May 19, 2006
Blue Nation RisingRemember the electoral map in 2004, awash in a sea of red except for the blue coasts? As misleading as it was because it represented land mass more than population, that map was still disconcerting for a liberal to see.
Less than one and a half years later, after the deepening quagmire that is Iraq, the shame of Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, the criminal ineptitude that is Katrina, the ballooning budget deficit and national debt, the attempted gutting of Social Security, the hopeless mess that is Medicare, the plundering of the environment, the unconscionable bills and tax cuts that favor big corporations and the wealthy, the shameless port deal, the illegal wiretapping and violation of rights, the Valerie Plame leak and the rampant culture of corruption -- just a few in the long list of power grabs, failures and dereliction of duty -- the nation has had it with George W. Bush and the Republicans.
Bush, who unabashedly bragged about his political capital (even though he only won 51% of the vote, hardly a “mandate”) is now looking at this map:
(Image from Billmon.)Talk about squandering political capital.
In a 50-state poll conducted by Survey USA, Bush has a positive rating in only three states. As Chris Bowers noted,
“In forty-seven states, Bush has a negative approval rating. In seventeen states, Bush's disapproval rating doubles his approval rating. In fifteen states, his disapproval rating is lower than any disapproval rating ever achieved (b)y Nixon nationally. In eight states, his net disapproval is lower than anything Nixon ever achieved nationally. In Missouri, Bush is at 29-68. Missouri.”Good news for the Democrats, right?
Yes, except for one problem: their chronic inability to recognize a good thing when they see it.
When Bush’s poll numbers are good, they’re afraid of offending conservatives. When his numbers are bad, they’re afraid of energizing his base.
The electorate can sense this.
They can sense the constant calibrations and calculations.
They can smell the fear.
When Nancy Pelosi unequivocally states that she’s not interested in impeaching Bush, they can smell it.
When Joe Lieberman professes unqualified support for Bush the "war president", they can smell it.
When Evan Bayh openly criticizes fellow Democrat Feingold for censuring Bush on domestic eavesdropping, they can smell it.
When Hillary Clinton panders to the right and cozies up to the likes of Fox News titan Rupert Murdoch, they can smell it.
If these Democrats think they project an image of reason and moderation, they are wrong.
They are projecting an image of weakness.
In the emotional day after the 2004 elections I said, "My fellow liberals, fellow Americans, it is not over. It is never over. Our cause is just. I still stand proudly with you, with the millions of us who believe that to fight for the common good regardless of race, gender, age, status or religion is a worthy cause and ultimately, what our great nation is about."
I've always believed this, and to this day I still believe.
Memo to the Democrats: There is no shame in being a liberal, in fighting for the common good. There is also no shame in holding accountable the nation's leaders who were supposed to be the guardians of that common good.
A blue nation is rising. We have had enough.
The nation is willing to follow but you have to show us you are willing to lead.
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-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace
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Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.
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