Tuesday, June 21, 2005


This Is Why We Lose

Have you ever wondered why the Democrats lose elections? It's because we often end up apologizing for being right.

Since his comments last week, Sen. Durbin has come under fire for invoking the Nazis. According to the Republican noise machine, Durbin's statements have emboldened the enemy. They've aided the terrorists. Now I ask you, "What emboldens the terrorists more, invoking a regime that killed millions of Jews or the denegration of Islamic detainees in our detention centers?"

Unfortunately, the focus hasn't been on the veracity of the statement that Durbin made, but on the comments that followed. The full statement was:

Sadly, his characterization was correct. These acts that the FBI agent referred to are reprehensible and would not be tolerated if they had been perpetrated on an American. Even Republicans have to concede that point. But it turns out that Durbin's true crime was having the audacity to publicly decry these activities. He is simply being crucified for stating the truth while the cameras were rolling.

So how did it get to this point? Why must we apologize for telling the truth? The answer: because we play too nice.

When the Swifties came after Kerry did he go public and say "These guys are full of shit?" No, he took the high road. What about the new book about Hillary Clinton that claims, among other things, that she is a lesbian? Do you see anybody from the Democratic party showing up on television to say "This is all a bunch of crap?" No, they're taking the high road. Should Durbin have apologized for exposing the truth about prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay? No, but he's trying to take the high road. Unfortunately for the Democrats, the high road doesn't work when your opponent plays in the gutter.

After the election, I spoke about how the Democrats could begin to regain some control in Washington. At the time I said:

I still believe those words.

My friends, I believe that it is time that we started our own Democratic noise machine. I alluded to it last night when I encouraged you to write letters to the editor and call local talk shows and to share what you know with friends and family. Tonight I'm encouraging you to raise some hell. Write to your Senators and your Representatives and encourage them to speak out. Write to your local papers and expose the Republican lies and misdirections. (After all, that's what this is. It's a misdirection to focus the attention not on the heinous acts being described, but on the stark statement that contained the truth.) Don't be rude or arrogant and don't float conspiracy theories, but call attention to the blatant missteps by the Republican party. This would be a good place to start.

By the way, while you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to send along some support to Sen. Durbin and thank him for having the courage to stand up and speak the truth even though it was ugly. You can contact him here.

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