It's not that the Democratic Party doesn't have a spine.
I am so sick of hearing this. It's like people who talk about Iraq without talking about the oil. It's like people who think this fascist gang of corporate puppets in the Bush Regime is credible about anything.
It's like an alcoholic who won't talk about the addiction, the elephant in the living room.
The Democratic Party isn't missing its spine. It's missing its soul.
They pawned it, you see. Sold it for a mess of pottage, a life of leisure, and a handful of perks.
How does a party get a soul, and how does it lose one? It gets it from the spilling of blood. It gets it from wounds taken and oaths to prevent further wounds.
The Democratic Party's soul was forged from those gunned down in the Teamsters Strike of 1934. It was forged in the streets of Selma, Birmingham, and Mobile, forged by the strange fruit that led to those streets being packed. It was forged from the blood that slowly trickled from the veins of the blacklisted writer. It was forged from the poor woman in a back alley who'd just been cut by a man who sterilized his knife with bourbon. It was forged from the blood of queers beaten into the ground, from the blood that may have carried a disease that we didn't want to talk about. The blood was poured out by the hearts of lovers and partners who could not be with each other while one was dying. The blood that forged the Party's soul was spilled in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. It was spilled in Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Chile, Argentina.
The loss of a soul? Sold, of course. Sold to the highest bidder. Neo-liberal corporate capitalism bought the Democrat's soul, having already taken over the Republicans. Dribs and drabs of money here and favors there, get-along and go-along.
The Democratic Leadership Council has been one of the tools, the framework for the sale of soul. Thousands and thousands of contributions from the wealthy elite and corporate structure have teased out that soul, bit by bit.
And the forces that bought that soul are doing very very well. Tax cuts, tax cuts, more tax cuts. Tax cuts for the corporation, tax cuts for the shareholder, tax cuts for the individually wealthy. Freedom from regulation; oh, the onerous tasks of not harming the environment or your workers are getting less difficult. Foreign policy that defends your industry – ahh, that's another gift delivered by the soiled and sold-out to the ruling elite.
But things are changing, because blood is being spilled, and it's crying out to be heard.
Iraq and Afghanistan. Lebanon and Gaza. The blood spilled in the bizarre torture machine that is our healthcare system. The blood spilled in the actual torture machine that is Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the entire system of secret prisons and renditions. The Constitution has been bleeding, rent in many ways.
The scent of this blood is filling the nostrils of those in the political machine, no matter how hard they want to insulate themselves within the beltway. Lamont was one example. The blogworld is another.
But will it be enough? Will the roots: excessive corporate power, abuse of state power, one dollar – one vote, be dug out, or will there be surface change only?
Blood will tell.