Beast of the Month - December 2004
- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
From The Vault...
Beast of the Month - December 2004
Tom Daschle, Ousted Senate Minority Leader
"I yam an anti-Christ... "
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the
"Image is everything."
It didn't take long after the 2004 Presidential Election for the
finger-pointing of blame to begin among the Democrats. Two of the
most popular explanations for the election failures among the
Democratic Leadership Council crowd reveal the self-serving nature
and intellectual bankruptcy of their ilk.
One is the that the Democratic Party, in order to capture the "Red
States" again, needs to embrace "moral values" popular in the
heartland. And what exactly does the term "moral values" mean?
Basically, it stands as a code phrase for being opposed to gay
marriages. The less said about this argument the better, but it
tells everything about the lack of imagination in the Democrat elite
that their idea of "getting in touch with the common man" is little
more than wearing t-shirts that say "We hate fags too!!!" The other
explanation is that Michael Moore, MoveOn.org and their ilk (which
presumably would include the book 50 Reasons Not to Vote for Bush,
by Konformist editor Robert Sterling) turned off "moderate" voters
from Kerry with their "divisive" rhetoric. (This, of course, is as
compared to the sensible, mainstream viewpoints expressed by Ann
Coulter and Sean Hannity.) The argument, of course, has no real
foundation to stand on, as Kerry-Edwards were at their popularity
zenith when Fahrenheit 9/11 and MoveOn commercials were at center
So what is the official Konformist explanation of what happened?
(Aside from electronic vote fraud, of course.) One unusual event
perhaps reveal more about the results than anything else.
The Presidential election certainly had the biggest headlines on
November 2nd, but it wasn't the only campaign, and perhaps no result
was as surprising as the South Dakota loss of Tom Dashcle (The
Konformist Beast of the Month) to GOP candidate John Thune.
Surprising because Dashcle was the Senate Minority Leader, and, had
the national results been different, Senate Majority Leader again as
he was from 2001 to 2003. Of course, even as Minority Leader, he
would hold more sway in the Senate than a freshman senator,
including over all-important appropriations. This would explain why
no majority or minority leader has lost in over fifty years. And
unlike the 1994 ouster of House Speaker Tom Foley, his defeat wasn't
part of some major tidal wave in American politics.
Why then did Daschle lose? Looking at the facts, The Konformist
would have to come to one conclusion: South Dakota voters had lost
respect for the guy. Quite simply the people of South Dakota had
decided that Daschle was, to put it in deep intellectual terms, a
Perhaps that seems like a pretty nasty insult, especially for
someone like Daschle, who served honorably in the Air Force
Strategic Air Command during the Vietnam era, something most of his
Republican opponents can't proclaim. Besides this, Daschle is a
squeaky clean guy as far as senators go (though his wife is a major
lobbyist for the airline industry) and a man filled with a great
sense of decency. Yet, for all his honor, ethics and decency, at
least as a politician, Daschle has proven himself to have earned the
title of "pussy" quite easily.
There's nothing new here: while Ronald Reagan pranced through WWII
in cake make-up as a fake Hollywood cowboy and war hero (perhaps
influencing Dubya's infamous May Day "Macho Man" stunt on the USS
Lincoln) Jimmy Carter served on submarines as a Naval officer. Yet
when the two squared off in 1980, who had to deal with the Wimp
Still, there is something deserved to the wimp status of Mr.
Daschle. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (a particularly
hilarious-named Republican homophobe, incidentally) would respond to
those referring to Bill Clinton as president with the snide
comment "He's not my president!" This is after Clinton had twice
been legitimately elected by the American people. Compare this to
the following quote from Daschle's own Website following Bush's
"What a historic weekend for all of America. On Saturday I had the
privilege of participating in the swearing in of America's 43rd
President, George W. Bush. While President Bush and I have some
honest philosophical differences that won't prevent us from working
closely together as the 107th Congress opens its session this week.
I am looking forward to it. Working together in a true bipartisan
spirit we can accomplish great things for South Dakota and all of
America... Shortly after the swearing in Senator Lott and I called
the 107th Congress to order so that we could confirm the first seven
of President Bush's cabinet choices. This was easy work as
President Bush has done an excellent job with his cabinet
selections. On Saturday, we confirmed Secretaries Colin Powell
(Secretary of State), Paul O'Neill (Treasury), Ann Veneman
(Agriculture), Don Evans (Commerce), Rod Paige (Education), Spence
Abraham (Energy), and Don Rumsfeld (Defense). I met with almost all
of these nominees in the previous weeks and I am enthusiastic about
the chance to work closely with them."
Translation: "I, Tom Daschle, am a pussy!!!"
Perhaps BuzzFlash.com said it best about Daschle in a 2003 editorial:
After two years in which he [Daschle] has caved into the Bush Cartel
on taxes, the suppression of civil liberties, given a virtual free
pass to the Bush administration on the energy scandals (including
Enron), failed to filibuster John Ashcroft, failed to subpoena Bush
officials for a wide variety of potential legalities, his assistance
in pumping up Bush's "invincible" image, the loss of the senate
through a strategy of "risk averse" politics, the failure to make
the principled and pragmatic case against a rush to war with Iraq,
his refusal to challenge the theft of the election 2000, his
inability to convey any distinguishing vision from the Republicans,
his inability to offer a comprehensive alternative economic policy,
his unwillingness to engage in a muscular battle with the junk yard
dogs of the Grand Hypocrisy Party, his failure to achieve a truly
independent 9/11 investigation commission, his failure to make an
issue of the Bush appointment of felons to important positions, his
unwillingness to make an issue of the Big Brother proposed TIPS
Program that would have sent citizens spying into our homes, his
unwillingness to denounce all of Bush's nepotism appointments
(including -- but not limited to -- the offspring of Scalia,
Rehnquist and Cheney), his unwillingness or inability to point out
that the Admiral "Felon" Poindexter Orwellian invasion of
privacy "data collection" system is unacceptable and must be
stopped... Daschle has squandered the chance for the Democrats to
put the Bush Cartel on the defensive. In fact, Daschle fumbled
almost every opportunity to launch a proactive offensive party
strategy. He, for a short time, had the investigative powers that
come with being the Senate majority -- and he did virtually
nothing. He let the Bush Cartel off the hook again and again.
An opposition party needs to oppose something to have a reason to
exist. Yet in September 2003, after a speech by Bush asking for $87
billion more for the War in Iraq, Senator Joseph Biden, rather than
criticizing the Bush Team's failures and deceptions leading up to
the request, instead gushed praised for the speech on CNN, and
followed with even better arguments for the Bush position than Shrub
had originally provided.
It's time to face the facts: American politics, at least since the
1992 victory of Bill Clinton, is a nasty blood sport, and anyone who
doesn't accept that or isn't prepared for it needs to get out of the
Van Damme way. For all their flaws, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich and
(especially) George W. Bush understand that and play by those rules
(and, in the case of Newt, helped create the rules in the first
place.) Perhaps Democrats like Daschle and Biden may bemoan the
lack of a "bipartisan spirit" that exists, but if you're playing
tackle football, you don't play as if it's two-hand touch.
Republican's were screaming for Bill Clinton's head (pun intended)
over lying about blowjobs. Meanwhile, whether it's the 2000
election theft, the Iraq War or even the blatant criminal conduct of
Bush and his cronies, the Democrats under Daschle have predictably
So is The Konformist saying that the Democratic leadership needs to
start reading Real Men Don't Eat Quiche, The Manly Handbook and The
Bad-Ass Bible, or start cribbing lines from Clint Eastwood and Sly
Stallone flicks? No, although it wouldn't be a bad idea. What we
are saying is that the Democrats, if they want to really connect
with working class voters, should find out what their real needs are
and fight for them with unflinching conviction. FDR understood
that, and this was the cornerstone of the New Deal. Harry Truman
understood that, and that's why he became admired as "Give 'Em Hell
Harry!" Until he died in a suspicious plane crash in October 2002,
Paul Wellstone was perhaps the solitary Democratic senator who still
completely understood this fact and lived (and died) by it. And for
whatever his faults, Michael Moore (along with Al Franken, Greg
Palast & Jim Hightower) indeed understands this, which is why the
right-wing is so rabidly obsessed with discrediting him: they know
his pitch will work. Instead of embracing Moore, the DLC-crowd has
tried to avoid any association with him. It's really quite
pathetic: the Democrats shouldn't be giving off the image of wishy-
washy, sniveling cowards with no real convictions. (After all,
that's what FOX News pays Alan Colmes for.)
In short, when the Democratic Party shows that it has more cajones
balls than the Dixie Chicks, it'll get over the Wimp Factor. But
don't hold your breath.
In any case, we salute Tom Daschle as Beast of the Month.
Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Tommy!!!
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