Bill O'Reilly was interviewing Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee. McAuliffe was saying, sanely, that the War on Terror was something that Democrats could fight as well as Republicans. In fact, he said, the Democrats could probably fight it better. This was right after President Bush had made contradictory statements, first saying that we could never win the War, then saying we could.
I don't have a transcript of that interview, but I don't need one. Just like the Republicans, I'll make a statement, and you can sort out whether or not it's true. O'Reilly said "Oh, you think you can win, do you?" McAuliffe responded "I do."
"I'm gonna hold you to that," O'Reilly says. "And if your guy wins--which he won't--and then we don't win the War on Terror, I know where you live. I'm gonna send some people over to your house."
McAuliffe looked at him and said, "Fair enough."
I thought, fair enough? The man just threatened your life! On television! What's fair about that, you dumbass? Here's what the "fair" response would have been: "Oh, yeah, you cut-rate Father Coughlin knockoff sleazeball? Well, I'm sending people over to your house right now. Screw you and your whore of a mother!" But no. "Fair enough," is what Terry McAuliffe said, and then he disappeared into the ether.
That was the moment when I knew that we were going to lose.
* * *
A note to the leadership of the Democratic Party: Wake the fuck up, you pathetic wuss-bags! They're kicking your ass!
You disagree? You think you're "talking tough?" Here's a quote from your candidate, John Kerry, drawn from his "tough-talking" midnight rally after the RNC: "I'm not going to have my commitment to defend this country questioned by those who refused to serve when they could have and by those who have misled the nation into Iraq."
Good lord, by the standards of this year's Bush campaign, Kerry's statement was equivalent to "Bush is a great president and a vote for him wouldn't be wasted." Compare that to Zell Miller's yawp from the ur-depths of the American subconscious: "...today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator. And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators."
Do you understand the difference, Democrats? Kerry's statement is critical. Miller's statement is pure, slanderous evil. As much as the RNC may have tried to distance itself from Georgia's cornpone Mussolini after the fact, don't think the speech wasn't planned. Democrats had better realize that people buy this shit. While they're saying that President Bush has failed to "provide jobs and healthcare to working Americans," the Republicans are saying that Kerry faked his war wounds. Sorry to burst your bubble, readers of the Nation, but Americans respond to lies, and the more vicious the lie, the more effective.
Unlike you Stranger readers, who walk through your days in a haze of permanent dissent from the mainstream, I own property in Texas, the Reddest State of them all. Admittedly, I live Austin, which is like Berkeley for carnivores, but the rest of Texas slithers through the cracks. News flash: The Republicans' efforts to smear Kerry are working. My wife has a friend who, despite the fact that she and her husband are both marginally employed, considers herself a Republican. Here's a direct quote: "My aunt told me the other day that she heard John Kerry killed babies and raped women in Vietnam." A rural letter carrier in Louisiana started to tell another friend an anti-Kerry joke the other day. "I asked her what a union member was doing voting for a fucking Republican," my friend reported in an email. "She said she could not vote for a man who was 'soft on war.'"
Do you see what's happened here? Stranger readers may find Zell Miller repulsive and retrograde. We may see with x-ray eyes through the insane mendacity of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. But that stuff's not meant for our ears. Americans may well be "good, hard-working people," as the Democrats claim, but they're also "easily manipulated farm animals."
Democrats! In the name of God, attack! Here's what you need to say: Thousands of people are dead because of Bush! Bush is a traitor to America! And so are his supporters!
Attack! Attack! Attack!
Being critical isn't enough. Being "tough" isn't enough. Taking the high ground won't work. There is no high ground! You can't let Michael Moore and that Eli from Moveon.org guy who sends too many e-mails do your dirty work. Attack! Get dirty! Dick Cheney sucks cocks in hell!
Senator Kerry, you are all that stands between us and the theocratic fascism. I don't care if it diminishes you. You have to stoop to their level. You HAVE to fucking win. You HAVE to. Do you understand? Attack!