Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anti-Progressive Rhetoric By Rahm & Co.

I just read News Writer's excellent post Doomsday, on today's nailbiter of a special election between Martha Coakley (D-MA) and Scott Brown (R-Hell) in Massachusetts. News Writer makes a classic argument that I've made on this site many times back when the blog name was a bit different, basically an argument in favor of strategic voting in tough times, particularly urging progressives to throw their lot in with that of the "centrist" Democrats who run the show (well, actually, the GOP runs the show, doesn't it) as a strategy for avoiding the worst. There's the usual implication that progressives should simply stop being obstructionist and put aside their principles just this one time... just this once, only for a short while... to allow the Good Guys to win in a tight spot. Please read the post; I don't want to misrepresent what NW has said. But it did get me to thinking about the path that has led the DP to its current sorry status of losing even when it wins. Here's the comment I left on Newsie's site; it's a passable statement of my relationship to today's Democratic Party:

Newswriter, I’ve made that argument for over three decades. I’ve strategically voted for Democrats because the alternatives were allegedly so much worse. And I’ve proactively urged others to do the same, in an attempt to stave off national disaster in our post-Reagan world.

Now, for my troubles, Rahm Emanuel has placed the heel of his boot against my face, just to make sure his aim was true, drawn back his foot and kicked as hard as he could. He and his cohort are certain they don’t need progressives, either their policy positions or their votes, to win elections, and their rejection of the likes of me is not merely passive.

Well and good. For at least 30 years I’ve compromised on one issue after another, one candidate after another, block-walking and phone-banking and contributing money to candidates some of whom made me choke when I contemplated their positions and records. And for at least 30 years I’ve watched the Democratic Party first drift, then run, to the right. What, exactly, has all this strategic compromise bought me?

I’m available for reconciliation (pun intended) with the DP. But first, after 30 years, I want to see at least the slightest, tiniest indication that any policy position I’ve ever espoused will be supported, or at least not casually opposed, by the DP.

And I want Rahm’s boot out of my face. Immediately and unconditionally.
 Any questions?


  1. Steve, Coakley was winning until she threw in with the Obama machine. If she had stayed with the campaign that got her the nomination, she would have won, but when she became another cog in the DNC wheel, it just pissed Mass progressives off.

    People aren't going to come out from under the bus to vote for the people who threw them there.

  2. Bryan, I believe there were mistakes enough to go around, including some by Coakley, but the sheer arrogance of Obama's apparatus is guaranteed to amplify any mistake. Coakley lost needlessly due to foolishness thrust upon her from outside her campaign. Coakley can presumably go on with her career; Obama & Co. must live with their mistake in this race for the rest of his presidency.

    I do not consider myself an expert political strategist. It galls me no end when I see an otherwise decent candidate committing a mistake that even I would have avoided.



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