As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Behind the Times Democrats

These Bush Dogs like Tim Mahoney and Dan Boren, both of whom have refused to endorse Barack Obama as the nominee of their party, are typical politicians who believe that whatever Republicans say in public is true and damaging to their political careers. And honestly, if they're that ashamed of their party they can go ahead and leave it.

Boren, the lone Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegation, said that while Obama has talked about working with Republicans, "unfortunately, his record does not reflect working in a bipartisan fashion."

Boren, a self-described centrist, is seeking a third term this year in a mostly rural district that stretches across eastern Oklahoma.

"We're much more conservative," Boren said of district. "I've got to reflect my district. No one means more to me than the people who elected me. I have to listen them." He called Obama "the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate."

First of all, most of Obama's Senate accomplishment were high-profile bipartisan affairs, like the effort to secure loose nukes with Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel, or the transparency in government spending law with Tom Coburn. Coburn happens to be from Boren's state.

But the problem here is that Boren is so convinced that this is a conservative country, all opinion polling to the contrary, that he feels a knee-jerk reaction to reject anything that can be stamped with a "liberal" label. The fear just oozes off of him.

So let's just stipulate that someone might be "the most liberal" senator. My question for Rep. Boren, and for his Oklahoma constituents, is this: so what? So what if someone is a "liberal"?

What exactly are you afraid of?

What, will he start some wars? Will the economy go to hell? Will gasoline suddenly cost four bucks a gallon, so that getting from one end of town to the other starts to be something you have to plan for in your family budget? Oh, wait, no -- that's what conservatism has wrought. So what big, scary menace will "liberalism" rain down upon us all?

The horror of free public education? The apocalypse of affordable healthcare for families and the elderly? An energy policy that consists of something other than "hell, let's just sit on our asses and see what happens"? My God, maybe we'll have a foreign policy that doesn't revolve around sucking thousands of dollars out of your constituents' pockets, lighting all that money on fire, and using the pyre to make super-special Democracy Smores in the middle of the Iraqi desert?

In the article, Boren identifies a series of challenges to the country - high gas prices, the economic downturn, foreign policy failures - all of which have ENTIRELY been directed by Republicans. If he weren't so scared of his shadow, Boren could actually make that argument and be proud of his party affiliation instead of embarrassed by it.

At which point, he simply ought to leave. Because he doesn't vote like a Democrat, doesn't talk like a Democrat, doesn't act like a Democrat, and is ashamed of being a Democrat. The remedy for that is to not be a Democrat. Or get with the times and realize what kind of country you live in and who's responsible for its current state.

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