I think it was Will Rogers who once said, "I belong to no organized political party. I'm a democrat."
It always stuns me to witness how, no matter how loathsome and ignorant a stumblebum the Republicans field, you can usually count on the Dems to find a way to lose to them.
The reason is simple. They surrender. As soon as the Republicans grab and play a card, whether or not it is rightly theirs, the Democrats shrug, and go along with it.
This is insanely bad politics, but never more insane than when the Republicans try to claim some high ground in the area of "toughness." Now, if you want to award them the "Pusillanimous" card, that of the craven, empty-scrotumed coward who talks tough and then folds up in whining surrender when things get tough, that's one the Republicans are entirely qualified for, and it's never plainer than now, when an administration of draft-dodging cowards mouths platitudes about how terrorists hate us for our freedoms, while falling all over themselves to surrender those freedoms in pursuit of some mythical "Security."
Here is the fact: Terrorism is a very old political stategem. It works as follows: Terrorists attack with the intention of provoking increasing levels of oppression from a government, thereby causing conditions to worsen for the rank and file to the level of unacceptability, at which point the people will rebel, overthrowing the government, leaving a power vacuum.
In response to a single successful terrorist attack on the United States, our Coward-in-Chief and his administration have leapt for every opportunity to throw away fundamental civil liberties. Secret Evidence in Secret Courts before Secret Judges weren't cowardly enough, weren't un-American enough for these craven simps, and the idea that The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized terrifies them.
The Orwellian "Department of Homeland Security" was created -- after all, what better to insure that the United States can react quickly to an attack than to create a vast and unaccountable Federal Bureaucracy to safeguard us!
Yet, while the fearful Republicans wet their pants and shrink away from every notion of fairness and liberty that makes America great, they have the unmitigated gall to pound their breasts and bleat of their courage, and call those of us who have the courage to brave danger in order to keep our fundamental freedoms cowards!
The truth is simple. It is cowardly to imprison scary men in a Gulag rather than try them show evidence of their guilt. It is cowardly to restrict movements, restrict freedoms, or your own citizens and visitors because you fear some may use freedom to attack you.
In America, when you have evidence, you present it in open court, you try and convict criminals with that evidence, or, if you feel that the evidence is too sensitive to use, you're out of luck. That is a charge you cannot press, a conviction you cannot win, a criminal you cannot imprison. It's a hard choice that takes real guts to make. The coward tries to have it both ways. To imprison without right to fair trail, without right to face one's accuser, without anything that permits justice.
Ask a Republican, and he will snarl that this is war, and that his goal is not justice, but security.
Ask a Republican, and he will, without knowing it, tell you he's forgotten the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, that he who would surrender his essential liberty for a little short-term security deserves neither liberty nor security and will have neither.
Ask a Republican, and he will use tough words to describe cowardly and despicable policies.
Ask a Republican, and truly listen to what he says, and he will tell you, with no awareness that he's doing so, that he's a craven, gutless coward, who will gladly strip himself and his nation of the real freedoms worth having, in hopes that he won't suffer another blow.
Ask me, and I'll tell you this:
No Republican gets to call anyone a coward, no Republican gets to call anyone unpatriotic.
Cowardice is surrendering your principles when they get risky. Principles like Habeas Corpus.
Courage is standing by your principles even when there's a risk. Principles like the Constitution, principles like the right to face one's accuser, to examine and challenge the evidence against one.
And patriotism is not flying a flag while violating the constitution it stands for.
Patriotism is upholding that constitution, even when it's perilous. And patriotism can be burning that flag to call attention to the way the freedoms it stands for are being debased.
In short, WE are the brave, WE are the patriots. We, the Democrats who have stood in opposition to the simpering chicken-hawk cowards of the right who have too long usurped our country with their false claims of strength and courage.
The manhood card is back on our side of the table. Let the Republicans whine for its return. They won't get it until they earn it, with a show of genuine American courage. I don't see it happening any time soon.