My Sense Of The Senate

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Commentary, Election 2008, Had Enough Yet?, US Senate Race at 2:11 pm by wcnews

The Senate’s passage of a farcicle resolution leaves no doubt that for anything meaningful to get done anytime soon is this house of Congress a significant percentage of this bodies membership must change, Republican and Democrat. Rick Perlstein says it much better than EOW can, Why We Can’t Wait:

The word among the supposedly right-thinking people in Washington is that, of course the Bush Administration is wrong on this, and on the merits, MoveOn is right—but that they shouldn’t be so shrill about it. They shouldn’t have used such blunt words. They’re loud. They’re rude. And this won’t do. So maybe it’s even OK to vote for this anti-MoveOn resolution—love the sinner, hate the sin!—to get our side back on the respectable path. They “hurt the anti-war movement’s cause” more than they help it.

I thought of this as I read a review in the Texas Observer about a new book on Maritn Luther King. The reviewer reminds us of all the Americans who believed King was right on the merits, but shouldn’t be so shrill about it. Shouldn’t have used such blunt words. He was loud. He was rude. He who “hurt the Negro cause” more than he helped it—in fact, Gallup did polls on this very question, and learned that “even liberal whites,” as the book’s author points out, “interpreted nonviolent protest as a prelude to violence, rather than its politically efficient alternative”:

In June 1963, when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that King headed was in the midst of the Birmingham campaign that brought images of Bull Connor’s police dogs into Americans’ living rooms, 60 percent of all Americans thought the public demonstrations with which King was by then synonymous “hurt the Negro’s cause” more than they helped it. By May 1964, that percentage had risen to 74 percent. By October 1966, following the SCLC’s nonviolent direct actions in Selma and Chicago, it reached 85 percent.

“Your right, but you’re too rude” is the response of a party well down the path to surrender to evil. Let’s start using proper words: what Petraeus did, what President Bush ordered Petraeus to do, was evil. A Democrat—and, yes, a Republican—who votes to censure MoveOn will be no better than one who voted to censure Martin Luther King. What we’re up to here is a crusade to save the country from mountebanks and blackguards. It’s not a schoolhouse sing. Only strong words will work. Only strong words are effective.


EOW’s sense of the Senate is we need more and better Democrats in the Senate. Rick Noriega (Great redesign!) is definitely one so help him out if you can. More on Rick Noriega v. MoveOn John.

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