Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Fire Dog: I Get it Now

08 was an exceptional year in terms of voter participation and these new online engagements. People felt like they had a voice. Now the old pork barrel grind of congress is back in action, they feel the only way they can make their voice heard again is by raising it to higher and higher levels of outrage?

prefer different labels (1+ / 0-)

How about these:

Capitulators versus the Fighters.

nd though I’m a bit young to remember it, what you say really reminds me of the movement based things my brothers were into in the 60s. A lot of good stuff there. But there is a catch.

I caught the tail end of this on the left of the Labour Party in the early 80s, also in alternative theatre. In fact the latter is a better analogy: the cast would improvise, and feel so connected with each other, that we’d often forget the audience. We had a great time in rehearsals, but it wasn’t so good for those who came to see the show.

Personally, I’d encourage you with all your independence of thought and new alliances and movements. Of such stuff is organisation and influence made. But that doesn’t mean you have to preclude yourself from existing electoral politics, or that you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

For the meantime, for at least the next electoral cycle, the US will be a largely capitalist society with a two party system. Abandoning that, and hoping that ‘moderate democrats’ will fail to usher in a whole new system is a big gamble, and omits the real moral choices.

There is no moral choice between good and bad. We all know – that’s a no brainer. The real moral choices are between the lesser of two evils. And eventually, given the rag bag of different interests in politics (on the utopian left too) that’s what it becomes: which is the least worst option.

Back in 90s, after 17 years of right wing government, I remember someone saying of New Labour: there’s any a gnat’s crotch difference between them and the Tories. But in this space, I can breathe.

It’s not about “center vs. left” and it never has been.  

It’s about rhetoricians vs. rationalists.  It’s about those who believe that engaging in rhetoric (often angry, insulting rhetoric) is the magical path to victory, and that “if only” Obama, or Reid, or Nancy Pelosi, or any other Democrat you name would say the right words in the right order, everything would fall in line.

The corollary of this belief is, of course, that if they don’t say the magic words, it must be because they are colluding to oppose issue A B or C.  And this must therefore be because they are (a) “spineless”, “wimps”, “need cojones” and so on; or (b) they are Republicans in disguise.

The rationalist side is by no means “centrist”, and has goals in mind that may well be no less “left” than the self-proclaimed progressives.  Personally, I think a single-payer insurance system is the conservative option.  And I’d support more radical reforms than I think any “left-winger” on this site could even imagine.

However, rationalists have the ability to count votes.  We tried like blazes to get the public option through the Senate, and in the end it failed.  So what then?  Stop and do nothing?  Throw all that work away?

Better to get those things which can be passed, passed now, and come back and work on the other things next year.  We don’t have the momentum, however, to successfully revive the bill if it dies now.

Rhetoricians don’t seem to understand this, or lack the sense of reality required to accept it.  And their refuge from this reality is to come up with a hodge-podge of inconsistent conspiracy theories, which basically converge on the idea that somebody in the White House is trying to sabotage their bill.

Somehow, in all this, the 40 Republicans in the Senate and their counterparts in the House who are the primary agents of the obstruction remain unmentioned.

Why can’t the rhetoricians understand that everybody — Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and yes, even Rahm Emanuel is trying his or her best within the confines of the system?  Why does it always have to be a malicious conspiracy in their minds?

I don’t know.  But I do know that, as the rhetoricians have gone down the garden path from sniping at Obama to openly despising him, they’ve ended up opposing the Democratic Party as a whole — the President, the Cabinet, all the Democrats in Congress.  Nobody’s escaped their wrath. And this has led them to look for allies among the most dependable anti-Democrats of all — the Republicans!

How they could expect the rationalists, or even those who are just loyal Democrats, to see this as anything but a betrayal, I do not know.  But painting it as a dispute about ideology is, very clearly, either a mistake or a dodge.  It’s never been about ideology.  It’s about living in the real world, as opposed to the fantasy world of conspiracy thrillers.

by WIds on Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 07:01:50 PM PST

[ Parent | Reply to This ]

Obama is still much much better for the majority of Americans (and the rest of the world I’d say) than McCain, Bush, Cheney and Palin. Without sacrificing your long term ideals, it’s still worth remembering these real and short term benefit