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Political Animal

The Wuss Party

By Brian Morton | Posted 8/3/2005

You have to wonder about the Democrats these days. Republicans have been questioning their patriotism in the harshest terms going all the way back to 2002. “Giving aid and comfort to the enemy” is a phrase that has been bandied about for three years now almost every time a Democrat publicly says the president was wrong. The GOP has run TV ads putting Democrats’ pictures up next to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and when Democrats mount a (usually feeble) protest the response is, “Stop whining.”

And you know what? They probably should.

There are some Democrats out there who really piss me off. Collectively, I call them the Wuss Party, because when attacked, they run; when presented with choices, they take the ones that come closest to “almost Republican, but not quite.” They sell their own people short, or they do what the alleged “liberal media”—the Chris Matthews and the Tim Russerts of the world—browbeat them into doing, only to get beaten up some more.

You want some examples of Wusses?

For starters, there’s the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). These are the guys upon whom Bill Clinton first rode to prominence, touting his “Third Way” prescription. Since then, the DLC has criticized liberals more than the people across the aisle. If you hear bitching about liberals from Democrats, it’s probably the DLC.

Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute wrote a nice column for the DLC talking about how liberals need to take patriotism back—a nice idea. But then he goes on to claim that today’s liberals are haunted by “excesses of protest politics” left over from the Vietnam era.

Excuse me, but Democrats nominated a Vietnam War hero as their last candidate (who was mocked by liars parading around in Purple Heart bandages), and nominated another Vietnam enlistee in the previous election. And when Howard Dean rose to prominence (and now to the chairmanship of the Democratic Party) by excoriating an administration full of warmongering chicken hawks, it was on the righteous anger of a public realizing that we were misled into war, not by an “excess of protest politics.” But the DLC bullies liberals angered by their party’s flirtation with Republicanism-Lite, of which the DLC is the guiding force.

Then there are members of Congress like Maryland’s U.S. Rep. Fat Albert Wynn (D-4th). Wynn led the charge from the Democratic side against the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law, and later was a sponsor (with Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana) of the so-called 527 Fairness Act, designed to gut any limits on how much any single individual could contribute to political candidates and parties. As a June 24 Washington Post editorial noted, “The Pence-Wynn ‘reform’ would let a single donor give more than $1 million to a single political party each election, not including checks to candidates themselves—and it would let elected officials solicit donors for such largesse.” In other words, Wynn wants to make it easier for candidates to be bought, and he’s more than happy to whore himself out for the privilege.

If that weren’t bad enough, Wynn voted in favor of three of the most odious pieces of legislation to come out of the 109th Congress—the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, a mega-giveaway to the credit-card companies sheltering their profits in Delaware; the Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act, better known as the “Make Paris Hilton’s Day” permanent estate-tax repeal; and, most disgustingly, the unconstitutional pandering bill “for the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo.” If I had my way, Al Wynn’s body cavity would be searched before every Democratic Caucus meetings to make sure he isn’t hiding a recording device to take back to the Republican National Committee.

And in the media, the biggest whiner of them all is MSNBC blogger and The Nation media columnist Eric Alterman. Priggish, preening, name-dropping, and the world’s biggest Bruce Springsteen sycophant, he’s the kind of liberal that makes my teeth hurt. When right-wing loons look for effete East Coast snobs to portray as their limousine-liberal straw men, Alterman, who never lets go of a slight (he spent long blog-column inches demanding equal space for a reply to the Boston Globe’s editorial page editor for an insult the paper dealt him), is too good to be true. He barely acknowledges his own wrongs, and even compounds slights to others—take, for example, his battle earlier this year with former City Paper managing editor/current New York Observer media reporter Tom Scocca, in which Alterman not only refused to acknowledge his mistake on the facts, but kept misspelling Scocca’s name in kvetching about his work at the Observer.

Wimps, whiners, and sellouts—if liberals can’t get their acts together in a time when the GOP is losing hearts and minds over Iraq, Social Security, and its treasonous top campaign strategist, it’ll probably be because of these Wusses. Who needs enemies, indeed?

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