Rule 8: If this is your first night at the Democratic Primary, you have to fight.

One of the most interesting things about being left of center (politically speaking) is how "weak" those on the left are perceived to be, and how centrism and fair play add to that perception. Democrats get bullied on congress, get whipped with negative ads and are seen as whining about it later, and generally give off this air of not being strong.

Talking with a good friend of mine lately, he had no choice but to comment on how my choice of voting Democratic was going to result in a weak military and hurt America was a given. When I told him that my Grandfather, Mother, and Stepfather, all Veterans, vote Democratic as well, he was unswayed. naturally, he has never served in the military, but knows better than those who have.

Republicans bragging about voter suppression and caging is excused, because it makes up for Democratic phantom stolen votes that can’t be proven, or even had examples shown in court. Cutting Veteran’s benefits is OK because that money pays for the contractors to fight alongside our soldiers, without accountability or oversight. (cause that’s what it takes!) Any action by those on the political right today can be excused, because it prevents some imagined action that would have been much worse from the left.

The facts are that if you look at almost all ranges of statistics, things are better under recent Democratic control, vs Republican control. I’m not talking about historical Republican activity, The example of Lincoln freeing the slaves has as much relation to Bush and Cheney and my cat does to that Tiger that tried to eat those irritating kids in that zoo recently. Nixon, Ford, Regan, Bush and Bush have used this country as their personal bidet, and left the rest of us to clean it out.

Part of the reason why I feel that has happened has been that the perception of Democrats has had some truth to it. We haven’t been willing to do whatever it takes to win. Period.

And listening to liberal blogs whine recently about how nasty the Democratic candidates have been to each other is ludicrous. Some of Hillary’s folks have made off color remarks bordering on racist. Obama’s folks have made sly sexist remarks. Edwards is happy, clean, and coming in last.

Do I like seeing these folks lay dirty to each other? No, not really. I would be very happy to live in a world where that doesn’t happen. But this isn’t that world.

These candidates are doing whatever it takes to get nominated. I like that. I might not like the intermediate steps of what they say to get to that point. But I know that any of these folks will do the right thing in office, certainly a fair sight better that any of the Republicans in their goose-stepping polka to become the nominee.

Politics is blood sport. and Democrats lose because they want to be clean and not draw blood. Republicans aren’t afraid to spill blood for their desires (just ask our soldiers in Iraq, who are doing the actual spilling.)

I’m glad to see our candidates beating on each other right now. It’s like Democratic Fight Club. By November, I expect to see those bruises and scars healed. The self-inflicted bleeding knuckles will have calloused over, and hurt the next guy just that much more. And though they (and we regular Democrats ass well) have been beating each other silly in the basement, we are all friends after the fight, and exit to the street that much closer as a group.

So I’m going to wince at some of the internal nastiness on our side, but it just doesn’t bother me much, as I see this as the warm up. The punches we take now will be nothing compared to what gets thrown in November, and if we want to win, we can’t be afraid to strike back with the same passion.