February 5, 2010

Democrats need to adopt Reagan’s 11th Commandment.

A Plea for Disappointed Liberals to Play Ball—like a Team.

This post is inspired by my friend and colleague Casey Capshaw’s recent post to Facebook (below), which succinctly expressed what I’ve been thinking for a month or so, now. Particularly here in Boulder, high-minded idealistic progressives love nothing more than to beeyatch about President Obama and his “weak bullshit compromise” Health Care bill (30 million would have received coverage, but that’s nothing) and his war in Afghanistan while they lie about in their hammocks jotting down conspiracy theories they think of while smoking dope, legally.

It’s 2000 all over again: “Gore and Bush? No difference, man.”

Remember it’s those votes for Nader that, had they gone for Gore, would have put a Nobel-prize-winning Green Hero in the Oval Office. Where he would have compromised, sure. But sure as hell he wouldn’t have put a young Chief Justice Roberts in power—and the Supreme Court wouldn’t have voted to allow more corporate spending in campaigns, as they did so recently (which Obama called them on, face to face, in his State of the Union address).

In a recent post, I had the nerve to question Amy Goodman (who I’ve interviewed on our talk show) and Howard Zinn (who I respect and love) for their backseat driver criticisms of Mr. Obama, recently—and one such progressive was inspired to judge me a sell-out, telling me to go lobby in Washington. What kind of party are we if we can’t stick together over incredibly small differences in views? After all, calling me—a vegetarian bike-riding Buddhist cliche of liberalism—a sell-out would be, from a Republican’s pov, laughable. Let’s remember: politics is the art of the possible. Obama, like FDR, has asked us, his base, to make noise, to give him room to say “hey, people want change.” So complain away—but complain in a supportive fashion. Tear down Obama, you won’t get better.

After all, Obama—and any president, Republican or Democrat—has to compromise. And all the more so due to our tepid support. Why? Because he’s actually trying to do something, instead of just be an iconic, messianic symbol of change.

Open a text book, Democrats: there’s three branches of power, four if you count the media. They’re supposed to check and balance one another, and slow change down.

While we’re at it, let’s hold up Reagan’s 11th Commandment in our liberal mirror, and see if we can’t play like a team, and win a game for once (see videos at bottom).

Casey Capshaw Noticing a key difference between Republicans and Democrats. ‘Pubs will stick by their leaders no matter what the hell they do. Dems are judging failure and abandoning leadership after only a single year. This is a seriously strategic flaw for progressives, undermining their efforts far more effectively than anything the opposition can muster.

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