Confront GOP” History; Seize the Future!
Big Willie Will Make the Case
What the Democratic Convention Must Do
The Afro-American political theorists and cultural critic Harold Cruse once observed that Americans are “anti-historical and ant-intellectual.” I often get the impression that the Republicans took Curse’s analysis to heart and are building their campaign strategy around it. There is no other explanation that I can conjure to explain a televised convention where all of the major arguments are easily disproved lies.
The major role of the Democratic Party’s convention must be to expose the Republican lies, reacquaint the nation with the GOP’s recent disastrous history, and present a counter-vision for America’s future. The perfect entre into this discussion is to engage the question the Republicans have made their mantra: “Are you doing better than you were when President Obama took office?” In a recent speech Vice President Joe Biden has introduced a slogan that capsulizes the major issues upon which the Democratic response should be based. “General Motors is alive and Bin Ladin is dead!” he shouted in triplicate.
This slogan supplies a launching pad for scathing critiques of Republican mismanagement of the economy and National Security – areas the GOP has owned in the last few elections. First they must attack the claim, repeated ad- nauseum by GOP flacks, that Bush and Cheney protected us from another attack by Islamic Jihadists. The Democrats must expose this argument as a smoke screen to obfuscate the fact that the worst attack by a foreign enemy on US soil since the British torching of the White House during the War of 1812, happened on the Republican’s watch.
And the Democrats must point out that it could have been prevented; had Dr. Rice and the National Security elite not been so preoccupied with continuing cold war policies against a Soviet Union that no longer existed. Democrats should not hesitate to present the compelling evidence that had the Bushmen been paying attention to the intelligence reports on Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, as the former Clinton anti-terrorist Czar Richard Clark repeatedly advised Condoleezza Rice to do, the 9/11 assault would never have happened.
The Democrats must also remind the voters that the tough talking Bushmen never caught the perpetrator after seven years of trying; although Osama bin Laden’s identity was well known. Instead they launched a war of choice against Iraq. The Democrats must use their face time with the nation to point out that Barack ended the war, protected the nation from attack, and killed Osama bin Laden!
On domestic affairs the Democrats need only remind the public that George Bush was handed a flourishing economy; with a balanced budget and billions of surplus dollars. But he wrecked it with his policies of deregulation of the banking sector, hundreds of billions in tax givaways to the rich, and launching a needless war against an unoffending country. And the perfect man for that job is Bill Clinton, who gave Bush the booming economy.
Then they should concentrate on explaining and defending Barack’s magnificent record of achievement with the Grand Obstructionist working with the Grand Obstructionist Party. Who were pledged to make his administration a failure; even if they retarded economy recovery, put workers in danger of losing their unemployment compensation, and caused a downgrade in the nation’s credit rating for the first time in history over a routine budgetary matter.
The Democrats should constantly contrast Barack’s success with Mitt’s wacky prescriptions for solving the economic disaster; pointing out that the only other President who had a MBA from Harvard was George W. Bush! And he, like Romney, was clueless on foreign affairs. The Democrats should warn the nation that Romney has chosen the same foreign policy advisors – and their fellow travelers – who were the architects of the Iraq invasion
The Democrats should also emphasize the difference between them and the GOP on women’s, Immigrant, labor and gay issues. Once these facts are well known prudence would dictate a victory in the coming elections. Yet given the widespread epidemic of ignorance, and the persistence of pervasive racism in the white working class, one never knows….anything can happen.
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
September 4, 2012