Washington Brief

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Democrats in Doldrums

Washington, DC. Feb. 22nd, 2005 ---- No matter how you look at the scenarios the Democrats are dead in the water, devoid of wind in their sails, and lost at sea. The new mate Howard Dean offers a way out, start the bloody engine and get going, but there is so much dead wood stacked around that he will never get to the engine to start it!

It's time to create an effective opposition to the Bush Religious Right juggernaut. That means there has to be a change in image, and retirement for many politicians such as Ted Kennedy and Joey Lieberman who have long passed their "Use By" date. All due respect to the work of Ted Kennedy but he needs to retire gracefully and act in an advisory role. Joey Lieberman on the other hand either needs to take a job in the Bush Administration or just Shut Up. He is an embarrassment. A great pity he didn't have the guts to choose to run as Vice President without clinging on to his lucrative Senate Seat, and deprive his State of effective representation during the long election process.

Then there are the Clintons. Smarting from Howard Dean daring to oppose their hand picked puppet, to replace their earlier hand picked DNC Chairman, Terry McAuliffe whose leadership will forever be recognized by the RNC and the Bush Administration (No Typo there). The long parade of Democrats coming forward to try and neutralize the power and statements of Howard Dean and put the spotlight back on Hilary is disgusting.

"Yes but he is only the Chairman of the Party Fund Raising and we should look to elected leaders like Senator Clinton for the direction of the party, and it's policies."

Look to the unelectable presidential candidate Senator Clinton to put a Republican in the White House for many years to come.

Former President Clinton looks old these days, and Hilary doesn't look that great either. Maybe it's the strain of life, or illnesses we don't know about, but the Rock Star image of Bill isn't there any more. In fact with Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman and Bill Clinton the Democratic Leadership really appeals to the over 80's.

And can you believe anything sweet Nancy Palosi tells you about the war in Iraq and the desperate state of the economy. Ah the sweet smell of multi million dollar bank accounts, designer suits and that "It's a Small World" smile. Nancy would fit in as a Tour Guide at Disneyland or Universal Studios. At least Ted Kennedy, for all his millions, has a fire in his belly. Don't we have any democrat who can speak for the millions of workers from first hand experience?

The Republican team does look the part, mean, crooked and aggressive.

They do have such brilliant strategists such as Karl Rove. You may despise his tactics, but they are effective against a weak, disorganized party who can't let go of it's failures. The party keeps bringing out the likes of Donna Brazil who showed us how not to run an effective campaign with Al Gore. You never see Karl Rove on CNN showing how inept they are under questioning.

Then lets have a look at the media message. Air America typified the half hearted, badly organized, and amateur attempts to create a balance on the radio waves. The local Boy Scouts with a WWII Army Surplus transmitter would have done better. Yes it's on 50 or so radio stations, but it doesn't even have a Washington presence, and by the time news gets to the airwaves the Republicans have circulated their legions of right wing talk show hosts with rebuttals and neutralizing statements. Providing Howard Dean keeps away from noise canceling microphones, his experience across America should provide him with a blueprint to bring the Democratic media machine out of the toilet.

Assuming that Bush goes ahead with military action against Syria and Iran, and assuming the consequences are what we imagine, it's time for the Democrats to get organized, retire many of their spokespersons to the History Channel and start afresh. Or they could drift around in the Doldrums watching the world go by.

 

 

Alan Simpson brings you regular commentary from the corridors of power in Washington DC and New York. With experience of working in over 80 countries he looks at events from a global perspective.