Contrary to popular opinion, the Democrats are not spineless. Spinelessness is inherent weakness and cowardice. It means that when a person is facing a malevolent force they are supposed to stand up to, they go completely limp and act as a doormat for the malevolent force to wipe their feet on. Although weakness is abhorred in our society, spinelessness can at least be forgiven. We have all felt weak at one time or another and crumpled under pressure. It is part of being a human being. However, spinelessness is not the cause of the Democratic leadership repeatedly caving in to the bullying ways of the Bush administration and the Republican Party.
Crossposted on dkos
In reality, Democrats are repeating the same behavior over and over in a systematic way. It goes like this. Bush acts outside the bounds of his authority. A handful of the Democratic leaders talk tough and put up a boundary. Then a handful more criticize Bush. Then just enough Democrats quietly capitulate to Bush’s demands to kill the issue. The most recent case involved Senators Feinstein and Schumer voting for Mukasey for Attorney General. In this case it happened to be Feinstein and Schumer capitulating but it never is the same people playing the same roles. In other cases, Feinstein and Schumer are the ones talking tough so that some others can be the ones to capitulate. Where spinelessness is emotional weakness and cowardice, the behavior currently exhibited by the Democratic leadership is a strategy and one far more insidious than spinelessness could ever be. It is an election strategy called ‘at least we’re not as bad as that guy.’
The strategy is simple. The Democrats realize that the Bush administration is destructive by nature. All they have to do, then, is allow Bush and his buddies to run the country into the ground. Meanwhile they talk like they object to his actions and let everyone know that the mess we are in is the fault of Bush and the Republicans. In this scenario, the Democrats don’t have to be heroes or even competent leaders. They don’t have to protect the Constitution or even the American people. They simply have to give Bush a stage and shine a spotlight on the man with a narcissistic personality disorder, a poor work ethic, no real leadership abilities and a predisposition toward making the wrong decision. The Democrats standing back and doing nothing is at least better than completely destroying every aspect of this country. Right? So when you’re standing in the voting both, what are you going to do? Are you going to vote for a bunch of do-nothings or are you going to vote for the party of the guy who completely wrecked your country?
Helplessness is not fun. No one is proud of being a victim or being paralyzed by fear but when you are in this condition you are at least not choosing it. Nor are you choosing your actions as your fear is dictating them for you. The Democrats, on the other hand, have chosen a strategy. It is premeditated. They realize that it is their turn for power. All they have to do is nothing and they will win the next election by a landslide. They have decided that it is far too risky to do their jobs and possibly be blamed for the mess our country is in on. It has become our way to put power, money and winning above ethics and morality. The Democratic leadership is allowing evil to flourish so that they can have eventually take power. They are allowing wrongs to be done because it improves their position. This is revealing a great truth to all of us: the Democrats are only slightly better than the Republicans and only at the moment. Our democracy is only somewhat better than a theocracy or monarchy. We have moved forward but only slightly. We have a long way to go to reach our potential. It is we the people who have to work. Politicians cannot be counted on to move us forward.
I view everything as a narrative and find this story of our current political world pretty horrible. It is a narrative full of bullies but no heroes. Who is writing this drama anyway? I have all but lost interest in it. At this point I can only hope that Dennis Kucinich will soon be given a starring role. He saw a UFO and admitted to it. He also just introduced legislation to impeach Vice President Cheney. At this point he looks like the only candidate who could make this story interesting although it does not look like he will be written into a leading role any time soon. Instead it is more likely that we will endure years more of destruction and suffering before any real heroes show up. In the meantime all of our efforts are better spent making ourselves better people and making the world a better place, independent of the political process. We can always show back up and push the button for ‘the party that is not quite as bad as the other guy’ when the occasion demands.