By MARC McDONALD
There was once a time when it was perhaps understandable that the Democrats cowered in fear of George W. Bush.
That would have been during the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, when Bush's approval rating soared into the stratosphere. Any Democrat who dared speak out against Bush then would have been flayed alive---not just by the right-wing propaganda attack machine, but by the mainstream media, as well.
Over five years later, how times have changed. But you wouldn't know that by taking a look at how many Democrats today still cower in fear of Bush.
Here's a memo to all the Dems who do so: you are no longer Bush's bitch.
You are no longer facing the swaggering flight-suit-wearing "warrior" who strutted across the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, with such confidence and aplomb in May 2003.
Today, you are facing the lamest of lame duck presidents. A politician whose approval ratings are in the toilet.
I wish the Democrats would show one-thousandth the enthusiasm for impeaching Bush for his many serious crimes and acts of treason that the GOP showed for impeaching Clinton for lying about a blow job.
Perhaps the Dems believe that if they show some courtesy and restraint now, the GOP will reciprocate on down the road and stop bullying them (the way the Repukes did the entire eight years of Clinton's presidency).
If that's the case, then I think the Dems are fooling themselves. If Hillary gets elected in 2008, then we will see a repeat of the Bill Clinton years, with Rush, Fox, etc. viciously attacking Hillary every minute of every day.
Dems: you have the power these days. You control the House and Senate. What's more, America's voters sent you to Washington with a clear mandate. To end this fiasco of a war. Now.
What, exactly, are you afraid of these days, Democrats?
Bush has been exposed for what he is. A liar and a crook. A chickensh*t coward who refused to go to combat when his nation was at war in Vietnam. A spoiled, trust-fund-collecting frat boy who used his rich family's connections to get ahead.
To be sure, Bush still has appeal to the Kool-Aid drinking diehards who adore their hero and consider him a "warrior" president, bravely guiding America in the War on Terror. But the fact is, Bush really has more in common with Paris Hilton than he does with any real soldiers like John Murtha or Max Cleland.
In fact, it's not really any wonder that Bush has cut veterans' benefits, even as he's fought hard to give wealthy people like Hilton yet more tax cuts.
I really can't understand why the Dems still cower in fear of Bush these days. Maybe they're afraid of the Great Republican Slime Machine and how right-wing talk radio and Fox News will savage them if they attempt to stand up to Bush.
If that's the case, here's another memo for the Dems: the GOP propaganda machine is already attacking you, and will continue to do so, regardless of what you do. However, this isn't quite the threat that it once was. The GOP propaganda machine's diehard, fanatical base is starting to wither away these days, as ratings at Fox News continue to plummet.
Not only should you Dems stand up to Bush and end this war now, you have a duty to do so. The American people, who voted Democrats into power in November, could not have been clearer in their message.
Democrats: you have a mandate. By ending this war, not only are you doing the will of the people, you're doing the right thing for America.
Please, Dems: stop being afraid of a spoiled frat boy. Stop fearing a coward who was waving pompons as a cheerleader at Andover prep school while true heroes like John Murtha and Wesley Clark were getting shot at in the jungle by the Viet Cong.
End this evil war now.