I would like to coin a term for the Washington “centrist,” “DLC” Democrats that we have all become so sick of: “Concession Democrats.” These are the Democrats who refuse to recognize the right-wing takeover of the country and its consequences. They have conceded at every turn, allowing the Right to advance, step by step, and finally take over.
Kerry conceded. He rolled over. He conceded in my name. HE conceded MY vote. I didn’t want him to do that, but he did. And by conceding Kerry paved the way for Bush to claim a “mandate.” Had he held out, even for a few more days, Bush and the Right would not have been able to come out and seize the initiative and frame the message, “The people have spoken” and begin the process of getting rid of Social Security, getting rid of progressive taxation, getting rid of separation of church and state, getting rid of public education, getting rid of unions, getting rid of consumer protections, getting rid of what remains of a free America, and continuing to make war on the world. Kerry allowed Bush to say, “I will reach out to those who share my goals.” But Kerry either did not understand that was what would happen, or did not care.
Two years ago I met Kerry at a small gathering in Woodside, California. Until then I had been a huge Kerry fan and supporter. But that night Kerry talked about being for capital gains tax cuts (it was a group of tech executives), and against expensive stock options. He also said that he would not oppose Bush’s judicial appointments on ideological grounds. The very next morning I was contacting the Dean campaign, because Dean was not a concession Democrat.
It isn’t just Kerry. Not by a long shot. Just a few weeks ago the Democrats conceded and confirmed a right-wing partisan to head the CIA. Now the CIA is being purged of non-ideologues.
It might already be too late. But there are still 45 Democrats in the Senate. Under Clinton the Senate Republicans filibustered everything. And the result was they took control of the entire government. But the Democrats are too afraid to do anything that might cause Rush Limbaugh to say something bad about them.
Let me repeat what Atrios wrote yesterday:
“For Democrats in the Senate:
Any ‘compromise’ you try to achieve on various bills inevitably gets stripped out by DeLay’s goons in the conference committee. Amendments should be written as land mines (metaphorical, of course) for the Republicans to trip on, not because any of them will end up being law.
For Democrats in the House and Senate: If you vote for the Republican agenda, you cannot later credibly criticize it. That’s just the way it is…”
For the good of the country, put your foot down, take a stand, and block what these people are trying to do to us!
Update – To be clear, I am not saying that there was or was not election fraud. That is not my point. My point is that Kerry should have held off conceding to make the point that this is a very close election, and to blunt the Right’s ability to claim a clear win.