Sunday, July 13, 2008

NYT's Bob Herbert ~ Feeling No Pain

Let's first step back to September 2001 for a Slate piece on Phil Gramm by David Plotz. Hopefully everyone knows what Dr. Phil said recently about our economic woes.

The NYT's Bob Herbert serves up a gem where he writes, "The biggest failing of both parties in this presidential campaign has been the unwillingness to be forthright with the public about the true extent of the crises facing the country." Certainly the McCain camp is most guilty yet Mr. Herbert is dead on right when he writes the following:

The Democrats, timid as always, should be pounding the populist pavement from one coast to another, explaining how the reckless and deliberately inequitable policies of the past several years have gotten the U.S. into this terrible fix.

We should be getting chapter and verse about how badly the war in Iraq is hurting us here at home. We should be seeing charts and graphs explaining how ordinary Americans, now the hardest-working people on the planet, have been cheated out of their share of the extraordinary productivity improvements they’ve racked up over the years.

There should be a sense of urgency coming from the Democrats in this campaign, a clarion call compelling enough to rally the legions who have been treated unfairly and badly hurt in the nation’s other undeclared war: the class war.

Amen! Why the powers that be, from the pols to the high priced consultants, don't do this is a mystery to me. I know we have plenty of centrist weenies and also that Democrats inherently resist organization. I know the prospects look good this year for some serious gains in Congress and yet we need the White House as well. "Timid" is too kind to describe today's Democratic Party as we've let the right wing frame, intimidate, organize, message, ... us into downright weakness all too often. Leaders like Russ Feingold that reliably show some backbone are often left out in the cold.

Phil and St. John keep serving up fat ones over the plate. If ever there were a chance to wallop one out of the park this latest gift from Gramm was it. We'll have more however as the Conservatives can't speak to their own base without handing out opportunities for true Progressives. Then again, merely having Phil Gramm so involved with Huggy Bear's campaign has long seemed enough for me. John Gunn

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