Monday, November 9, 2009

Full-Cream Democrats

There’s something really annoying about the kind of person who does nothing but complain, offering problems without solutions. Not only is this person irritating, he or she is quite dull too.

Now, the last thing I want to be is irritating and dull, so I’m going to offer some solutions to the problem I recently explored: namely the profound lack of (metaphorical) testicles among Democrats.

In spite of my complaining, there are viable candidates still out there. Bemoaning the good old days is hardly a productive activity, as, good or bad, they’re old. More relevant to our current situation is the presence of real, living Democrats who – I think – wouldn’t chase poll numbers and cringe in the face of criticism like these last two winners have so predictably and painfully done for what promises to be a combined total of at least twelve years.

Dennis Kucinich

There’s nothing Lite about this guy. He’s an all-sugar, maximum caffeine, full-fibre Democrat. Of course, that’s why he hasn’t gotten anywhere in the mediocrity that is the Democratic party.

It’s not his Liberal-ness that impresses me, although he does have a healthy dose of it. No, as I’ve reiterated a thousand times now, a presidential candidate needs stones. And Kucinich has so many that I fear he may have a hard time walking without pain.

Let’s start in his private life. Look at his wife! She is a babe. In superficial physical terms, he is way out of his league. A man who resembles a gremlin who can attract a woman like that must have a profound amount of self-confidence, of which there has been a shortage lately amongst our Democrats.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Kucinich became mayor of Cleveland when he was 31 (a position also held by Jerry Springer a few years previous, but his career followed a slightly different trajectory). That’s a pretty impressive achievement at a relatively young age, but it gets better. When Municipal Light, the city-owned power company, went into default, the Mafia wanted it sold to (their) private hands. When Kucinich refused, they put a hit out on him.

Allow me to reiterate. They wanted him dead. His political decisions didn’t put his career, reputation, or power at stake – they put his life at stake.

This is the kind of toughness we need in the White House. If he’s not going to back away from the threat of death, there’s no way he’s going to compromise his positions for the sake of a few points in a poll or the disapproval of party hacks. This is a guy who knows what he wants, and who isn’t afraid to put himself at risk to get it.

Al Franken

My first acquaintance with Senator Franken was when I found a copy of his book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot in my parents’ house when I was nine or ten. I read it, but didn’t understand any of the subject matter. I did, however, immensely enjoy the fact that it was full of swear words and dirty jokes. I could read it in full view of my parents who had no idea that their son was reading raunchy jokes far above his age level. They just though I had a mature interest in politics. Suckers.

But I digress. Al Franken ran for Senate after twenty years of writing edgey, inappropriate, and downright offensive material. Even though he must have known that it would be used against him, he ran anyway because he knew that ideas, intelligence, and integrity are far more important than the fact that you wrote an article for Playboy in 2000.

And what did his campaign do when his previous writing career was predictably used as ammunition against him? Did they apologise, say that it was taken out of context, say that he was different then? Hell no. I’m usually loath to put quotes in my blog as I don’t like anyone’s writing other than my own, but for the Franken campaign I’ll make an exception:

Al had a long career as a satirist. But he understands the difference between what you say as a satirist and what you do as a senator. And as a senator, Norm Coleman has disrespected the people of Minnesota by putting the Exxons and Halliburtons ahead of working families. And there’s nothing funny about that.
He went on to put amendment on a spending bill that made it okay for government contractor employees to sue their employers if they get raped, which he then stood by in the face of vocal Republican opposition. It wasn't a big-ticket issue, but it was an important one - and by tirelessly working at it, holding hearings and destroying corporate lawyers, he made it a big-ticket issue.

Put this man in the Oval Office.

Alan Grayson

Alan Grayson is the second Democrat Congressman in thirty-nine years to come out of his Florida district. One of his first moves was to attract the ire of the spineless sops that make up the vast majority of his party by calling a lobbyist a “K-street whore” when she publicly said that he – a Harvard economics grad who worked as an economist – didn’t understand economics.

Of course, the Democratic party went beserk. How dare he use language like that?! He “went too far” said a number of his pansy peers, many of whom, I can only assume, have spent enough time with to know the difference. This is the kind of thing that drives me crazy about Democrats. A lobbyist spouts some patently untrue drivel, is called on it with a swear word, and they attack the latter. And these guys wonder why they’re shut out of power for years on end.

He wasn’t discouraged, though. His next move was to weigh in on the healthcare debate, skewering the Republican’s (lack of) a plan as one that encouraged patients to die quickly if they get sick. He then went on to read out (on my birthday, thanks Congressman) the names of people who died as a result of a lack of insurance on the House floor.

Put him in the Oval Office. Put any of these guys in the Oval Office. These are just three people who don’t chew their fingernails, lunch with lobbyists and make half-assed speeches about “bipartisanship,” which, they seem to have forgotten, isn’t necessary when you won the election.

These are guys who have faith in their ideas and are prepared to fight for them. These are guys who don’t mind that, in politics, (and in the rest of life, for that matter), there are times that people will disagree with you, vilify you, call you names, even, god forbid, not like you.

These are guys are secure enough to know that that’s okay. So put them in the Oval Office and let them run the country right.