[sixties-l] [Fwd: For fans of, um, Monty Python...]

From: Ted Morgan (epm2@lehigh.edu)
Date: Mon Mar 12 2001 - 20:49:41 EST

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    Wish I'd written this one...

    -------- Original Message --------
    Published on Sunday, March 11, 2001 in the Washington Post

    They Aren't 'Just Resting' The Democratic Party is Dead
          by Robert B. Reich

          If I were a political consumer, I would -- with apologies to the
    late Monty Python parrot -- be going back to the store right about now
    and registering a complaint: "This political party -- the
    Democratic Party. It's dead."

          "No, no, no no," he replies, "it's just resting."

          But I know a dead party when I see one, and I'm looking at a dead
    party right now. Just
          consider the past eight years: lost the presidency, both houses of
    Congress, almost all its
          majorities in state legislatures, most governorships. Will lose
    additional House seats in the
          next redistricting. Most of the current justices of the Supreme
    Court appointed by
          Republicans, also most current federal judges. And the
    interminable Bill Clinton scandals.
          The Democratic Party is stone dead. Dead as a doornail.

          Not at all, he says. After all, the Democrats are only one seat
    away from taking over the
          Senate. If Katherine Harris and the Supreme Court hadn't mucked it
    up, Al Gore would be in the White House right now. He won the popular
    vote by a half-million. Democrats and
          Greens together won more than 3 million more votes than the
    Republicans. And the Dems raised as much soft money as the Republicans
    for the first time in history. Forget the
          Clinton unpleasantness. The public will forget it. It always does.
    The party's not dead, "just resting."

          Maybe, or perhaps it's stunned, lying there inert with less than
    two years to go until the
          midterms. Simply can't get over not having Bill Clinton in the
    White House.

          But just you wait, say the party's salesmen: Someone will emerge
    to bring it back to life.

          Look, the only reason the Democratic Party is sitting upright is
    that it's been nailed there,
          like the Python parrot. Who speaks for the Democrats? Clinton is
    utterly disgraced. Gore
          ran a lousy campaign. Terry McAuliffe heads the Democratic
    National Committee only
          because he raised a ton of money for Clinton.

          And don't tell me the Democratic Leadership Council, with all that
    talk about being from the vital center -- why, even Hillary joined up --
    is going to revive this bird. The DLC stands for nothing, nada, zero,
    except it's anti-union. No grass roots. No troops. No one out in
        America cares about the DLC. The DLC says it's centrist, but
    centrism is wherever the polls say most Americans are. And most
    Americans drift wherever there's a lot of hullabaloo.
          Centrism is unprincipled. Centrism doesn't lead. It follows.
    Centrism is Dick Morris.
          Centrism is nowhere.

          If the Democratic Party's alive, why doesn't it insist that the
    budget surplus be spent on
          health care for the 44 million Americans without it? And child
    care for the millions who lack it? And good schools for all kids? Why
    doesn't the party say it's plain absurd to spend $300 billion on the
    military when the Cold War is over, and tens of billions more on a
          missile-defense shield that won't work? Why isn't it outraged that
    most of the benefits of
          President Bush's tax cut will go to people at the top? Why does it
    play dead on the
          environment? Why? Because it's not playing dead. It is dead!

          The Dems aren't even fighting for campaign finance reform. They
    got so much soft money
          last time that they've decided to hold on.

          This party is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone
    to meet its maker. This is
          an ex-party!

          The writer was secretary of labor from 1993 to 1997 and is the
    author of "The Future of

                              2001 The Washington Post Company

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