The poor man is inundated with hateful email. People don’t like him, they’re angry at George Bush, they accuse him of being Bush’s lapdog (a charge he denies, but Digby provides the evidence—hatefully, no doubt), and he just can’t understand why (at least I can answer that one: it’s because he’s not very bright).
Cohen can whine all he wants about the fact that people don’t like him, but here’s the charge to which I must take strong exception:
But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble — not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before — back in the Vietnam War era. That’s when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.
Oh, yeah—don’t be angry, you’ll lose! And please, please don’t throw me into that briar patch, Br’er Fox!
I despise George W. Bush, and I’m extremely angry at the direction the Republican party has taken my country. That, it seems to me, is the appropriate response; why would anyone with my best interests at heart suggest otherwise? We’re in the middle of a morass of a war that was started by those assholes on the basis of an error (charitably) or pure venality and stupidity (most likely), our people are dying, the Middle East has become more unstable, and what are we supposed to do? Nod pleasantly at the nice oilmen, sit back and enjoy our high fat diets and cable TV, and try to be placid? That’s insane. We should be angry. We should be fighting back. We should be standing up with veins throbbing at our temples, shouting at the tepid Democrats who want our votes that they damn well better wake up and oppose the status quo. Cohen himself says that “Institution after institution failed America—the presidency, Congress and the press”…and we’re not supposed to be furious about that? We’re not supposed to demand change?
As for the Vietnam War—I remember that. I remember the demonstrations and the college campuses lighting up with howls of protest. I remember the dead every night on the television news. That’s also a war the people wanted to stop, and we screamed at the top of our lungs until they heard us. We were so loud that Nixon had to promise “peace with honor” and to “end the war and win peace” to get elected. In the 60s and 70s, that vigorous opposition had even the Republicans admitting that they somehow had to end that wasteful war; have you noticed how quiet the campuses and city streets are now, and how no one in power is admitting their failures yet? The message of Vietnam is that we need to mobilize more anger and stir up more strenuous, vocal opposition.
It’s the lapdogs of the administration, the tools of the destructive status quo, whose job it is to quell the angry mob. Rise up and scream, people, ignore the lackeys of the Right who want you to be ashamed of righteous fury.