This should be a golden year of victory for us. We have a radical, insanely right wing Republican president and vice president. These criminals have gotten us into a terrible, tragically unnecessary, utterly botched war that is taking the lives of our best young men and women. We have an economy that, thanks to Republican fiscal policies, is beginning to choke and stagger. We have (generally) strong candidates and strong issues. Our opponents often are loathsome, bigoted cretins. So I'm waiting for our big victory on 7 November right? No, I'm not. After the searing disappointments of 2000, 2002, and 2004, I've learned something the hard way: not to expect a G-d damned thing.
Anyone who thinks we've got the Republicans beaten is a fool, and I don't give a shit what polls you're reading and how many Americans think this country is off on the wrong track. The Republicans have one enormous advantage over us that we just can't seem to overcome:
THEY GET OFF THEIR FUCKING ASSES AND VOTE ON ELECTION DAY, AND TOO G-D DAMN MANY DEMOCRATS DON'T.
A harsh judgment? Sure, but look at the record. The Republicans always rally their troops, especially in the last 72 hours, where they simply embarrass us by their effectiveness. You say, "J. Miller, you're full of it, the polls say Democrats have more enthusiasm this year." Don't kid yourself. The right wingers HATE us and they would rather cut off their own left arms with pocket knives than miss a chance to vote against us. And what have we done to counter this?
--We've had two years to build up our microtargeting operations and we're still not ready to compete with the Republicans in this crucial area. They are far superior in identifying voters. Why?
--Howard Dean has, to his immense credit, started the 50 state strategy. But will it help us in 2006? It should have been started twenty freaking years ago. We're always behind the damned curve. Why?
--Republican fatcats have, as usual, poured huge amounts of money into GOP coffers. Why, after all this time in existence, is the Democratic Party always bringing up the fucking rear in fund raising (with some notable exceptions)? Why haven't we broadened our contributor base more? Why are we relying on party activists, rich liberals, and unions to do all the heavy lifting? We should have 20-30 MILLION ordinary people in this country giving us $1, $5, or $10 a month. Why don't we? The Republican base is accessed by immense mailing lists. Why are they so much ahead, G-d damn it??
--The Republicans still outgun us on message framing and the terrible simplicity of their themes. Why do we continue to get beat? Why?
The results will, I fear, be predictable. In Pennsylvania, our Senate candidate is being outspent by 2-1 by a right wing fanatic so terrifyingly authoritarian in nature that he shouldn't hold any public office. And yet our candidate is being pounded daily, and the Religious Right will be at the polls en masse in November to save "their" Ricky.
We have a MAGNIFICENT Senate candidate in Virginia who is opposed by a disgusting racist asshole so cretinous and vicious that I can't believe anyone listens to him. Yet the asshole has five to ten times the money our man has.
In California, a movie star Republican governor who should be dumped on his ass is burying us under deceitful propaganda, paid for by millions in corporate money.
In my own district, IL-11, the Republican congressman is a Bush-DeLay robot who votes with the GOP leadership 92% of the time. He's married to a woman who's part of a crime family/collection of mass murderers in Guatemala. He sucks up to the oil and gas industries and he's accepted tainted DeLay money. He's also going to raise TWO MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS and can therefore outspend the dynamic young Democrat, John Pavich, by about 4-1.
Over and over again, I see Republican money, Republican lies, and Republican GOTV operations killing us. And what have we REALLY accomplished to stop--
--Republican VOTE SUPPRESSION? I'll bet African-American precincts in Ohio and Missouri will STILL have lousy, broken down voting machines. I'll bet Republican pollwatchers/Klansmen will STILL be challenging and intimidating our voters with impunity. What the G-d damned hell are we doing to stop it??
--Republican VOTE STEALING? Have we really made much progress in stopping paperless voting? Have we really done the spadework necessary to stop crooks like Blackwell from simply throwing out Democratic ballots? Have we really acted to stop Republican campaign workers from stealing ballot boxes or electronically manipulating voting machines? What have we really accomplished?
Look, I know many in the media are our enemies. I know the GOP will always have money. But the people are on our side. Earlier this year an ABC poll showed the Democrats leading on every single issue. But will Democrats get out to vote? Not as much as Republicans will, and I'll bet my life on that. Too many of us just simply can't be bothered. Our lack of preparedness is tragic. Our country is dying here, folks. We know that. But too many others out there don't. And the Democratic political leadership is STILL GETTING BEATEN in the political nuts and bolts areas it takes to win.
So I expect nothing on 7 November. I know when the chips are down the right wingers will vote, and most of our voters won't. I fully expect, therefore, the death spiral of the United States to continue. I'm being too negative? Too bad. I'm being bad for morale? Screw that. I'm trying to protect myself from the terrible depression I suffered after 2 November 2004, when we let the Republicans beat us/cheat us/steal from us AGAIN.
So after the election, I fully expect Bush to again push for privatizing Social Security. I fully expect oil prices to rise. I fully expect the war drums against Iran to get louder. I fully expect that Bush will continue to aggrandize his own already monstrous executive power. And I have no faith any more that we'll be in a position to stop it. Not because of my (genuinely) beloved fellow Democrats who care. But because of the millions of lazy, unmotivated, indifferent Democrats who are WAITING for victory instead of WORKING for it.
In discussing the collapse of the Weimar Republic, William Shirer observed that the enemies of the republic won because they cared more than their opponents. The Republicans win because they care more than we do.
They do more leg work than we do.
They raise more money.
They network and microtarget better than we do.
They want to win more than we do.
So no, I don't expect a damned thing. My hope is waning and my bitterness is growing.
Flame me, ignore me, say I'm bringing everybody down. I don't care. Until my party shows me otherwise, I'll expect to be in exactly the same position I've been in before.
At the short end of the stick