Saturday, April 25, 2009

Democrats' 'Battered Wife Syndrome'

By Robert Parry
April 25, 2009

In recent years, the Washington political dynamic has often resembled an abusive marriage, in which the bullying husband (the Republicans) slaps the wife and kids around, and the battered wife (the Democrats) makes excuses and hides the ugly bruises from outsiders to keep the family together.

Read on.


pecohen said...

I think the problem goes back much earlier than Lyndon Johnson and it was this same characteristic of Democrats that allowed Joe McCarthy to succeed with his ranting for so long.

Possibly Roosevelt was a happy exception in a long line of Democratic caving to Republican ranting and whining. I really am not enough of an historian to say with any certainty.

I think it is interesting to ponder why Democrats behave this way. Possibly it is simply the battered wife syndrome, but let me offer a couple of other possibilities:

1. Maybe it is just something basic in the difference between conservatives (who, by nature, are absolutely certain they are right) as opposed to liberals (who, in the 1940's, were criticized for not being willing to take their own side in an argument).

2. Maybe it is that Republicans have always owned the media and the Democrats' behavior is the quite natural response people have when they know they are operating always under the force of public hostile examination and ridicule.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure where President Obama stands on the torture issue...looks like where ever the political winds will best fill his sails....I suspect that no type of punishment will be mettled out for torture, (look at all the criminal activities of our Executive Branch,we have been asked to forgive, forget and put behind us since Nixon..(no accountability for "the ruling class"!!)...until some future administration sends the CIA into Congress in broad daylight, with guns blazing to "take care of the dissenters" (even then, I would have doubts of any justice!)..I suspect the criminality, will only escalate, with each "new" Executive Administration...for now I give A.G Holder a vote of "NO CONFIDENCE"...he appears to be either to lazy, maybe to intellectually deficient, or to afraid of the political winds to do his job in prosecution or carriage of justice..imagine.. reviewing a Republican Senators conviction (Stevens), while refusing to even consider reviewing Don Seigelman or Paul Minors case, and trying to wiggle out of prosecuting (or even invetigating) the obvious war crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration...I realize that the GOP despise blacks, but are you afraid they will hang you..Mr. Holder?
Mr. Obama I am not impressed with your choice for A.G or your idea of accountablity.....

Anonymous said...

Informative article, Robert Parry; thanks for writing it. If Democrats have battered wife syndrome, Obama must have battered president syndrome - - given that CNN has stepped up attacks on him that began when the oath of office. Each day since, 24/7, the network has pecked away at his record to see what grain of truth they can turn into a minus or generate controversy. Today, CNN ran a poll on what grade listeners would give the president for his first 100 days. What were the choices? They could vote for one of three: above average, average, below average. Since those polled could not chose excellent, most opted for above average. That way, CNN could avoid reporting what other polls have shown - - that the public grades him high, rather than above average. This clever methodology is just one of thousands used every month to "pull down the president to a size we can influence him," according to a quote from The Guardian attributed to one of CNN's top executives and an attitude characterized by Wolf Blitzer . Robert, I have supported your revelations about the Washington Post's biases and inaccurate reporting. Much needed. Keep it up. At the same time, I would encourage you to examine CNN more closely; since the public believes it is a news source they can trust, which is far from the truth. For some reason CNN is after this president, even though it has cost them dearly in viewer department and with sponsors who have cancelled. So how have they tried to make up for loss of viewers and sponsors? Did they get off Obama's back? No! Instead, CNN is turning to the radical conservative fringe by adding commentators of Rush Limbaugh's stripe. They are trying to contract with Gingrich to do a news show. What a greedy and arrogant news organization. They think the public does not know that any person who constantly criticizes a president places himself or herself above him in stature. The whole mess at CNN gives new meaning to the word "hubris." Sometimes I wonder how much CNN bases its behavior on covert racism. “ A white president can get an excellent rating, but not a Black one.” Maybe CNN should change its network letters to KKK or at least advertise itself as “the best propaganda machine on television.”

Anonymous said...

I loved this article but the use of "battered wife syndrome" evokes more sympathy than the Democrats deserve.

Disgusted said...

I grew up in a Republican household, listening to my "uncles" playing poker in our backyard talking about how they intended to take land and resources from 'niggers', Jews, 'spiks', 'chinks', and others, and how their wives, daughters, and girlfriends had 'better toe the line'. I have always suspected it was much worse than what I saw as a child, and what I saw (and heard) was mighty ugly.

But I am disgusted with Democrats, too. It is time to hold accountable those folk who have power -- all of them!

Dwight said...


Dwight said...

Great article Robert! I have enjoyed your writing for many years.

Just as a prospective, I'm 56, so from a historical perspective, I was 11 when JFK was hit and about 17 or so when I suspected there was something up.

My persepective is very similiar to yours and the Battered Wife Syndrome analogy is quite appropo.

I would add this, however. I believe it began with the JFK Assassination in great part, becuase of the Democrats inability to look into this turning point in American history fully. Reasons? Perhaps they feared that the Texas Connection (LBJ-read Howard Hunt's recent books and deathbed tapes, as well as Billy Sol Estes' accounts of that time period-very, very interesting!) would be exposed which would be a major embarrassment to the Democratic Party. There are many quotes from Democrats at the time, that this was better left alone.

Secondly, both 68 assassinations of RFK and MLK, this time the Democratic Party was paralyzed with fear. Trauma is a great way to docilize a nation and a party. Fits right in with your battered wife syndrome indeed.

As you continue to point out, then continually, through Watergate, the Iran Contra, etc. right up to the present, the Democrats have been unable to muster the courage to confront the criminal elements that have taken over our country and have ruled with such impunity and immunity.

The Democrats have had many chances. I'm afraid there are going to be more and there shouldn't be. The torture and eavesdropping charges are, taken in context of history, not as bad as all of these previous events, albeit very, very important to confront and stop.

It is far past time that the Democratic Party do this, however, I don't see much hope with this batch of Congressmen and women. I really believe it will take a third party movement to make some real changes and reform. The Republican Party should be put out of its misery and labeled for what it is, a supporter of this criminal element of our government and business leadership that has wrought so much damage and destruction.

The demolition of the Republicans is at its most possible point now in history. Will the Democratic leadership take the reins and do what is needed? Not with Harry Reid in charge. Not with Nancy Pelosi in charge, I'm afraid.

President Obama has lots of problems to take care of, including just the basic welfare of its people. However, if we don't act now to stop the Republicans in their tracks and hold them responsible, which we have a Constitutional obligation to do so, then we're doomed. A Newt Gingrich (arrgh) or some other demogogue will make it seem like they're the Republican "change" candidate and we're back to square one.

Battered wives can make a change. They can speak out. They can, most importantly ACT. It's time to tell your Congressional representative that it's time to put a stop to "looking the other way for the betterment of the country". Holder must act under the Constitution or we are not a nation of laws, but of privelage. Privelage to pillage, privelage to torture, privelage to do whatever they deem necessary for the "state."

We must convey to all Democrats that this is the time. This is the time to put a stop to this madness of criminal activity, treasoness actions to STOP!

Thanks you Robert, you're a jewel!