Democratic Party Still Thinks Progressives Are Fools

6 comments July 25th, 2010at 01:14pm Posted by Eli

Oh, so now the Democrats are worried about progressive enthusiasm:

Party officials acknowledged low morale within their left wing and urged liberal bloggers and activists Friday to keep faith with President Barack Obama in an election year as Democrats brace for losses in Congress.

“We need to find a way to get our voters really engaged in this election,” Democratic National Committee executive director Jennifer O’Malley Dillon said at the annual Netroots Nation convention. “It’s more important, every single day, to know what’s at stake.”

Earth to Democrats: Your voters are not engaged because you’ve been either ignoring them or disparaging them for the past year and a half.  You used “healthcare reform” to deliver an enormous captive customer base to a rapacious health insurance industry while doing little to rein them in, you settled for a weak and ineffective stimulus bill, you pulled your punches on financial reform, you never lifted a finger for EFCA, you’re still foot-dragging on DADT, you’ve shown no more respect for the Constitution than the Bush administration, and you shamefully hung ACORN, Van Jones, Dawn Johnsen and Shirley Sherrod out to dry because you were afraid of conservative shriekers.

You called us “fucking retarded”, and complained that we threw money down the drain by supporting Bill Halter’s primary challenge against the anti-progressive Blanche Lincoln.  Why on earth should we be enthusiastic about supporting you when you so clearly have no respect for us at all?  Why should we care if you only have 52 seats in the Senate when you did so little when you had 59 and even 60?  (Yes, I’m aware that you passed bills called healthcare reform and financial reform, but that doesn’t mean they were progressive.)

You can’t jerk us around and spit on us and call us retards for all this time and then expect us to be your friends again just because you’ve suddenly realized you need us.  Trust and friendship has to be earned, and you haven’t even tried.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Healthcare,Labor,Obama,Politics,Teh Gay,Wankers


  • 1. charley  |  July 25th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    “it’s just politics, john.” gwb

    trust me, they aren’t your friends.

    it takes a long time to learn, less evil, is less evil.

    that’s not nothing.

  • 2. Charles  |  July 25th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    What Charley said.

    Martin Wolf has a good post at the FT, crossposted at Brad DeLong. The gist of it is that if the Republicans gain control, it’s likely to lead very quickly to a major crackup. The financial crisis is far from over, and a misstep could get us into Great Depression II.

    The healthcare bill is not quite as bad as you make it out to be, if it is funded properly. The Massachusetts bill, which it resembles, is actually reasonably popular. The problem is funding. Neither bill has cost controls, and unless they are imposed, the system will end up unfunded. So, it’s basically a matter of imposing cost controls. Single payer is, at its core, cost control. Public option is a weaker form of cost control. The legislation attempts to control costs through imposing best practices. In theory, it could work to achieve about half of what is needed, but in practice it’s not likely to.

    It’s easy and it feels good to be angry at the Democrats. But, as Charley said, the Dems aren’t your friends and they never were. What they are is the alternative to people who believe that healthcare–and everything else–is a privilege and not a right.

    BTW, rather than rage at Dems that I don’t like, I help out Dems that I do like. That way, I never feel frustrated.

  • 3. Eli  |  July 25th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    What aggravates me is that they expect our enthusiasm without doing anything to earn it – quite the opposite. Threatening us with the Republican boogeyman just isn’t good enough.

  • 4. Charles  |  July 25th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Oh, I agree with you Eli. “Vote for us because we aren’t insane” is not much of a campaign slogan. Support is one thing. Enthusiasm is another.

    The reason I posted was that there is an element of the left that thinks that the only way things will get better is if they get substantially worse. This was, of course, the strategy employed by the German left as Weimar was falling apart. What emerges out of Republican control of Congress need not be anywhere near that bad to still be catastrophic.

    The people in Washington have a nice job with good pay and benefits. When they leave, assuming they haven’t annoyed anyone too seriously, they’ll be eligible for high-paying jobs in lobbying and business. They have no sense of urgency. We went 10 years between arrests of a Congressman for civil disobedience. I have never heard of one going on a hunger strike, though I am sure it has happened.

    I really think the problem is deeper than Congress. It’s that very few people, in Washington or out, believe that what they do matters.

  • 5. Eli  |  July 25th, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Yeah, I think we’re on the same page. I don’t think the Democrats are going to lose their majorities, but I don’t mind if they lose enough seats to get their attention. Although I wish I could be more certain that the lesson they’d take away is that they shouldn’t piss off their base, and not that they need to pander to the right more.

    And I’ve written about the lack of real consequences for officeholders a couple times at FDL recently. The worst that can happen to us is that we lose our jobs and healthcare and go bankrupt or get sick and die; the worst that can happen to them is that they end up with a 7- or 8-figure lobbying or corporate job or public speaking career or talking head gig.

    There’s a lot more incentive to not piss off corporations than there is not to screw over constituents.

  • 6. Cujo359  |  July 26th, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Charles writes:

    The healthcare bill is not quite as bad as you make it out to be, if it is funded properly. The Massachusetts bill, which it resembles, is actually reasonably popular.

    That’s because it only screwed the people who don’t count. The problem with the Massachusetts plan is that the people who have been “added” can’t afford to use the insurance they’ve been forced to pay. It’s popular with lots of other folks, but they were covered already.

    As for the concern that the Republicans will melt down the economy – the Democrats will do the same. There is no interest on their part in doing what needs to be done, which is massive stimulus and real financial reform. The GOP way might be a little quicker, but we’re headed for bad times either way, assuming those radical conservatives Wolf was referring to are actually in control.

    If the GOP gains control of the House in 2010, the Dems still have control of the Senate and the White House. If you think that the GOP is going to make this policy stick, then what you’re really telling me is that it will happen anyway.

    The plain fact is that the Democrats have done everything the Republicans would have done, and the progressive “leaders” went along with it. They don’t care if we have health care any more than Republicans do.

    Until progressives figure that out, we’re doomed to repeat the last ten years indefinitely. From the looks of things here, we’re at least a decade away from that revelation.

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