history on voting rights to sail through confirmation for a full term.  Thankfully, principled Senators like Obama stepped up and are doing whatever they can to make sure that he gets a separate vote, or does not get reconfirmed. 

Deals made with respect to Bush’s appointments and the betrayal of true values held by Democrats as well as the American people allowed for the confirmation of disgraced criminal and perjurer Alberto Gonzales to the position of Attorney General, leading to the purging (and covering up of the purging) of US Attorneys for specious and political reasons – all in the name of election tampering.

And with the California dirty tricks initiative not only back but possibly linked directly to illegal actions by the Giuliani campaign, these last two items would pretty much negate the DOJ or the FEC actually doing their job when it comes to investigating more crimes by prominent republicans.

What makes matters worse is that (1) none of these have even touched on Iraq which is the main issue that America voted the Democrats into power for, and (2) the whole “moral values” platform that the republican party ran on and ran into the ground makes this a perfect storm for them come next year – yet time after time, many of the Democrats in leadership positions have compromised their core values for political deals, out of fear of who-knows-what or for reasons that frankly, I have no idea why.

Further, the terms of the debate have been controlled by the republicans, not the Democrats – at a time when the Democratic Party has (1) American public opinion, (2) the morally right side of the issue and (3) the upper hand with facts and the truth on their side.

The entire purpose of building a majority and continuing that majority is to take the core values that are held by those who got you elected (and I do believe that many of these Democrats that I am speaking of share these core values) and apply them to the issues facing the country.  It is really that simple – actually even simpler when all of the above is on our side.

Yet, we progressives constantly find ourselves banging our heads against the wall or just shaking our heads as we read, see or hear about yet another situation where our core values are being sold out for reasons that I can’t fathom.  The way to govern or to build a majority should be based on these basic concepts – yet it seems as those who are steering the ship are taking actions and charting a course that is based on fear of what will be said about them by people who a large portion of the American people have long since tired of.

Why is this?  Is it out of fear?  Is it out of complacency?  Is it out of not wanting to rock the boat in order to potentially win big next year?  Either way, the answer isn’t a good one.  Right now, we are at a crossroads as the general public still trusts Democrats more on nearly every issue, yet we have always been good at being ahead of the curve. 

What happens if a few things that I mention above backfire?  What happens when the public tires of deals with republicans when the obvious response would be to stand firm?  What happens when that very large block of independent/undecided voters is either fed up to the point where they don’t go to the polls or if Congress passes another $50 or $150 or $190 billion bill with no real timelines or other constraints?  What if Bush bombs Iran?

Values is what will win elections.  Values is what will build a movement.  Values is what Americans want (and I don’t mean the whole “moral values” nonsense that is the hypocritical mantra of the republican party).  If the Democratic leadership keeps on selling out these values for political deals or out of fear of being called names, then that is a very dangerous situation to be in.  Not only will it threaten to be a losing proposition, but it will also have wide ranging effects on We the People – whether it be regarding Iraq, Iran, healthcare, election integrity, the DOJ or holding people accountable for their criminal acts.

Having the upper hand when it comes to core values is one of the biggest advantages that we have.  The fact that it so readily is compromised and bargained away for 50 cents on the dollar is very disturbing and a recipe for disaster.


    • clammyc on October 28, 2007 at 15:24

    in orange

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