Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I was once told by the Chairman of the Texas Democrat Party, Bob Slagle, that Democrats form a firing squad in a circle. He shared that confidence with me shortly before the party went out of business in the Lone Star State. I mention this because the quote seems to fit the day and the state of national party.
With his voice cracking from emotion Illinois Senator Dick Durbin apologized for questioning the tactics of U.S. military interrogators at Guantanamo Bay. You didn't need a television or a radio to hear the cackling from conservative Republican operatives.
Score another victory for Bushite Forces punching the right emotional buttons with the American public. It's all about marketing your message. If you know how to play the game you can turn a lousy movie into a blockbuster at the box office, sell a car that eats gasoline like a hungry sumo wrestler or in this case sell a political perception.
The goal for the Republican attack team is to make the public believe Durbin was attacking our brave men and women in uniform. Mission acomplished. The Illinois Democrats objective had been a discussion of the operation of a prison camp that has the rest of the world asking questions about the United States commitment to the Geneva Convention.
Here's where the political question comes in for Lemmings. I mean Democrats. Was the right thing to do what Durbin did in the first place -- ask whether interrogation at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp could compare to the methods of Nazis and other repressive regimes? An "in your face" way of raising an issue.
There are two schools of thought. There's Chicago Democrat Mayor Richard Daley's apparent position, of not making waves with the public and waiting for public opinion to shift on its own. Daley cut the legs out from under his home state senator and in the process legitimized the Bush spin line that Durbin was attacking U.S. Service personnel. Dailey told reporters, "I think it's a disgrace to say that any man or woman in the military act like that."
Then there is Democrat National Chairman, Howard Dean. You know the guy. The "I have a scream" speech.
Dean is not willing to sit back. He's more than willing to turn up the political rhetoric on all fronts. But will that style play with the voters? My guess is the Dems are beginning to have the right issues, the wrong messenger and the wrong delivery style. Despite Dean's title, the Daley's control the party and they believe the way back to power is wait for the arrogance of the Bushite, waiting for the right time when the spin cycle won't rotate anymore.