Wanted: Fire in the Belly
We Democrats are like the French. At the first sign of trouble, we surrender and wave the white flag.
Did I get your attention?
Not because I think the French are cowards. They’re not. In fact, as a former US Naval Officer, I have tremendous respect for the French military forces. And the Commando Hubert are among the most ruthlessly efficient anti-terrorism units in the world, rivaling the US Navy Seals or the British Special Boat Service.
Rather, I am fuming over the pathetic response from Democratic leadership on the Hill to the Orwellian nightmare unfolding before us. For over eight weeks now, we have been assaulted nearly daily with a barrage of tweets and statements, some disturbing, others comically bizarre, yet all unquestionably petty and well beneath the office of the chief executive.
They range from inflammatory taunts to rogue nations like North Korea on the subject of nuclear weapons…..
…..to self-congratulatory, confidence-nursing ego boosts.
Folks, what we are witnessing now is a veritable Barnum & Bailey circus production – cue the orange clown – that makes a mockery of the decorum and traditions expected of the most powerful hegemon in human history. Trump’s free-wheeling statements to, for example, out Department of Energy employees that believe in climate change, or prosecute Americans that burn the flag, threaten the sacred institutions of democracy built over 240 years in this country. To be sure, every President has flaws (we’re all human, after all), but never before have such flaws been paraded, unscrubbed and unfiltered, before millions of social media users, and then instantly reported for the rest of the world to digest in puzzlement. Amusing headlines are one thing; perceived nuclear provocations are another. And so we have every right to be very afraid over what the next four years may bring.
Now, to be fair, Trump is not the only one certifiably insane. The GOP leadership has shown itself to be a group of soulless hypocrites only too happy to assist Trump in dismantling America. First, on Day One of the 115th Congress, House Republicans voted to abolish the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, and bring it in-house under the House Ethics Committee, a proverbial fox guarding the hen house. One of the key supporters of the bill was Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who was accused of sexual misconduct in 2015. Ironic, no?
Then on Day Three, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell commented on Democrats trying to block a SCOTUS nomination:
“I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate,
and we’ll be looking forward to receiving a Supreme Court nomination
and moving forward on it.”
Are you kidding me? This after the GOP themselves blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination for well over a year? The hypocrisy is simply breathtaking.
Against this assault on our freedom, we would normally expect a vigorous defense from the Democratic leadership, right?
Here is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s response to the GOP move to dissolve the ethics panel:
Seriously, people – what kind of “leadership” is that? Does that not sound like, “Well, I guess they’re just going to get rid of it”?
Dems elected a black President, and the GOP came out swinging and said, “One and done. We swear to make you a one-term President.” They failed, but that’s not the point. They were energized on a mission and they pulled no punches in letting the world know. The GOP says we’re going to abolish ethics, and Dems yawn and say, “Gee, that’s too bad?” Hey Dems, why don’t you lead us in a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise?
And yesterday, Trump tweeted that the Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, was a “clown.” Shockingly inappropriate, petty, and most definitely toddler behavior. Want to know how Schumer responded?
“I’d say to the president-elect that this is serious, serious stuff. This is not a time for calling names.”
Chuck, you just took a shot to the head. Can you skip the Grey Poupon and take a swing back? Forget the “when they go low, we go high” bit just for a godforsaken minute. Can you show just a little bit of spine? Something to tell the rest of the world that you’re not going to get bullied around for the next two years? How about:
“Mr. President-Elect, with all due respect, anyone with orange hair shouldn’t be calling others clown.”
Now THAT would have earned you a standing ovation, and certainly my eternal admiration. And it would have given your Party real, tangible hope – that the Democratic leadership has “fire in the belly,” and will stand up and push back hard against any assault on our liberties.
You want to see what real offense looks like? Here’s an excerpt from a full page ad that the ACLU published in the New York Times. See that language? THAT is leadership. That is stepping up to the plate and saying, “No, we’re not taking this. And if you push, not only are we going to push back. We’re going to pummel you.”
That is how you stand up to bullies.
And I promise you, if the Dem leadership started talking like that, Trump would notice. Republicans would notice. The world would notice. And the Democratic base would cheer wildly. Even the French would applaud.