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Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Apprentice

Alexandra Starr at Slate magazine introduces us to Dick Wadhams, "Karl Rove's heir apparent." In the campaigns he has run:

"Wadhams didn't hesitate to run attack ads and regularly belittle his opponents. His approach mirrors not only Rove's but also that of the late Lee Atwater, creator of the Willie Horton ads that helped sink Michael Dukakis.

While most campaign managers are defensive about going negative, [...] Wadhams is entirely unapologetic. "There's nothing wrong with going negative," he once argued. "Staying positive is a disservice to the voters because differences between the candidates are never revealed."

I read this and think about how the Democratic Party can rehabilitate itself. What can the Democrat Party learn from Black people? How and When to Be Confrontational.

Emancipated by Quintus Jett @ 12:38 AM

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The popular euphemism is that Howard Dean is giving the DNC a spine transplant, and while that may be accurate, I think the more appropriate analogy is a bit more base - Democrats need to act like they've got a pair. The Democratic party still doesn't seem to understand that it is in a life-and-death fight against an enemy that intends on killing the Democratic Party. You don't negotiate with that kind of enemy. You don't make deals with that kind of enemy. You don't try to reason with that kind of enemy. You kill him or you get killed. Grow up in the hood and you learn that lesson quickly - if guns get drawn you better hit your target first because you will get shot. The GOP is shooting at the Democrats, and yet the Democrats want to talk about it like Theo Van Gogh? That's a life-ending move. How did the Fellas put it in School Daze:

Gamma! Gamma! Gamma! Gamma!
Punk! Punk! Punk! Punk!

Punks don't live long in hostile enironments - Dean has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time.

Posted by Blogger Athanasius @ Saturday, June 11, 2005 3:08:00 AM #

That's why celebration of a judicial nomination compromise in the Senate by Democrats makes little sense, and seems very premature.

The worst judges from a Democrat perspective got through, and the Republicans pushing the nuclear option are still in charge and not part of the compromise deal.

The whole thing has elements of a modern day Missouri Compromise. Like the slavery states in the 19th century, the leadership of today's Republican Party isn't really going to compromise what it plans to do at all.

The Black experience in America speaks a lot to this. Compromising with darkness buys you time to live and fight another day, but it's not a strong hand that will bring you victory.

If compromise, as oppose to struggle, is your doctrine, you will be confined to inferior status and servitude forever.

Particularly when your opponents are unapologetic and exhibit no moral conscience about their vicious attacks against you.

I think for some Democrats, being attacked this way is beyond their imagination and experience.

But for Black people in America, I think this is part of our collective memory to recognize the mentality when we encounter it.

Posted by Blogger Quintus Jett @ Saturday, June 11, 2005 9:08:00 AM #

Apparently the DNC Executive Committee gets it - they're supporting Howard Dean 100% because they didn't want a wimp in the first place. "We have been waiting a long time for someone to stand up for Democrats." It's a good first step. The next step is for them to internalize the "You Have The Power" message so that they no longer wait for someone to stand up for Democrats - Democrats have to stand up for themselves! But, it is a good first step - crawling before walking before running and all that.

Posted by Blogger Athanasius @ Saturday, June 11, 2005 8:36:00 PM #
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