Everybody is putting out an end-of-the-year list these days. Stuff like the "Top Ten Dumb Things I Saw On TV" or "2009's Craziest Reality Show Contestants", which could actually be the same list. I might do a couple of them myself in the next few days after I look back through this year's posts because (a) it is easy to do, and (b)it is easy to do, and (c) it is REAL easy to do.
But before I start patting myself on the back, I want to try to translate some of the thoughts that rambled around my head last night into something approaching a coherent piece. Specifically, what I want to know is - are the Democrats really serious, or are they content to just play at politics?
I say this because there have been times lately during this national healthcare debate that I've been dumbfounded at the amount of angst, rage and "my laundry list of 'things the president said he was going to do but didn't' is longer than yours" that has come from the masses of Democrats who AREN'T elected officials, but contribute greatly to getting them elected by campaigning and raising money and working the phones and providing opposition research and advancing party talking points through various venues.
Watching these latest internecine scuffles in action has made me think I'm watching an episode of Seinfeld - a whole lot of inspired outrage and professional level navel gazing goes on, but nothing ever really happens.
"He can't walk and chew gum at the same time" was one of the thousands of aphorisms my mother dispensed regularly during my childhood. To paraphrase that, "Can the Democratic activists talk politics and walk at the same time?
The Dems have more members than any political party in this country. They have learned from their president how to use the power of the internet not only to organize, but to break down tasks into manageable and actionable game plans for individuals that can be carried out en masse to achieve the desired effect practically overnight for very little money.
So why won't they put the B-team on the healthcare debate, cause that boat has just about sailed, and do something useful with the A-team folks?
Why don't they dedicate a section of Democratic Underground or DailyKos or FireDog Lake to the meat and potatoes of politics - wreaking havoc wherever the opposition has a weakness?
The GOP is having a dog fight with its own members in Florida. It doesn't matter if your candidate is a longshot. Surround them with some A-team members on the ground and on the web and throw some gas on the fire. Muddy the waters by leaking whatever you can find on Rubio or Crist to make them respond on the record. Rinse. Repeat.
GOP infighting, even in a race the Dems ultimately won't win, looks bad on TV for Republicans and takes the national office folks eyes off other things.
John McCain is (a) weak in his own state, and (b) easily irritated. So irritate him - weekly, daily, hourly. Rerun every gaffe he has ever made in his whole career, like a Citizen Kane montage, with pictures, plenty of pictures, of the Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous lifestyle he enjoys. An angry McCain is an ineffective McCain.
These are two senate races - their are thirty eight more seats out there you could easily assign to permanent message boards, with local organizers to promote youtube parodies, disruptive groups like "Billionaires For Wealthcare", and other organized efforts to work the old elephant into a frenzy.
I guess I am writing this because in discovering how to use Twitter, I have seen a phenomenon in action that I wrote about a few years ago in a story titled "Are We Storing Or Retrieving?", where I explored the idea that most of the electronic messages being emailed back and forth were forwarded messages or replies to messages that essentially meant we were either storing or retrieving the same information over and over.
I've seen the same complaints about Obama every ten minutes. The same knocks on the GOP senators all day everyday. It's almost like Groundhog Day for political conversation.
Having the same conversation over and over again is a good way to end up with the same outcome.
And we've all seen what a wonderful job constant complaining does to help you get nowhere closer to your goal.
So Dems, its time to get back on the grind of body-on-body politics, and smell the breath of your enemy - time to dance with the devil again.