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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

“Letter to a whiny young Democrat”

Is the title of yesterday’s column in the San Francisco Bay Chronicle, by Mark Morford.

Morford, writes Notes & Errata every Wednesday.  

Thought you all might enjoy  giving it a full read (if you haven’t already).  It is making a rapid round of the web.

His scathing critique of Tuesday’s election losses and his conclusions about the reasons for them won’t sit well with many young liberals.  

Letter to a whiny young Democrat


His opening salvo:

Oh, now you’ve done it.

See? You see what happens when you young liberal voters get so disgruntled and disillusioned that you drop all your party’s newborn, hard-won ideas about Hope™ and Change™, without any patience, without really giving them sufficient time to mature, without understanding that hugely foreign, anti-American concept known as “the long view”?

See what happens when you wallow in hollow disappointment, trudging all over your liberal arts campus and refusing to vote in a rather important mid-term election, all because your pet issues and nubile ego weren’t immediately serviced by a mesmerizing guy named Barack Obama just after he sucked you into his web of fuzzyhappy promises a mere two years ago, back when you were knee-high to a shiny liberal ideology?

Here is a writer who minces no words when assessing blame.

And you made it all happen. Or rather, you failed to prevent it from happening, by not voting, by turning your collective back on Obama’s tough love, by getting all whiny and dejected like some sort of sullen teen vampire who can’t get laid.

Do you deny it? Did you see the polls and studies that said that most fresh-faced, Obama-swooning Dems like you are now refusing to support our beloved Nazi Muslim president because he didn’t wish-fulfill your every whim in a week? That he was, in fact, not quite the instant-gratification SuperJesus of your (or rather, our) dreams?

Of course you didn’t see any of that. Hell, I bet you’re not even reading this column right now. You’re probably back on Twitter, raging into the Void about, hell, who knows what? The Wolf Parade concert. Angry Birds. The People of Wal-Mart. Anything but politics, really.

He makes it quite clear that he continues to support the President and why we should too.

So here’s what you need to know, right now: Barack Obama is, and will continue to be, a bit of goddamn miracle. He’s simply as good as we’re going get for an articulate, thoughtful, integrity-rich Democratic prez in your lifetime. Period. To hamstring his administration out of spite and laziness is childish and sad. Check the accomplishments. Understand the process. Deal with the messiness.

It will never be perfect. It will never be giddy liberal nirvana, because it doesn’t work that way. Politics is corrosive and infuriating, de facto and by definition, even with someone as thoughtful as Obama in the Big Chair. Understand it. Deal with it. Get back in the game. If you don’t, we all lose.

Your choice, kiddo.

Go read the whole thing and let’s discuss.  


  1. DeniseVelez

    at GoS,  since I have a tip jar full of donuts remembered from daring to criticize Miz Hamsher.  Doubtful I would survive posting someone else’s words that point fingers at some of the very diarists who now shoot to the top of the Wreck List with a bash for Obama each minute routines.

    But I figgered Moosies could handle it.

  2. Just the excerpts you posted here. I may change my mind after I read the whole piece. Or, I might not. To tell the truth, he sounds pretty whiny himself. This reminds me of the aftermath of Prop 8 in CA in 2008. Then it was black voters who were blamed for the failure. I’ll say the same thing I said then. There is plenty of blame to go around. Singling out one demographic to blame is senseless.

    When troops fail in battle, you don’t blame the troops. You blame the training, the planning, the leadership, or whatever piece of the puzzle caused your troops to perform poorly. Otherwise, you are only inviting future failure.

  3. This was the Democrat’s election to lose. And the DNC dropped the ball by NOT putting out more ads on the importance of getting out the vote. Mid term elections are usually sparser, but this was recockulous. The shift in voting demographic was not just a little shifted, but radically different.  It was an entirely different election, with an entirely different populace at the polls.  It went the way it did because of who showed up. They decided the contests, not the electorate as a whole.

    The ball was right there, and folks failed to even look up, let alone swing.

    The Republicans and TEA Party didn’t win. They weren’t even really contested.  And as a nation, every time folks look up to criticize and complain, it might be good to remind them that if they don’t show up, they can’t complain about what they get.

  4. sricki

    There’s a lot of blame to go around here. I’m not happy with my generation, but there are a lot of people I’m pretty unhappy with at the moment.

  5. creamer

      Look  at the unemployment rate. A more engaged, enthused base might have limited the loss, but it was always going to be a loss. We lost the independants.

  6. jsfox

    with Morford in substance, I don’t agree with his approach. Calling disgruntled liberals whiney children is not a winning argument even if it may be true.

    Yes most expected instant gratifications, most do not understand Obama is not the President of The Progressives, most don’t look at the what it takes to get things done they just want it done. And most seem more focused on pet issues than the over all trajectory.

    They want some firebrand like Grayson who rants and raves against the evil Republicans calls them out publicly at every opportunity. This is not who he is nor should it be who he becomes. Like it or not Republicans are part of the process and yes part of what is wrong with the process. They exists and telling them to fuck off, sit down and shut up is not a winning strategy for governing and governing is what he was sent to do.

    On the healthcare front they don’t understand and do not want to understand why he made a deal to drop the PO or the deal with the drug companies. While I may have not liked it, I totally got it from a getting it done perspective. In every battle you must co-op some of your most ardent enemies to make them less effective enemies.

    On the Wall St. front I get the anger that he appears too cozy with business and that Wall Street reform was not as draconian as they wanted. Well like it or not this is a capitalistic country and has been since it inception. You must ensure that which drives the country, the economy stays floating. And to do that you must take care of the capital markets first and then move down the food chain.

    Finally Obama has made some mistakes re progressives when the professional left started whining he should have just let them whine and not called them out. It only made them whine louder. I think he has left DADT repeal too long in process, but I get that he is a process type of guy. My suggestion would be that if repeal does not pass during the lame duck he needs to issue at stop loss order and then if the 9th Circuit upholds the lower court he shouldn’t take it to the the Supreme Court. He has precedent on his side for doing this. He did not have precedent on his side for dropping it on the lower courts decision. Nor would have been a good idea politically in the long run.

    Finally he really needs to work on a jobs bill of some kind and then let the Republicans in the house try and block it. It is a political win win.

    They need a bit of cold water thrown on them and the Republican win on Tuesday may well be that cold water in the long run. He also needs to throw them a few bones. DADT would be a huge bone. And give him the opportunity to honestly say I told you I would do it and now it is done.

  7. alyssa chaos

    Sorry but blaming young voters for the shortcomings of the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates in the election is pretty hilarious.

    People dont go vote unless you give them a reason to.

    If anything from what I saw this past election season was a failure of the establishment to mobilize voters. And just an all around failure to highlight why candidates should be re/elected. Shitty, non existent narrative too.

    Whatever. I voted. Not that it matters in TX.  

  8. DeniseVelez


    I like this  paragraph:

    Let’s be perfectly clear: The modern Republican party has one masterful, godlike skill unmatched by any other org in this century: Its leaders are geniuses at deceit, at leading throngs of blind believers into rabbit holes of war and fear and factual inaccuracy, often using an aggressively dumbed-down form of Christianity as a trump card. Sexual dread, mistrust of youth, of women, of gays, foreigners, of the ever-changing cultural landscape? It’s in the DNA. And the Tea Party chugged it like Coors-flavored heroin.

    Read more:


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