3 comments November 23rd, 2007at 11:18am Posted by Eli
Alas, this is exactly right:
When you roll over for a bully, day after day after day, change your positions based on what people like Klein and fucking Shrum and all these other Beltway dickheads say, promise things and then back down, say harsh stuff and then apologize, take a stand and then forget about it, you look like a pussy.
And people don’t like voting for pussies.
More than that, they don’t like voting for people who make them embarrassed. You all know what an embarrassment squick is, right? It’s why I can’t watch Ricky Gervais’s original version of The Office, or Charlie Kauffman movies, or Jerry Seinfeld, or those silly home video shows of kids falling off bikes or doughy guys getting hit in the balls. I don’t … it’s just … ugh. It’s the feeling you get when watching uncomfortable people being stupid, and sticky, and … it’s like this in politics, every day, with Klein and his ilk. They are advising a course of action that sets off everybody’s embarrassment squick, and nobody’s gonna vote for the guy who, you watch and it’s like your baseball team’s getthing whomped. You’re up in the stands, having your tenth beer in an hour, pulling your hat down over your face and hoping nobody is looking at you. Or your team. You don’t even want to be there because the yuck might rub off on you.
Is that dumb and irrational? Sure. We’re talking about perception and strategy here, so it’s dumb and irrational. But Democrats won in 2006 by acting like they didn’t give a fuck what Republicans thought, they were gonna fix the mess we’re in, and everybody was happy, and they felt like winners, and people like winning because the parties are better, and so on and so on. I don’t know what it will take for them to act like that again. A veto-proof majority? A Democratic president? Both? The sudden and unexplained silence of every pundit everywhere? A memory transfusion? I really don’t know what it’s going to take but I can tell you for damn sure going back to the glory days of 2002 is not the answer here.
What Klein is advising is lunacy, and what’s more lunatic, plenty of people who should tell him to fuck himself are going to read that and think, “You know, the solution to my looking like a feckless moron is to change my mind again and go along with whatever somebody else wants.” It sets off my embarrassment squick, just thinking about that.
Capitulating with your enemies does not make you look strong, especially when their positions are legally and morally indefensible. And having the balls to (only) spit in the face of your allies just makes you look like an asshole. This approach pretty much guarantees resentment from the base and contempt from everyone.
The weakness and stupidity of the Democratic strategy (if it can be called that) is monumental enough that I often wonder if it might be deliberate. Most of their leadership does report to the same corporate masters as their so-called opponents.