Recently, the Angry Czeck was enjoying a sinister chuckle at Tom DeLay’s expense when it occurred to me that perhaps my moment of pleasure was too easily attained – and even unfairly solicited. After all, had situations been reversed, and a Bizzaro-world Democrat version of Tom DeLay had been caught cheating on Election Day, would not the Angry Czeck furiously demand silence from his chortling Republican brethren? Would not the Angry Czeck find a means to justify illegally accepting corporate money and then laundering it through a political organization to fill a few seats on Capital Hill? You bet.
Except this would never happen in the real world, as Democrats could never accomplish what the mighty Tom DeLay masterminded for his Republican cronies. And not because Democrats are sweet and law abiding people with a gentle nature, but because Democrats no longer have the stones for cutthroat politics. And that is why we fail.
Tom DeLay had a mission: Get as many Republicans in Texas elected as possible. He didn’t limit himself to the rules, because quite frankly, the rules didn’t cater to Republican strengths, which is raising huge chunks of money and supporting big business.
DeLay discovered that it was illegal in Texas for an incorporated company to donate money to a political candidate, and he knew that there was no way in hell he was going to satisfy his mandate without corporate sponsorship. He rolled the dice. If he hadn’t been so sloppy, he might have gotten away with it.
The sad fact remains, the Democrats need a guy like “The Hammer.” Somebody willing to play dirty. A ball-breaker who doesn’t mind earning the reputation as “The Meanest Man In Washington.” The closest person Democrats have to Tom DeLay is Senator John McCain.
We need a Hammer because right now, all the Democrats have are limp dicks. Democrats cannot find an issue to make their own. They refuse to stand by the principles that made them successful in the past. Gay Rights is a perfect example. The Democratic Party established itself by supporting minority rights in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Along the way, Democrat politicians offended millions of “heartland” voters who didn’t want to drink out of the same water fountains as coloreds. Yet because championing minority rights was so obviously the correct and moral thing to do, Democrats eventually prevailed.
As a consequence,the Republican Party absorbed such a decisive deathblow on their character That GOP members were forced to invent the phrase “compassionate conservative” just to remind voters that Republicans can be swell guys, too.
Yet Democrats, for fear of offending narrow-minded conservatives, cannot see the parallels between the minority rights issues of yesterday and gay rights today. Are not both groups a victim of government sponsored oppression? Doesn’t “Separate But Equal” sound a lot like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?” By opposing inheritance, medical and nuptial rights to homosexuals, are we not isolating a class of people so that they are no longer eligible for the opportunity that mainstream Americans are entitled to?
This seems to be a perfect launching pad for the Democratic Party to retain its relevance. But when the moment came, Democrats stammered instead of hammered. Or more precisely, rambled on and on, as Kerry and Edwards did when asked to respond to the issue during televised debates. The Reader’s Digest version of their position? It’s okay to be gay. Unless you’re offended by that, of course. In which case, homosexuals can go to hell (if you believe in that kind of thing).
What if Democrats had employed that kind of leadership in the 60’s? “You can be Negroes so long as are aren’t Negroes around white people.”
Adopting Gay Rights as a flagship issue is not without its risk, the Angry Czeck understands. It seems even the gay and lesbian community was a bit thunderstruck when faced with the dark reaction of mainstream America to the prospect of homosexual unions. After all, are we not a nation that made Will & Grace a Neilson ratings hit? Have we not all been delighted by episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Queer as Folk? Homosexuals saw the positive reviews and assumed that America had accepted them as well-dressed equals. Imagine how Queer Nation must have felt when, even as the war in Iraq was killing Americans at an alarming rate and the Nation’s economy was tanking lower than ever, the issue that caused the most consternation for American voters was gay marriage. Alarmingly, dozens of state referendums permitting gay marriage was voted an angry “NO” by voters.
So what choice did Edwards and Kerry have but to leave their homosexual supporters twisting on a meat hook? Here’s a free idea from the Angry Czeck: Act like a Republican.
You heard the Angry Czeck. Grow a set of brass nuts and act like Republicans. You never see a Republican back off an issue. Nor do you see a Republican shirking unpopular positions. Republicans embraced the religious right when it was so uncool to love Jesus. They championed the repeal of Rowe vs. Wade when Hollywood was treating every woman who received an abortion like a war hero. Ask a Republican what they think of gay rights, prayer in schools, or the war in Iraq, and at least you get an honest answer. It may not be an answer you want to hear, it may be a reply contrary to the principles and beliefs of Whoopi Goldburg, but damnitt you know their position.
You can’t say the same for Democrats. Democrats are best at pooling opinions. Weighing options. Feeling our pain. Republicans make the choice, and that decision becomes cement that either bolsters their party or sinks the entire nation in the depths. You think Bush gives a goddamn whether or not 100,000 people turned up in Washington for the anti-war protest, but only a couple hundred souls appeared a week later in support of the war? Not a chance. Bush sticks to his guns. And what Democrats need to see is that voters tend to respect that kind of steadfast quality, even when the decisions made are so obviously in the wrong.
Tom DeLay will weasel his way out of this jam, you can count on it. When the grandstanding prosecutor who levied the charges is exposed as a publicity-hungry zealot, DeLay’s exoneration will herald the extinction of the few regretful Republicans that dared speak crossly of The Hammer during his hour of need. Meanwhile, Democrats will continue to consult the latest Gallup poll before making their indecisions. Which is why the party is currently lead by Screaming Howard Dean.
But what if Tom DeLay is punted from his pulpit? He could probably join Newt Gingrinch on the book signing tour, or we can try something so radical, so unthinkable, that it would turn the Nation inside-out: Have the Democrats recruit Tom DeLay.
That’s right. Bring him into the fold. Let The Hammer hammer for us.
Sure, we’d have to ignore some of his quirkier ideology, but we need DeLay for his intimidation skills, not for sane thinking. You think we’d be entertaining the Ten Commandments in our courts and schools if The Hammer were in the Democrats control? Do you honestly believe we’d spend another minute in Iraq if The Hammer were stuffing Congress with Democrats? And speaking of Democrats, do you think there would be any second-guessing or consideration-of-feelings if The Hammer was waiting to banish slackers to a committee gulag?
Sure, we might end up selling Puerto Rico to North Korea in exchange for a verbal promise not to make any more uranium, but at least the party’s future won’t be in the hands of a fruitcake like Howard Dean. I say, send DeLay his recruitment packet right now before the Elections in 2008. Or prepare to egg Jeb Bush’s limo on his way to his Inauguration.