The Democrats Met Their Waterloo
                                 By PJ McIlvaine


                                 Now that the dust has cleared, we can see it for what it truly is, the
                                 utter and complete capitulation of the Democratic Party. To say that it
                                 was a rout would be putting it mildly because a rout implies that along
                                 the way there had been a fight by our “Democratic leadership.”
                                 Excuse me?
                                 Bowery bums have waged more of a battle than these Beltway Bozos.

                                 Instead we had Timid Tom Daschle, the Minority leader who has more
                                 than lived up to his title during this debacle, publicly declare that on
                                 the Ashcroft nomination, he had no idea how Democratic Senators
                                 would vote because he hadn’t bothered to ask , but that “if” 30 or 40
                                 Democrats voted no, it would be “phenomenal.”

                                 But Uncle Tom Daschle wasn’t the only offender of the faith. How
                                 could we forget Sen. Russ Feinfart, who gave a lengthy diatribe
                                 against Ashcroft but decided to extend an ”olive branch” to
                                 Republicans while giving his fellow Democrats the finger. Infested with
                                 bipartisanship bonhomie, Orrin Hatch gave it right back to Feinfart by
                                 pronouncing Feinfart’s campaign finance reform bill DOA. So much
                                 for the “olive branch.” Must be a bitch to sit down, eh, Feinfart?

                                 I thought I knew better about Christopher Dodd of CT, whom I thought
                                 to be a progressive liberal. My ooops. Doddering Dodd took the high
                                 road and in the spirit of Judge Ronnie White, James Hormel and Bill
                                 Lann Lee, gave Ashcroft “a second chance” that Ashcroft himself had
                                 never extended. Well, Sen. Dodd, when Ashcroft and his minions like
                                 his Federalist Society crony Ted Olson find a way to subvert Roe vs.
                                 Wade, how will your “second chance” fit with those who will be most
                                 aggrieved? Will they get a second chance too?

                                 Our power was so great, we could not even mount a lousy filibuster.

                                 Best of all, we now have the Kennedys going over to the White House
                                 for a hot dog dinner and a movie.
                                What’s next? A viewing of the Zapruder film?

                                 Oh, the ignominy! Let us count the ways in which the Democratic
                                 Party has been borked in spirit of civility and bipartisanship.

                                 By quietly acquiescing during the Florida fiasco, we have an illegitimate President.
                                 By muzzling the Teamsters, the blacks and all those whose votes
                                 were disenfranchised, we have John Ashcroft.
                                 By tacitly agreeing to go along with this inaugural charade, we have Gayle Norton.

                                 By going along with a “historic” 50-50 power sharing agreement in the
                                 Senate, we have 100% of nothing.
                                 By co-operating with the Bogus Potus, we now have a gag rule on abortion that is
                                 going to force poor, foreign women back to the days of coat hangers.
                                 By remaining silent, we now have, by Executive Order, a White House
                                 Office for Faith Based Charities. Wiccans and Satanists need not apply.
                                 And all this in two weeks!

                                 Somebody smarter than me once said, “Washington abhors a vacuum.”
                                 Truer words were never spoken. In the absence of any coherent, unified
                                 Democratic opposition or leadership, Bushie, Cheney, Lott and DeLay
                                 are marching like Sherman through Georgia.

                                 Who speaks for us, the fringe folk?

                                 Jessie Jackson has been effectively neutered; some itchy right wing
                                 Congressmen are now calling for a Congressional investigation of  Jackson’s
                                 Rainbow Push coalition, in the hopes of discovering financial malfeasance along
                                 with more sexual peccadilloes to sling at the Reverend.

                                 Other Reps are threatening to launch an investigation into President
                                 Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Marc Rich, with Tom Daschle’s blessing!
                                 But only, Daschle cautioned, if it doesn’t turn into a “partisan witch
                                 hunt” or impede Sen. Hillary Clinton from doing her duties. Oh Tom of
                                 little wisdom, have ye not learned anything from the Paula Jones nightmare?

                                 And Al Gore, who by any legal or moral standard should be sitting in
                                 the White House, our “Shadow President” who should be all over the
                                 place pounding Bushie, has now turned into the Invisible Man.

                                 It pains me greatly to say this, but the Democratic Party is, for all
                                 intents and purposes, dead. It died due to neglect and indifference. It
                                 suffocated under complacency and apathy. It was murdered by indifference.

                                 And it is up to us fringe folk to bring it back from the grave.

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