I've been trying to stay out of the so-called "horse race" aspect of the 2008 election, mostly because it smells like horse ass. But you have got to give someone their due when they go to work for you, and so far only Christopher Dodd has done that. By go to work for you, I mean actually doing something rather than saying, over and over again from state to state, what you are going to do. The difference, to mangle the Bush administration's philosophy of change, is the same as walking down a road map to somewhere rather than agreeing to agree on building a road map to nowhere.
In that sense, Dodd has seized upon a strategy of action over diction. While campaigning hard in Iowa like the rest of the Democratic hopefuls, Dodd actually came back to Congress to do his job and filibuster the hell out of the offensively named Protect America Act. By heckling the halls of government for pretending to protect America while granting retroactive immunity to the telecoms like AT&T and Verizon that have compromised its constitutional freedoms while receiving industry favors for their efforts, Dodd achieved escape velocity back into reality. Those he left in his proactive dust like Biden, Clinton and Obama? Well, they decided that they favored the hyperreality of rhetoric, which is to say flurries of language with no intent to follow it up with substantive action.
Now, I'm not a doddering Dodd-ite, make no mistake about that. I've had my eyes on Obama. But you have to walk the walk if you're going to talk the talk. And as much as I'm not a fan of Dodd's stance on many things, I do remember sighing with happiness and gratitude when I found out he kicked the Protect America Act out on the street where it could freeze until January. Sure, he got help from other Democrats, like Russ Feingold, who is really the man that should become president of the United States in 2008. But Dodd took a plane and blew the ears off of noncommittal wafflers for eight full hours, saving all of our asses in the process. And for that, I have to give him his due.
Whether you do is up to you, and there's much time between now and then for Dodd to screw up. But his plan of action should be circulated from one of this nation to the next, by as many millions as possible, to remind the Democratic hopefuls looking to take America out of our new dark ages that you can say anything and you can't do everything. But you should do something, anything, to help Americans enter the post-Bush phase without a sneaking suspicion that they're about to get screwed all over again.
So thanks, Senator Dodd. We needed that. Badly.
VIDEO: MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON