Instead of Rolling with the Punches, Obama Should Throw a Few
John McCain warned that soldiers will leave the military “in droves” if “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed by Congress.
Republicans of lesser renown are still telling us that Obama is a Muslim, or that he was born outside the United States or that he is ruining our country.
Some call this sort of behavior bullying. And they have a point. But the typical Democratic behavior in response makes it something different.
Consider the 2000 Election controversy, which took place exactly ten years ago. At first Vice President Al Gore acted as if he would put up a fight for the Presidency. Then, the Republicans started telling the public that Gore wanted to throw out the ballots of those who voted absentee from overseas (mostly military personnel).
They got Norman Schwarzkopf to accuse Gore of denying people in the military the right to vote. Montana Governor Mark Racicot, one of the Republican’s spokespersons, said that “...the vice president’s lawyers have gone to war, in my judgment, against the men and women who serve in the armed forces.”
Gore and his running-mate, Joe Lieberman, had the law on their side. Hundreds of ballots came into Florida from overseas after the deadline, without time stamps or with time stamps marked too late and/or without a proper witness.
These ballots, for one, could have made a difference in the outcome, even without consideration of the under votes and over votes. For another, the Republicans’ support for counting them, even with these flaws, was counter to Florida law.
It is well worth recalling that the Republican Secretary of State of Florida disallowed a county board’s recounts because they were submitted two hours later than her deadline! The Democrats could have landed a punch against the Republicans for their inconsistent support of the rules.
But the Gore-Lieberman team simply folded. The Republicans pulled out the military card and dared Gore to say something that might be construed against him. Some have suggested that Gore did not want to be President if the military had turned against him. But this issue was not really about the presidency: it was about having a competitive election system.
By caving in to Republican bullying, Gore and the current Democrats tell the public that they are really OK with getting pushed around and accused falsely of not supporting the military, or that they are do not care about terrorism or whatever way the Republicans want to portray them.
The Democrats are not victims. They are putting on an act called the “Good cop, bad cop” act. They pretend to be fair and nice but when decisions need to be made, they yield to the bad cop. How else can we explain the Iraq War, which many Democrats gave in to President Bush’s pressure talk about Saddam Hussein, for example?
The governance of our nation is not a matter of police interrogation. It is a prize fight for the future rights and way of life for us all. Instead of pulling punches, Obama and company ought to try throwing a few.