Democratic Party of NM Embraces Wussy Stereotype
The Republican Party of New Mexico wants us all to be terrified about the return of Bill Richardson. “Welcome Back, Bill Richardson!” trumpets the headline for the RPNM’s press release on Tuesday. The story, essentially, is a slam against a Political Action Committee created by the former New Mexico governor’s advisers.
The substance of the release is not what’s interesting, though. Republicans and Dems are all launching PACs, so whatever.
What matters about this is the juxtaposition between the Republicans and Democrats. What matters about this is the perception of Democrats as political wussies. The classic stereotype says Democrats think they have what’s best for the public in mind, but aren’t willing to fight dirty enough to win in the public arena. (So no public option; wars go on forever; tax cuts for millionaires get extended while loopholes remain wide open; wages decline and labor unions erode; Fox News frames national debate; etc.)
The Republicans, meanwhile, are scrappers. Al Gore gave up the fight for the presidency in 2000 after Republican lawyers refused to, even going so far as to happily ignite a white-people riot in the hallways where Florida recounts took place. Bush and Cheney did not give a shit what you or I thought of their foreign and tax policies. Tax cuts happen, when nothing else can, after terms like “job creators” and “punishing success” go mainstream because Republicans believe in the power of messaging and will hammer catchphrases home no matter how little sense they make.
It’s tough being a Democrat. We lack chins and our arms are as skinny as toothpicks. We stand and wait at crosswalks as Republicans scream past in loud, asteroid-sized trucks with big rubber testicles dangling off the trailer hitch.
The Dems had a press release yesterday, too. The headline: “Statement: DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales on 11th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks.” It was their first release this month.
Lest we think the Republicans don’t care about 9/11, they also issued a statement on the anniversary of that day. It was one of THREE new press releases: 9/11 statement, “Welcome Back, Bill Richarson!” and a release alleging that Democratic House candidate Mary Ellen Broderick broke campaign finance law.
So to recap Tuesday’s statement scorecard:
And, again, that was the only release all month for the Dems.
Now perhaps you’re thinking, ‘Well, at least the Dems aren’t just throwing poop to see what sticks, like the Republicans. Political name-calling is what’s wrong with this country.” If you’re thinking that, then you are certainly a Democrat. You also aren’t paying attention to current events. Gov. Susana Martinez’s chief of staff Keith Gardner is all over the news for swearing up a storm on a leaked audio tape, admitting he “never” uses state email because he doesn’t want to go to jail and actually calling out a specific, high-ranking Democrat (Senate Pro-Tem Tim Jennings) as a “cocksucker.”
The party has nothing to say on any of this. They should be hitting it like crazy, right? They could claim it shows blatant disrespect for public office. They could claim it shows there are secret machinations on public policy happening out of public view. They could demand Gardner’s resignation and blast the governor for condoning his words.
Check out the front page of the Albuquerque Journal today. With all the political intrigue around her “shadow government,” as some media outlets which are not the Democratic party have termed this administration, the huge main story is a poll piece that says “Most in N.M. Give Gov. Good Marks.” There is a photo of Martinez alongside the piece, looking up and smiling sweetly. Her approval rating is 69 percent, the story blares from a huge graphic beside her beaming face.
It’s easy to tell the Democrats what they should do. (Like, start playing ball and get dirty.) But typical American Democrats in their living rooms have been screaming at party leaders to get tough for years. It just isn’t their way. What we hope they can at least acknowledge is they are losing the messaging game when it comes to Susana Martinez.
The Republicans are still happily attacking a former governor, while the Democrats won’t even put up a decent fight against the one who’s currently running our state.