November 06, 2004

I Don't Think You Really Want My Vote

In some ways lately--oh, to hell with it. I can't stand to listen to myself whine anymore. I'm going to say this once. I'm going to try to keep it short although as we all know by now, that is not my forte. I'm going to say it as carefully as I possibly can:

The Democratic Party has two choices, and only two, in the wake of their defeat this year: They can ask what's wrong with them, or they can ask what's wrong with the people who didn't vote for them.

I lost a job once. I had two choices, and only two, then: I could ask what had been wrong with my performance, or I could ask what had been wrong with my employer.

There was, and is, no Door #3. I'm sorry. It would be nice if there were.

It is not indulging in rhetorical "tricks" to note that choosing Door #2, ask what's wrong with the people who rejected you, is both the strategy most likely to make you feel better and the strategy least likely to actually get you better. Believe me, I spent innumerable hours choosing Door #2 and it never, ever got me new employment.

I sure did feel better about myself, though! Those bastards, those assholes, those dimwits, there were so many ways, countless ways, in which they were so clearly, stunningly wrong for letting me go! And if they were so clearly, stunningly wrong then obviously, I was clearly and stunningly right! I'm better off without them! The way they tried to drag me down with them, to sabotage me, why, it's just--oh, look, it's the unemployment check finally come! Oh happy day! Oh, I'm so--wow, unemployment really doesn't pay for shit anymore, does it?

I'm sorry, but I'm touchy about this rhetorical tricks deal, and I got it in a comment thread recently, and . . . and I'm not seeing the trickery, rhetorical or otherwise; I'm seeing it as bleeding obvious. You want to complain to me for being patronizing by pointing it out, now yes, that complaint you got some ground for. I will totally cop to being patronizing.

The joke in all this is that the Democrats don't even need to choose Door #1. They don't need to ask themselves what's wrong with them. They have people volunteering to tell them in droves:

Lastly, and I hope this doesn't hurt anyone feelings, because my objective is to make you think, not emote: I don't think you really want my vote. I actively sought out your perspective. I tuned in regularly, for months, to your biggest media project, your serious effort to get your message out: Air America Radio. I listened all day on Good Friday as host after host mocked people like me for believing in Jesus's life, death, and resurrection. I listened as Janeane Garofalo, who was one of my favorite comedians for years, expressed hatred and disgust for Bush voters so vile that I ended my live stream feeling assaulted, as if I'd been vomited on. I listened the night that Mike Malloy told a young Republican to hang up the phone and go open a vein.
This is usually the point at which someone snarls at me that oh, who cares, she's obviously not a real true-believing Democrat anyway, we were never gonna get her vote so to hell with her, and screw that Michael Totten fellow too, that poseur, that faker, because I know what side he's REALLY on! You charlatans and shills don't fool ME, hear? Incidentally, have I told you lately that BUSH VOTERS ARE STUPID?

Yeah, you have, thanks. And yeah, I hear you. I can totally understand why you don't want the vote of this person. I mean, just look at her, it's disgraceful:

I have gay friends who are closeted and gay friends who couldn't be more open if they had QUEER tattooed across their foreheads, and I think they should be allowed to get married if they want to. I read The Onion, Dilbert, Dan Savage's sex advice,, and quite a few blogs. The local librarians know me on sight. I waited in line until midnight when the fifth Harry Potter book came out. I can't wait to see the new Chucky movie. I will probably shack up before I get married, but I won't be proud of it. I wouldn't buy an SUV, even if I could pay cash for one. I recycle. I shop at Wal-mart, but I feel guilty about it, and if they unionized, I would never cross the picket line. I think FOX News is about as fair and balanced as a seesaw with a gorilla on one end.
Enough sarcasm: Either you get people like this back on board or it's gonna be "meet Fred Peete, professional loser" four years from now.

And if that happens, then by that time, people like me will have lost all patience with the notion of common ground. "Common ground" will be the punchline to every joke ever told by then. People like me will be laughing 'til the tears run down our faces. We'll all be drunk as lords, even the Baptists, and yea verily that party shall know NO end, because every time someone gets in danger of sobering up, one of the others will say, LOSERS! and the gleeful hysterics will explode throughout the room all over again.

UPDATE: I forgot to credit the link above. It's via Instapundit. Which means IT'S ALL REPUBLICAN LIIIIIIIES, of course.

Posted by Ilyka at November 6, 2004 07:20 PM in hell is other people

I think those writing off the Democrats as irrelevant have bad memories.

Historically, it is difficult to unseat an incumbent President. The last to do it was a Democrat.

He unseated a President who had astronomical popularity after Gulf War One. He did it in spite of considerable negatives of his own. He did it because he was a formidable campaigner and he had a message, "It's the economy, stupid.". Democrats can still beat Republicans nationally when they have a candidate and a message. They had neither this time and got what they deserved.

Posted by: Rob at November 7, 2004 03:47 AM

I'm not sure the job analogy works. Unless you work in a very strange industry, there is more than one employer, so there *is* an option to go elsewhere.

There is, however, only one U.S. electorate..however much the left might wish otherwise.

I'm reminded of the old Mad magazine line: In the U.S., when the people are made at the leaders, they get rid of them. In the U.S.S.R, when the government is mad at the people, they get rid of them....

Posted by: David Foster at November 7, 2004 04:10 AM

I'm seriously hoping that they don't figure out the problem. Right now we have the greatest chance ever for a strong third party to emerge. The Dems are too far to the left as a party. The Reps aren't pushing themselves as far to the right but there are still a lot of party basics that alienate people.

Right now there is a chance for a moderate party to get the support of a decent number of traditional democrats and republicans. The harsher the left is the better the chance of that happening.

Posted by: Jim at November 8, 2004 02:54 PM

The Dems are too far to the left? Honestly, I think they're too far to the right, or at least trying to be. What the dems need to do is grow some balls and stop trying to be republicans. Kerry's main problem (in my view--as a person who volunteered for his campaign and voted for him) was that he tried to run as republican lite. He didn't offer many good, solid, alternatives to what Bush was saying. When that happens, people are gonna go for the real thing, not the one who's pretending to be that thing.

Posted by: kathy at November 8, 2004 05:45 PM