Sunday, September 12, 2004

Kudos to the Backbone Campaign for their novel approach to a long-term and worsening problem: Democrats acting like Republicans Lite. You know them well -- the folks who vote against social justice and environmental programs and in favor of corporate boondoggles like the Iraq war, and when cornered then politely protest that they don't want to be too radical.

To Democrats who act like Republicans Lite: Get a clue. Republicans, and conservatives in general, are going to vote for real live Republicans, not Democrats whose idea of political opposition is to agree with the administration while speaking quietly instead of loudly. Given the long-term, high-pressure, slickly presented marketing tactics that have been increasingly used to sell militaristic neoconservatism in the U.S., Republican sound bite techniques have been reeling in voters the way the smiley-face Rollback dude lures shoppers to Wal-Mart while their own local businesses crash and burn. When Democrats roll over and submissively become Republicans Lite, they lose all but the most religious Democrats -- the people who would vote for Mickey Mouse if he ran as a Democratic candidate -- and millions of borderline or undecided voters give up and stay home.

And, of course, even more kudos to the recipients of the Backbone Campaign's Backbone Award: Jim McDermott, Cynthia McKinney, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Granny D., Jim Hightower, Michael Copps, and others to come. These folks all know where their vertebrae are. To some other Democrats we all know: Grow a spine. You know who you are.


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