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Don't Blame Me, I Voted For...

Watching the Sunday morning pundit shows is always a painful experience. This past Sunday's were ever more so.

I forced myself to listen to drivel about Al Gore's column in the New York Times. All the pundits could talk about was the apparent split between Joe Lieberman and Al Gore. Trent Lott opined about how discourse sounding like class warfare would get the Democrats nowhere (Lott also proudly proclaimed that he was a poor boy from Pascagoula, Mississippi, and it was funny because I thought he was the Senator from WorldCom).

What was lost -- intentionally, probably -- was what Gore actually said. If the pundits talked about the substance of Gore's message, they'd have to engage his points, and they'd be left short.

If the Democrats running this November have brains, they won't run away from Clinton/Gore like Gore tried to do in 2000. They'll cut out and pin this column above their desks and read it every morning before they go out and talk to the voters.

They'll remember that Clinton/Gore promised to use the surplus to save Social Security now. Bush used the surplus to give 1.6 million dollars worth of tax breaks that the middle class did not see. They'll remember that it's not just the stock market that has gone down in post-Enron Wall Street, but "it is confidence in the honesty of our government." Not that Clinton did not have an affair with a member of his staff (he did) and not that he did not lie about it (he did) but no one ever thought that he was not working for, what he called, "the forgotten middle class." Bush and Cheney are being more and more perceived to be, well, the oil executives that they both were.

If the Democratic Party can't run on so-called "class warfare"... if it can't run on a genuine prescription drug benefit plan... if it can run on a powerful Patients Bill of Rights... if it can't run against enormous tax breaks for the richest... if it can't run for a lockbox for Social Security... if it can't run against the executives at Enron and WorldCom and for the investors in Enron and WorldCom, then there is no point to having a Democratic Party. There is a point, and it's time to stop willow-wallowing and get out there and fight the battles worth fighting. Like Bill Clinton did.

Gore could have ended his Op-Ed piece with the same (identical) words that Franklin Roosevelt said when accepting the Democratic nomination in 1932 and Harry Truman said when accepting the Democratic nomination in 1948: "This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms. Give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win this new crusade to keep America safe and secure for its own people."


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 5, 2002 1:16 AM.

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