In Time, You’ll Get Over Me

Howard Dean
Democratic National Committee

Dearest Howard,

We’ve been together a long time, haven’t we? I barely remember a time when I didn’t consider myself left of center but slightly to the right of Marxists, and you were there with me. We went through a lot during the sixties and seventies, didn’t we? Even when I disagreed with Jimmy Carter, I never sensed disagreeing with my President might have dire consequences for my children, if I ever had any, and I might not choose not to, because in his own fashion, Jimmy Carter respected my privacy – though not the privacy of our lower-income friends and relations. If it weren’t for those poor Iranian hostages and that bastard Ronald Reagan, I might have vestiges of my privacy rights worth talking about but sadly that’s water under the bridge between us.

During Reagan’s reign and GHWB’s odd visit, you and I suffered some tough years. We fought one another, your insecure friends and the whole world. It was hard to remember our love when every day brought new indignities like “welfare queens” and “ketchup is a vegetable” and I felt you let me down. With me, you were a man of principle. Your friends don’t know that man, do they? I often wondered if you cared as reproductive rights eroded and eroded more. You seldom spoke up when events went so wrong. I was deeply disappointed in your crowd, and always hoped you’d do better, but when Clinton was impeached over a blow job and your friends let it happen, I wondered if I respected you anymore.

With the election of our current administration, which was like a fire sale at the Evil Factory, and Al Gore’s valiant efforts not to become President, I started thinking about all the times you left the seat up and the cap off. When the Bush Armada sailed with diaphanous arguments for war and Congress stood on the pier waving bye-bye, I wondered why I still picked up your socks. When you and your friends let those vicious pigfuckers destroy our armed forces, the federal budget and a second sovereign nation for – we always knew – no good reason and no possible positive outcome, I felt my love for you flicker. Still, I hoped you’d see how wrong your friends were, bring me a lovely bouquet and whisper that soon everything would be different. Instead, every day you smile sadly and I shiver at the thought of Abu Ghraib. You can’t tell me you don’t feel it, too.

For years, I’ve been going through the motions. Your friends have been a terrible influence. The political center is now considered leftist and often termed extreme. The right has gone all Zsa Zsa, and demands outrageous gifts our budget cannot afford. Still, your friends say nothing. Karl Rove is the other woman, and I can take no more.

I’ve changed, it’s true. I will no longer make excuses for the spinelessness of the Democratic Party. I’m not going to tell my friends, “It’s got a headache,” or “It’s under too much pressure at work to vote against corporate welfare bills that plunder the treasury.” No. The time for compromise ended when Osama slipped through the net at Tora Bora, and I was just too stuck on you to notice. Howard darling, I’ve grown a bit since then. I’ve had enough. Though you mean well, I don’t believe your platitudes anymore. No more will I let you wheedle away my self-respect with arguments about unity in the face of our enemies because by joining with them in those ridiculous bankruptcy bills your friends have shown me the true face of my enemy, and it is the DNC.

I loved you, but it’s over between me and the Party, and that means you, too. I’m not going to say anymore that if your friends just start voting in the interests of their constituents things will be okay between us. I’m sorry. It can never be okay. Thousands of American soldiers are dead for no reason. Tens of thousands of soldiers are wounded. Perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis are dead, but we will never know how many. Osama bin Laden is still a free man and there is no justice for any of us. Our government should be under indictment at The Hague and you say nothing. Civil war in Iraq is and always was inevitable, and your friends are complicit in the murders we will soon see in a country that – frankly – didn’t so much as insult your mother’s casserole. Two hurricanes later, our federal government has fallen over the precipice into the abyss of bankruptcy. Yet, Congress goes merrily on its way to the next ribbon cutting ceremony. Thank God for WalMart, you mumble, because soon we’ll all be working 39 hour work weeks in blue jumpers for minimum wage and without benefits.

In time, you’ll get over me. First, you’ll have to get over your friends’ relentless cowardice, and wondering what we could have had together – if only we could start over. Leaving you is breaking the habit of a lifetime but I have to do it. I’m still sitting on the left, in the same place I always have, the place where education bills aren’t boobie-trapped and workers matter and women matter and the poor matter and the minority opinion matters and equality matters and the environment matters and the common good matters. Hopefully someday we’ll sit together again as friends.

I’ll always love you,
Princess Tata

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