13 December 2004
Democrats have finally awakened to the need for Lakoffian message discipline within media, should they ever own anything remotely comparable to Rupert Murdoch's empire, and government, should they ever hold the reins of real power again. This puts Democrats about where the GOP was in 1964, following Barry Goldwater's landslide loss to Lyndon Johnson.
And yet Democrats have something Goldwater's GOP did not: A growing awareness that the Red States have no clothes; they're in full-blown parasitic dependence upon Blue States whose lifestyles they reject and whose populace they effectively oppress through electoral manipulation. Comparisons with the Civil War are rife, yet outrage over what amounts to taxation without representation recalls an earlier conflict with another King George. Tea, anyone?
The Right, per usual, remains several steps ahead. With the world's largest, most disciplined government-media noise machine relentlessly thump-thumping falsehoods into American crania - our disastrous Iraq war was necessary and is still winnable, the impending collapse of the dollar can be forestalled with deeper tax cuts, judges they like are "strict constructionists" while those they don't are "activists" - the coast is finally clear for Phase Two of the Great Power Transfer: total lock-down of the electoral process, a.k.a. the Democalypse.
Signs of the Democalypse: GOP operatives run companies that manufacture voting machines producing "errors" invariably favoring GOP candidates; voter intimidation and poll placement become the last branch of science still practiced in Red States; and mainstream media sees nothing remarkable or alarming in GOP officials controlling entire precincts. Thump, thump, thump.
After the Democalypse, Democrats will only win trivial elections - just often enough to smear the lipstick of legitimacy onto the pig of American politics. Permanently barred from both Executive and Legislative power, Democrats will watch helplessly as the GOP packs the Judiciary with right-wing rubber-stampers. After filibustering is banned, judicial perfidy and democratic impotence will render meaningful election reform virtually impossible.
If the Democalypse has begun, at least there's been no Kristallnacht yet (though some Iraqis might disagree). So by all means, bring on the message discipline, coordinated investigations, serious journalism (Deep Throat where ARE you?), aggressive litigation, and failing all else, that lefty stalwart: civil disobedience. Otherwise, to paraphrase Lincoln, if we turn our backs on the fire and burn our behinds, we'll just have to sit on our blisters.