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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | 9:25 AM

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I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust ... and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do..." Howard Beale, from the film "Network" (1976).
I'm mad as hell because today was bad and was all about politics and not country first.

Democrats were once again Charlie Brown to the Republican's Lucy with the football and we saw the predictable result. Republicans are whining about "the big mean lady who talked bad about us so we showed her - we didn't vote for America, we voted against the big mean lady who didn't talk nice!" And the media talking heads will regurgitate this bilge for hours and days to come.

There is only one political ad that should be aired immediately by the Democratic Party and that is: All of the McCain's surrogates' quotes about McCain suspending his campaign to save the country with this headline: "Republicans Vote For The Great Depression!"

The Democrats need to hang this necktie around John McCain and the Republicans from now to Election Day. John McCain and the Republican Party refused to reach across the aisle. McCain is powerless. McCain is Bush in lame-duck clothing. McCain was pivotal in defeating the bipartisan effort to save America.

Wake up Democrats! These people couldn't care less about America, the middle class working folk, poverty, health insurance and education. The Republicans care more about politics and the wealthy than anything else in this world. Don't you get it? We turn to you for change - not compromise. We turn to you for leadership - not more of the same.

As I read Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini and others, they all say this was not the best solution - but it was something to fill the void of nothing. Doing nothing would only speed the crisis with disastrous results. And so, Democrats believed in the delusion of "Country First" and went to the wall. Republicans, of course, support disaster because that is their forte. The Republicans bring about disaster like the war in Iraq, Katrina, Enron, deregulation, and, when caught, blame it on Democrats from FDR to Bill Clinton. Blame it on the poor and minority populations. Blame it on Gay Marriage. Blame it on teaching evolution in public schools. Anything to avoid taking responsibility for their failures. That's the GOP way.

It's time to play politics, Democrats! Hope is not a method. Change comes through action, and now is the time to nail this to the Republican hide of this country. No nice words - no soft peddling - power to truth - with a political edge. If Democrats want victory in November - it may have just been handed to them.

I'm not a smart guy or strategic political planner, but here is my view of the next few days that could bring Democrats victory - if they really want it:

1) Every Democratic spokesperson on television points out that McCain is so weak he cannot lead his own political party, so how can we expect him to lead this country?

2) Run ads of John McCain hugging George Bush with photos of New Orleans drowning, of the carnage in Iraq, the DOW plummeting, CEO's retreating to beautiful mansions with millions of dollars while their former companies go bankrupt and employees carry their jobs out in cardboard boxes on their way to the unemployment office.

3) Show the DOW where it was on the day Bill Clinton left office and where it is today after eight years of Bush and the GOP. If it is a flat line - we all know the medical condition of an EKG flat line. No matter how many spikes are induced by CPR.

4) Message: McCain and GOP put politics first - not country. Willing to sacrifice America to avoid losing power.

As I said in the beginning, I'm mad as hell and I'm looking for the Howard Beale Democrats. Anything less is disaster for America.

"... We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy ... I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad." - From the film "Network" (1976) by Paddy Chayefsky.

Democrats - it is time to get mad.
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