By MARC McDONALD
The past three decades have been a Right-Wing wet dream for America. The Republicans have gotten their way on virtually every single issue while the Democrats have meekly rolled over.
Which raises a question. Why are the Republicans so angry these days? And why are the Democrats so goddamn happy?
What do the Republicans have to be angry about, anyway? During most of the past three decades, they've controlled all the levers of power. And even when they didn't control the White House, they might as well as have, with Bill Clinton's "Republican Lite" policies.
The Republicans have gotten pretty much everything they've wanted: their tax cuts for the rich, their sweeping deregulation, their dismantling of the social safety net, their gutting of labor unions, their blood-for-oil wars, their shredding of the Constitution: you name it.
What's more, they blatantly stole the past two presidential elections (and got away with it). And they're the one who are seething with anger these days?
And yet if you tune into Fox News or talk radio or the Right-Wing blogs these days, you encounter the most incredible seething anger and passion. Tune into just the first five minutes of unhinged Right-Wing nutcase Mark Levin's radio program sometime and you'll encounter more anger than a year's worth of reading Mother Jones or The Nation.
All I've got to say is: where can we on the Left get some of that anger to fire up our base?
After being screwed for 30 years by the New Right, you'd think the Left in this country would finally have built up some anger and passion. But instead, there seems to be way too much humor, fun and frivolity on our side these days. Even Mike Malloy's once-incendiary radio program has mellowed out in recent months.
The Left could really use a few lessons from the the Republicans these days. The GOP is a master of rallying the troops by adopting a "take-no-prisoners" hard-line approach to politics. They're also good at rallying the base with a constant "siege mentality" that would have their supporters believe that the Left is on the verge of destroying America (ironic, when you consider who's really done all the damage to our nation in recent decades).
Democrats ought to enter a street fight with the GOP with the appropriate tools: a switchblade, a .38-caliber pistol, and a pair of brass knuckles. Instead, they bring nothing to the fight but good manners and a promise to fight fairly and by the rules. In a street fight, that approach loses every f*cking time---but the Dems appear to be incapable of grasping this basic fact.
Take Obama's current campaign strategy. He's vowed to take the high road and run a polite, dignified, no-slime campaign. McCain, on the other hand, is throwing everything he has at Obama. Day after day, McCain essentially calls Obama a traitor.
And McCain's slime is working. Obama's lead in the polls is now dangerously thin. And if recent U.S. election history repeats itself, Obama looks to be in real trouble by November.
Aren't Democrats angry about all this? Nope. While the GOP is using angry fire-and-brimstone "All Liberals Are Traitors" rhetoric to fire up the troops, we're once again acting polite, sipping our tea, and minding our manners, smug in the belief that the nation couldn't possibly be so stupid as to vote for a third term of George W. Bush.
One thing I will give the Republicans credit for: they are angry, passionate and willing to fight tooth-and-claw for what they believe in. They fight dirty and even steal elections if they have to. And do you think they lose one second's worth of sleep over it? Don't bet on it.
And meanwhile, the Dems are smug, arrogant, and way, way too goddamn polite these days. We need to get angry for a change and start fighting fire with fire.