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Frank Dwyer Headshot

Whose Side Am I On?

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I need to be in a different party than Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein. That means I have to go, doesn't it? They're not going anywhere. But I don't know how I can honorably keep squeezing myself into any big tent that includes them. The stakes are too important: and they are more destructive enemies of progressive ideals, of liberalism, than the Republicans are.

I'm not turning Republican, of course. Before all else, I have to be in a different party than Bush and Cheney, because I think they are war criminals and traitors. But now I feel, even more strongly, that I can't compromise my sense of decency and integrity by continuing my own complicity as a hold-your-nose-and-vote member of the little feeble adjunct Bush-Cheney party, the great victors of 2006 who turned out to stand boldly for FISA extensions and unlimited war funding and crucial hearings about accountability that are never held, or that start with a lot of bravado and then disappear (Mark Foley, Pat Tillman, Alberto Gonzales, Jack Abramoff, wmd lies, missing billions, contractor anarchy, Valerie Plame, Abu Ghraib and the White House authorization of torture, warrantless wiretapping, politicization of the bureaucracy, etc., etc., etc.) The Democrats have dwindled to a terminally-fatigued centrist party which has acquiesced in the suspension of habeas corpus and the other subversions of the Constitution and has taken impeachment--of war criminals and traitors!--off the table.

Do nothing to rock the boat, Democrats, and harvest all that lovely power and money in 2008. But do it without me. And surely I'm not the only one who needs to be in a different party than Schumer and Feinstein.

At the end of a war, most of the captured enemy combatants--the ones who are not war criminals, anyway--go home. The traitors can't really be said to have a home to go to; generally, they don't get to go anywhere.

Which is worse: the enemy party, which I abominate, or the traitors in my own party who abet and enable them?

We can't fight the good fight when we can't even draw the battle lines. We're all for raising the minimum wage, sure. Hooray. Is there anything else, though, any other issue that we might point to as an unambiguous battle line dividing us and them? Maybe we need to make sure who we are and what we stand for before we worry about fighting the Republicans. I may not be able to prevent the country from being Republican again, but I can at least keep myself from being accidentally Republican by backing traitor Democrats.

There are a few Democratic presidential candidates I might vote for happily, except that they will have all these newly-empowered Republican-Democrats behind them.

Maybe I'll come back in a decade or so, to cast a crucial vote for Rajiv Clinton and keep Jeb the Fourth out of the White House. Maybe not..

There is a slimmer and slimmer hope for the future. Al Gore. I know this is heresy, but I think Gore is too preoccupied with saving the planet. He might also think about saving his country, or his party. Both are probably in worse shape right this minute than the planet.