Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 12.02.02


Operation Overlord II*

Like L. Frank Baum's scarecrow, the Dumocrats are badly in need of a brain. Their tactics in the mid-term elections were tepid, thoughtless, and loser-friendly.

What to do? How can the Dumocrats become Democrats again and win in 2004? Fortunately they have me to make a plan for them.

I am not a big fan of the Democratic Party but I and all those who voted for Ralph Nader and other fringe candidates must sacrifice principal for expediency.

Voting for Nader was a mistake. If all the Nader votes had gone to Gore, the Dems would have carried New Hampshire and garnered its four electoral votes. Hold your nose but vote Democrat anyway.

Okay, here's the plan: Get rid of Gore.

He's a liability, a waffler with no syrup; he's damaged goods permanently stained with the slime that leaked off of Clinton and that makes him unelectable, especially the second time around. Bring back Bradley, call on Diane Feinstein, or how about [Vermont Governor]Howard Dean?

The current crop of Democrats are just Republicans that are confused. Get rid of them. This means working through the Democratic primaries and electing candidates that can sharply delineate their policies from the Republicans. They must be willing to fight tooth and nail over issues like Enron and the environment.

You can't beat the party in power if you look just like them.

If a current policy is popular with the people then get on board, improve it and call it your own like Bill Clinton used to do.

If a policy is unpopular with the majority like our idiot gun laws or the Republican plan to privatize social security, then devise a workable plan that is in direct contradiction to the Republican stance and start beating the drum and bruiting your differences early and often.

Keep banging away with your message until people are convinced that you mean it. The key is to be visibly, audibly and spiritually different from the Bush regime. People either didn't vote or voted Republican because Dems were a lukewarm pale imitation of Republican-policy mob of chowder heads. Nancy Pelosi was chosen as the party whip after the resignation of Dick Gephardt. Despite the media hoo-haw about her left-wing politics, she is an excellent choice. First and foremost she is much more liberal than her predecessor. She fulfills Austin Rule #1: "Be different from the current administration."

In addition, there are a few things you probably don't know, to whit: Pelosi is the Ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which exercises oversight of all U.S. Government intelligence activities. Her focus on the committee is to oversee our armed forces, our national interests, and our civil liberties.

She is also a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which funds the nation's priorities -- both domestic and foreign. There is no better placement, politically, for a liberal and a house leader.

Incidentally "liberal" has been successfully co-opted by the right-wing media and Nazi blowhards like Limbaugh into something diseased and traitorous.

Maybe the same tactic can be used against "conservative."

Let's all think of conservatives as plutocratic, snake-handling, ultra-Christian bigots who want guns in vending machines and the death penalty for anyone who doesn't support Bush's plans to dominate the planet.

Works for me.

And unlike the current definition of liberal, it's true.

Finally, the Democrats must tout campaign finance reform until their gums bleed. They must denounce special interests, even though it will hurt them almost as much as the Republicans. They have stood idly by while the current campaign finance law has been injected with loopholes that any greasy bribe-taking Republican or Democrat can slither through.

No more PAC money, make campaign finance reform the chrome and diamond-studded plank in the 2004 platform.

And finally, you must appeal to the dim bulbs who didn't vote. 60 percent of eligible voters just sat on their collective cans and refused to exercise their rights. Find out what motivates these cretins and appeal to them. Maybe make remote controls tax-free or support pork rind research.

Those bloated pinheads are out there and their vote counts just as much as yours does.

Okay, there's your plan. You can show your gratitude after the election. I'm thinking Ambassador to Acapulco.

(* Operation Overlord was code name for the invasion of Normandy during WWII resulting in the defeat of the Nazis.)