My Fellow Democrats: Why We Lost

November 17, 2016 - 6:00pm

Thomas McAdam

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Note:  This article is a reprise of the one I published in the Louisville Examiner, on the day before the November, 2010 election.  My fellow Democrats did not heed my advice back then, and I doubt they will now. 

My fellow Democrats:  By now, it should be painfully obvious that we’re going to get our clocks cleaned on election day.  Baring some miracle—like another last-minute visit to the Bluegrass State by our beloved President (Bill Clinton; not the other one), the Republicans are going to whip us like a rented mule.  Come the day after the election, we’re going to have to regroup, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again to construct the Progressive Democratic Party which will lead our temporarily-misguided nation into the rest of the 21st Century.

The purpose of this communiqué is to give you some advance ammunition to use, starting around 6:00 pm Tuesday evening, when your Republican neighbor catches you pulling up your yard signs and scraping off your bumper stickers, and yells, “Nyah nyah nyah!”  Later, when you’ve had an opportunity to reflect, review the results, and sober up, you will be able to come up with your own excuses.  Until then, please feel free to use some of the following:

We had bad candidates.  After any political disaster, the first order of business is to find someone to blame.  Churchill famously said, “Victory has many fathers, defeat is an orphan.”  And our own Al Gore said, “They forgot to count the hanging chads.”  Ordinarily, we would complain about fraud at the polls, but since we’re not exactly squeaky-clean in that department, we would be better off just blaming our lousy candidates.  Where did we find these bums, anyway?  Most of them were guilty, to one degree or another, of forsaking our Democratic Progressive Hope and Change national agenda.  Serves ‘em right for turning their backs on Nancy, Harry, and Barack; the dynamic triumvirate of progress.  Triangulation may have worked for Bill Clinton, but we all knew where his true heart lied (and when).

Failure to communicate.  It is clearly obvious—to any one with half a brain—that the Democratic platform was infinitely superior to that of the Republicans.  We did out best to educate the voters about this ideological superiority, but our every move was blocked by the fascist mainstream media, who slavishly pursued the right-wing goals of their fat-cat corporate owners, rather report the truth about the marvelous Democratic plans for America.

One clear example of this is the general misunderstanding of our new Health Care Reform law.  We didn’t mind the press calling it “ObamaCare,” when it looked like the voters were going along with it, but now that BHO’s positives are in the toilet, it is patently unfair for the New York Times not to refer to the law by its legislative number.   Sure, medical insurance premiums have skyrocketed since the new law took effect; but just imagine what they would cost if we hadn’t passed the law.  Just imagine!

Despite President Obama’s ill-advised promise to the contrary, we really couldn’t debate the 2000-page Health Care law on C-SPAN.  If the voters found out that none of our congressmen even read the darn thing, we wouldn’t stand a chance of getting re-elected.  And all that stuff about the “death panel” required by ObamaCare, was a malicious canard.  The panel won’t decide which patients will die.  It will decide which patients will live.  Our party has been the victim of bad nomenclature.

Economic illiteracy.  America’s voters are not stupid (except for those who don’t live within 50 miles of the East or West coasts); but they are tragically misinformed when it comes to economic theory.  The press makes a big deal out of all the unemployment in the country, but without our great Democratic Stimulus and all those wonderful bail-outs, we might be facing joblessness in excess of 8%.  Sure, Ford is making a profit and GM is on life-support, but that Chevy Volt is a hell of a fine car, no? 

The evil Republicans harp incessantly about the 13 trillion dollar national debt (Editor’s Note:  It’s now 20 trillion dollars); like any of them know how much a trillion dollars is (are?) either.  But when they whine about our grandchildren having to pay this bill, they just show their economic ignorance.  See, the FED is planning to gin up some inflation (Good news for you seniors—maybe you’ll get your COLA next year!), and Treasury is going to print up lots of more money.  That way, by the time our hypothetical grandkids get around to paying off all this debt, a trillion bucks won’t buy a bag of Chinese rice.  (As an aside, we really should be encouraging folks to eat more Chinese rice; it’s mighty nutritious, and surprisingly tasty!)

Besides, it’s not like we’ve maxed out our MasterCard or anything.  There are plenty of rich Chinamen who are more than willing to float us a little loan until payday.  According to that great Democrat, John Maynard Keynes, as long as we can run a tab, happy days are here again.  Did I mention how delicious that Chinese rice is?

The housing bubble.  One of the most misunderstood issues of the past couple of years is the dramatic decline in the value of housing.  Due to the predatory lending policies of the greedy mortgage bankers (not the good, decent, mortgage bankers we bailed out), a few unfortunate families are getting their houses repossessed.  Well, you can’t make an omelet, without cracking a few eggs.  The bottom line is, we have made housing more affordable than ever.  Housing prices are so depressed that even undocumented aliens (¡recepción, amigos!) are able to afford houses.  Why, in Detroit alone, many houses are selling for $1 (that’s “one dollar”) apiece.  If that’s not evidence of Democratic success, I don’t know what is.

We are saving the Earth.  And then there’s all that confusion about our environmental policies.  It’s clear the Republicans don’t give a darn about saving our planet.  Everybody knows they’re in the pockets of Big Oil, Big Coal, and those Big Guys who make those non-biodegradable plastic thingies they use to hold 6-packs together, and are killing all of the sea turtles.  Here in Kentucky, the Republicans made a big deal out of our Cap’n’Trade proposal, and even though our senatorial candidate told everybody he was against it, the opposition dishonestly kept playing that video interview with the newspaper, where he said he was for it.  More dirty tricks.

The Republicans kept whining about those 130,000 jobs in the Kentucky coal industry that would disappear under our environmental plans.  Those folks shouldn’t be forced to go down into those dangerous coal mines anyway.  We’d all be better off if they took to growing corn, which we could use for ethanol fuel.  Now that marijuana-growing has depleted the moonshine industry, we have a surplus of distilling capacity in the hollers that could be used to produce clean fuel.  Sure, ethanol is a lot more expensive and inefficient than gasoline, but how much is your planet worth to you?

As for all that talk about “clean coal,” any fool can see that is a fat-cat Republican lie.  Ever pick up a lump of coal?  Filthy stuff got your hands all dirty, didn’t it?  “Clean coal,” my Aunt Ida!  We need to convert all our Kentucky power plants to wind and solar power.  And we use too much electricity anyway.  We should use more batteries.

Tax and spend.  As a corollary to the country’s economic illiteracy problem, op. cit. (Miss Moss, my high school English teacher would be proud.), we Democrats need to confront the persistent calumny being spread by our enemies that we are only interested in taxing and spending.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Clearly, it takes money to make money, and “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society,” according to that great Democratic Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  Starting next January, folks in the lowest income tax bracket will see their taxes increase by 50%, but we need to remind people that this is the result of the BUSH tax cuts.  If he hadn’t given TAX CUTS TO THE RICH in the first place, the 2011 increases would never have happened.  With any luck, we ought to be able to use the “It’s Bush’s Fault” meme well into Obama’s second term.

Racism.  Don’t be afraid to use the word.  Manifestly, Republicans are racists.  The most recent poll demographics clearly show that White men vote overwhelmingly Republican.  That’s because they are racists.  And sexist, too, because most women vote Democrat.  Of course, most Black folk vote Democrat, but that’s because Republicans are racists and no self-respecting African-American would vote for a bunch of yahoos who want to reverse the results of the Civil War, where the Republican pro-slavery forces were defeated by the, um, O.K., best not mention the Civil War.  Long time ago, and nobody remembers it anyway.

It is obvious that Republicans can’t stand the idea of having a Black man in the White House.  Americans elected him in the first place, because George Bush lied and people died; and Obama was half White anyway.  Opposition to President Obama’s progressive policies is merely racial hatred raising its ugly head.  If that lame-o John McClain had become our president, we’d still be fighting those silly Middle-Eastern wars, and gasoline would be a dollar higher.  (Strike that part about gasoline being a dollar higher.  It is.) 

We should be proud to be Democrats, and should hold our heads up high.  We are the party of Jefferson (a slave-owner), Jackson (Indian genocide), Wilson (kept us out of war & started the income tax), FDR (kept us out of war, ended the depression, eventually), Truman (nuked the Japs), Kennedy (blew the Bay of Pigs), Johnson (saved Viet Nam), Carter (stagflation, malaise), and Clinton (Monica).   Buck up, my fellow Democrats.  To paraphrase the words of our junior Senator from Minnesota:  “We’re Good Enough, We’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Us!”


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