The New Boxer Rebellion: Democrats, Take a Lesson!
The New Boxer Rebellion: Democrats, Take a Lesson!
By W. David Jenkins III
“I have to say that I have never, ever, lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. I really hope that you will refrain from impugning my integrity.”
– Condoleezza Rice to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, 1/18/05
I have to admit, the first thing out of my mouth when I heard the good doctor utter this amazing response during that session to Senator Boxer was, ''What on Earth are you talking about? What integrity?'' Here’s the original Miss ''Mushroom Cloud'' getting all ticked off and miffed because some woman from California was calling her out for lying to everybody in the nation and not taking responsibility for her statements or their consequences. And that’s just concerning Iraq. We won’t even go into her irresponsible behavior pre-9/11 as recent reports have shed light on her flirtatious relationship with the truth in regards to her testimony on that matter last year.
Barbara Boxer was called “mean-spirited” among other things by the opposition as well as the lazy, alleged “liberal” media after Rice’s confirmation hearings. Conservatives moaned and whined that Boxer was being partisan and was trying to tarnish the image of such a fine upstanding American such as Dr. Rice. Once again, the Democrats were being blamed for feeding the atmosphere of bitter divisiveness that grips the inner sanctums of the Capitol. These pompous fat little Republican kings, who control all three branches of government by the way, are still trying to play the “victim card” as they always do when they feel threatened. And that is pretty much the point. People like Senator Boxer are a threat to their grip on the American troth feeders – the believers in their new America.
Senator Boxer’s confrontation with Condi Rice is now considered “old news” and conservatives are again wrapped up in their security blankies because nothing that mean old liberal Senator could say was enough to keep Rice from being confirmed as Secretary of State. The Bush administration’s practice of rewarding incompetence was still firmly intact and all would be well with their little place in the world — until the next time somebody dares to speak up.
And that’s what it’s all about.
When Boxer stood with Stephanie Tubbs Jones back in January in protest to the acceptance of Ohio’s electoral count, she was not trying to undo the re-appointment of the worst president in America’s history, even though such action was more than justified. Senator Boxer and the members of the Congressional Black Caucus were speaking out against the questionable procedures used by state officials and private companies who were poisoning the electoral process to the point where it is no longer above suspicion. As disappointed as many were with the election of Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton, there was little if any doubt that when voters pulled a lever, punched a card or touched a screen that their vote was counted accurately.
Millions worldwide will never accept George W. Bush’s reign in the same way as all of his predecessors' were, as history will eventually show. And that is why it was important and justified for Senator Boxer and the CBC to speak up.
Condi Rice as the head of National Security proved to be as faithful to Bush as she was irresponsible to America. Her testimony during the 9/11 Commission hearings completely contradicted what is now known as fact. This administration ignored warnings and we suffered the consequences. Rice was also highly instrumental in beating the war drums over Iraq and consistently and obediently fed the fires of fear and paranoia with her talk of “mushroom clouds” and forbidding acceptance of any opposing views as to the accuracy of the intelligence she and her bosses were depending upon to wage their illegal and illogical invasion. Then, when everything went to hell and they were shown to have been less than truthful with the American people, Rice and her bosses went into a state of denial overdrive and finger-pointing. Condi Rice has been a zealous cheerleader for a foreign policy which has left us virtually without allies, without the credibility and without the respect that this nation once cherished. Senator Boxer simply questioned the “logic” in promoting someone who has played such an integral part in this foreign and domestic disaster America has become. And she was right in doing so.
In fact, Barbara Boxer was doing what every member of the opposition should be doing. She was speaking up on behalf of the people she represents — not just with words, as Joe Biden did, but with that most important action, her vote.
As I have stated many times before, this is no a longer a game where some might vote against their conscience in order to maneuver for possible future favors by the Republicans. As Joe Lieberman found out in 2002 and others realized after, there will be no “favors” from this Republican Party. In fact, this administration and the Congressional leadership have leaned so far to the right that even moderates of their own party have been shoved outside the circle. The only thing that will make any difference or leave any impression is for these reckless ideologues to be challenged over and over again. It’s the only thing that these people are not used to and it shakes ‘em up.
Just look at the reaction to the election of Howard Dean to lead the DNC. As if on cue, the lazy media started running the cleverly altered “Dean Scream” tape, and all the pundits rose up in choruses of “liberal whacko” and how the Democrats have committed suicide. One hairspray addict on MSNBC remarked that Dean would “never live that scream down.” Well, of course not, you compliant idiot. Can we see that tape loop one more time, puh-leeze?
The fact is, like Boxer, Dean makes conservatives and their media monkeys more than a little nervous. In fact, Dean and Boxer make the stuffy old status quo members of their own party nervous. Why? Because these two are not afraid to call ‘em like they see ‘em. They haven’t fallen victim to the Orwellian practice of telling themselves that up is down and war is peace that this administration has managed to implant into their followers and many of their critics.
A while back, Dean caught a lot of flack for stating that the “capture” of Hussein hadn’t made America any safer. Well, as it turns out, based upon multiple studies and intelligence reports, the ol’ liberal whacko was right. He was also right when he stated, under fire from the media, that the administration (with the media’s help) had misled — nay, lied to — Americans during the build-up to invading Iraq. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find anything Dean said about the Bush administration that hasn’t been proved correct. If Kerry had had a fraction of the passion and backbone possessed by the likes of a Dean or a Boxer, the nefarious shenanigans in Ohio might not have mattered in the long run.
But what I feel is the most compelling reasoning behind the unsettling effect these two public servants have on their peers and their critics is that they actually excite their supporters.
The alleged Party of the Left has spent far too long trying to play fair with this administration, acting like satirical little Rodney Kings wondering why we "can't just all get along." And even after the opposition broke the rules and broke the laws, the Democratic leadership only wondered why they couldn’t seem to get the Red State of Minders to like them and vote for their guy. It's a funny thing to me that after spending ten years watching their representation seep away, they're still only scratching their heads and wondering "what are we doing wrong?"
Dean is solely responsible for the fire that Democrats rediscovered two years ago, only to have the DNC leadership throw cold water on their hopes.
Together, Howard Dean and Barbara Boxer are the DNC’s “newsflash” and all they need to do is shut up and pay attention to the message – and learn.
Since November of last year, there has been this pathetic hand-wringing by the left over how to appeal to those who don’t presently support them. Some want to move more to the center while some want to de-emphasize the traditional core principles that make up this party. This would be a drastic mistake because it ignores something so obvious and so simple: Leadership like Dean’s and Boxer’s will help the Democrats – not hurt.
The fact is there are more than eighty million people who were eligible but did not participate in what was the most important election of our age. That number is a disgrace because it points to the despair still consuming far too many Americans. These are the people that need to be brought into the fold. These are the people we must reach out to and instill a sense of pride and participation. Howard Dean was successful in bringing fire and pride back to his party and there are uncounted (literally) numbers of new members to his credit.
I don’t think Democrats ever got over the despicable and disrespectful slap in democracy’s face that Bush gave America back in 2000. But instead of standing up and speaking out, even when it meant the media would beat them up over it, they fell to their knees while trying to work with a leadership that held as much disdain for them as it did those it purported to “serve.” Now because of their inability, or maybe their unwillingness, to shove the lies and the crimes and the corruption back down their opposition’s throats, the Democrats find themselves with less than they had a year ago. Because of this, America is led by liars and thieves who wage illegal wars, advocate torture, rape the environment, dismantle the social structure and security of this country while they profess to be empowered by God Almighty Himself.
The left is blessed to have leadership as distinguished and passionate and honorable as Howard Dean, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Kucinich and Peter Stark. They have shown themselves to be able to stand alone against Bush Inc.’s inversion of real American values and still survive. While other members of their party fret over conservative’s calling them mean old names like “obstructionist,” these leaders and others like them have demonstrated the desire — the need — to stand up to what they know is wrong and what is harmful to the people and the country they love and serve. They have cleaned the ashes and filth of 2000 from themselves and persist in calling out the members of this administration out whenever necessary, armed with nothing but the truth and their convictions. The timid, accommodating members of the DNC should buck up and do the same.
There were almost sixty million Americans willing to stand behind the alleged left last November. There are more than eighty million who still need to hear the voices that speak to them. They need to hear the voices that speak what they feel in their hearts and in their guts – not voices who speak what they think people want to hear.
There’s a new rebellion emerging slowly and not so quietly. Republicans had better take notice — and the business as usual Democrats better take notes. They have nothing left to lose and everything to gain.