Friday, August 20, 2010


Balloon Juice's mistermix, citing this story at Talking Points Memo about Al Franken and the Park51 project, justifiably praises Franken, while trying to offer some advice to cowards like Harry Reid and Howard Dean. I'm not sure I quite agree mistermix's his last sentence, however:

... First, know the facts. Unlike Dean and Reed, Franken points out that it's a community center that can't be seen from ground zero. Second, call it what it is and link it to a pattern:
On a more serious note, he also added: "They (Republicans) do this every two years. They try to find a wedge issue, and they try to work it."

Contrast Franken's words to the typical piss-pants Democratic response. First, they treat the nontoversy as a very serious issue, worthy of a few Oprahs and a 20/20. Because it's so serious, they're afraid to face it head-on, so they run away or give evasive statements. Then, after the noise machine has been working long enough for the first polls to appear, the ignorant, fleeting opinions reflected in those polls cause the weaker links in the Democratic chain to issue statements that essentially agree with Republicans. Once that happens, the issue is far more legitimate in the eyes of the media, so what was once a nothingburger is now a topic for experts to discuss for hundreds of hours of cable TV.

I guess the Democratic leadership thinks this is a desired outcome, because they do it all the fucking time.

They know it's an undesirable outcome. They just don't think they can endure what they need to endure to avoid it. Franken knows better.

At a certain point, a lot of kids who grow up with nasty, abusive parents suddenly come to the realization that, well, Dad isn't so tough. They can actually take him in a fight.

Or if not, if he's really tough and vicious, they get to the point where they realize that they can survive what he's dishing out, and they're so sick of groveling that they'd rather stand up to him and confront him head-on than ever grovel again. Or, even if Dad gives them reason to fear for their lives, they just decide that nothing is worse than continuing to cower in fear.

The damn Republicans don't even threaten the Democrats physically -- just politically. What happens if you do stand up to them? It might just turn out that they're not so tough. It might be that they'll wound you, but you'll live to fight another day. And if they destroy you? Well, move on. Get a real job. At least you stood up for yourself.

That's what Franken is thinking. He's a Senate newbie, but he's the older, bigger brother who's decided he's going to fight back. Reid and Dean have been around for other, but they're still sniveling in the corner, scared to death of Dad.

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