Develop a spine!

September 5, 2012

Another fog-laded early morning here on California’s northern coast, but if the last few days are any indication, the mists will burn off at the approach of daylight and a most-beautiful day will emerge, ending up to be what’s considered near-toasty in these parts, which is pretty-near chilly.
Weather is relative — like a mother-in-law that’s bi-polar.

And fighting ugly weather ponied-up by GOP bullshit, Democrats launched their own version of a group hug as they gathered in Charlotte, NC., for the party convention to launch Barack Obama’s fling at re-election.

(Illustration found here).

Michelle Obama, one of a list of speakers for the evening, seemed to wow the audience with her words and her frock, causing HuffPost to sigh: Her best accessory, though, was undeniably her famously toned arms. “Barack knows the American dream because he’s lived it,” she told the crowd — and at the very least, our sartorial dream was matched on Tuesday in that knockout frock.
Tough gal, who dresses to kill.
I didn’t see Michelle’s speech — I can’t really stomach big-gathering political shit any more, gives me the lop-sided runs, no matter the party — but the Daily Kos live thread exclaimed: Indeed, Michelle Obama kicked Mitt Romney’s ass without even mentioning his name. Her speech was so much more than that. But it was that.
And this Tweet recorded from the same place: Wow. I would vote for pretty much anyone who won that lady’s love.
A-okay, I guess.

And among the litany of other speakers last night, one stood out — Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
He succeeded Mitt Romney as governor and knew the boy from way back (via Raw Story): “Mitt Romney talks a lot about all the things he’s fixed. I can tell you that Massachusetts wasn’t one of them,” he said. “He’s a fine fellow and a great salesman, but as governor he was more interested in having the job than doing it.”
I’ve gathered the same feeling about ole Mitt all along — according to all the dumb-ass bullshit he’s spewed and how he acts, he’s really into just getting the job, not having any responsibility for actually having the job.
Anyway, Patrick also said this, and way-most important for Democrats to heed:

My message is this — it is time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe.
Quit waiting for pundits or polls or Super PACs to tell us who the next President or senator or congressman will be.
We are Americans.
We shape our own future.

About the size of it, boys — Democrats have never had much of a spine, or moxie, or any thing resembling it.
Hard to be tough against bat-shit crazy liars and assholes without some kind of courage.

David Corn at Mother Jones says a spine is required and it’s time to point fingers at who is at fault here — it’s time for Obama to play the blame game:

As many pundits and politicos, including strategists within the president’s own camp, have pointed out, Obama must remind voters discouraged by the anemic recovery that the economy was in a free fall when he entered the White House, and he must contend that his actions prevented further collapse and reversed the trend from job loss to job gain (albeit less than rip-roaring job gain).
Proclaiming accomplishments while simultaneously acknowledging the harsh reality of the moment will be difficult.
But Obama has another tough assignment: blaming the other side.

The president, though, has reality in his favor.
In a noble effort, Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, earlier this year published a book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism,” in which they insisted that Republicans are indeed the guilty party.

And Mann and Ornstein discovered: We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

And Corn concludes:

The scoundrels of Washington have Obama in something of a bind.
Can he honor his previous vow to soar above partisanship yet simultaneously castigate Republicans for turning Washington into even more of an unproductive snake pit?
This will require tremendous dexterity.
But without such a move, he’s left with an unfulfilled promise that meant much to many of his 2008 voters.
Can he afford not to address that disappointment?
If Obama wants to remain Washington’s top dog, he will have to find a clear and elegant answer to this puzzle.

And one big puzzle to be made public is climate change — the Democrats have it in their platform, but never speak of it.
The platform as written, in part: We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits. Obama has been a leader on this issue.

Climate change’s written words are good, but the alarm does need to be screamed way-out-loud.
Brian Merchant at Treehugger explains:

Obama can’t tout a legislative victory, and his advisers are probably still telling him talking climate is ‘politically toxic’.
Which might help explain why Obama and the DNC are going climate heavy on its platform document, which will be read by a tiny audience of political junkies.
Climate activists and enviros will see the pro-climate stuff and post blogs about it, which will reach their constituencies and perhaps fire them up, but most of it will scarcely get mentioned in the mainstream media.
It’s the same reason Obama is putting extra emphasis on climate issues when he stumps at colleges—that’s precisely the demographic that wants to hear about climate solutions, and it’s delivered within an ecosystem where it will be least controversial.
So yeah.
Obama and the DNC are hitting all the right notes on climate, but they’re effectively slinking around the room and whispering their affirmations in the pertinent parties’ ears.
Whether it ultimately matters or not, Obama and the Democratic Party are still doing extraordinarily little to make the case for climate action to the bulk of the citizenry.

And that’s why Democrats must get some dang backbone — or none of us will be around to wonder at Michelle’s attire.

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