Friday, May 18, 2012

Fair Weather Dems will be the Death of Us Yet

When November 6 rolls around, American voters will have only three meaningful choices in the presidential election:  We can vote for Barack Obama, we can vote for Mitt Romney,  or we can opt out of voting for a president altogether.  There will be other presidential candidates on the ballot but there's not a snowball's chance they'll win.  If we choose to vote for anyone other than Obama or Romney,  it'll have the same effect as not voting at all.  That's the reality--that's the way it is.  

We can say we're voting our conscience by voting against the two top contenders, but that's the kind of satisfaction that's filling but fleeting.  It's here and then it's gone.  One of those two is going to win, and we will have to live with the voters' choice for the next four years.




 In a conversation the other day, someone--an admitted Democrat and progressive--said it had to be Romney, simply because Obama needed to learn a hard lesson.  He has failed us so completely he doesn't deserve another term.  (What wasn't said but could be seen hanging in the air were two words guaranteed to settle any argument of that measure:  "So there.") 

This person went on to ask, how much worse could it be with Romney as president, anyway?  And mightn't it be better for us in 2016 if the Dems aren't rewarded this time for their transgressions?  (Reminder: Democrat/progressive speaking.)

While the others involved in the conversation wouldn't necessarily go quite that far, they leaped on the bandwagon careening toward "Screw Obama and the Democrats."  Boy, were they mad!  They were so mad they completely forgot that screwing the Democrats meant essentially screwing themselves.  Pointing that out to them only added to their anger.  They were already screwed, and it was all Obama's fault.  And it was all the Democrats' fault.  And they will be made to pay.

 I'll skip the rest of the conversation, except to add that there was some talk of giving up being a Democrat until 2016, when the opportunity to elect real progressives might present itself.  (In other words, they'll be Democrats when and if being a Democrat is cool again, but don't expect them to do anything to make that happen.)

To this dedicated, lifetime Democrat (yes, I've talked about this before) that's like saying they'll give up being an American until America comes to its senses.  Being a member of a major political party--one with power and clout and the potential ability to make real societal change--is not a part-time, fair weather pastime; it's a privilege and an obligation.  It requires commitment and hard work.  It requires a studious analysis of past and present performance in order to understand our role in strengthening our platform and choosing our stable of potential leaders.

It requires that we honor the heroes of our party and work to keep the fruits of their hard labor relevant, sustained and not in vain.  It requires that we vet our candidates, draw out the very best, and support them to the hilt.


 As Democrats we've signed on to stand firm against our enemies--the enemies of the people--and form a coalition that can't be broken.  It's the only way we can fight against the privateers and build our country back again.  So we work to maintain our party and when our leaders disappoint us or go against what our party stands for (not unheard of, sorry to say), we're required to set them straight.  We never let up.  We make them act like Democrats.

What we don't do is pick up our toys and go home.  And we sure as hell don't work against our elected leaders and help the other guys win. 


32 comments:

  1. The problem is the Democratic Party has lost touch with the people. What's happening in Wisconsin is a prime example of that. The national party has to be dragged kicking and screaming into a very popular populous movement in recalling the governor. They have given very little support if any to the state party. Kinda reminds me of what happened here when Feiger won the primary and the party didn't support him because he wasn't the establishment candidate.

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    1. Kulkuri, the problem is the Democratic LEADERS have lost touch with the party. The people of the Democratic Party are still here, working hard to rescue the poor and re-vitalize the middle class. WE are the Democratic Party. They'll come and go but we'll always be here. That's why it's important that our voices be heard.

      Why it took so long for a populist movement among the current Democrats is anybody's guess. It's what we've been known for throughout our history. It's why we're one of only two major parties in the U.S.

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  2. Well David Seaton said the exact same thing. (Which I agree) and got trash by a number of progressives.

    The left are not happy campers. But they still believe...rightly or wrongly...that they have to take a top down approach.

    When working from the bottom is the bes and really the only way.

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    1. Yes, Chris, they're working me over at dag tonight, ha ha!

      But, as I asked them over there, what good did it do for the Left to howl at the moon for four years? What did they accomplish?

      Still waiting for an answer.

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  3. I have my issues with Mr. Obama, but I look at my choices and I don't see a better choice. And voting for second best is just beyond my comprehension. Voting for someone that I despise, someone who has promised to hurt me and my family is totally irrational. No argument can reverse that.

    Sometimes I vote in self defense. That's the argument I make to the fair weather Dems. Defend yourself dammit!

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    1. I know what you mean, Ralph. The thing is, if we vote to keep the Dems in we at least have a chance to work them over and get them to do what's right. If they're out, we're out, too.

      Doesn't seem all that complicated to me.

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  4. Being a member of a major political party--one with power and clout and the potential ability to make real societal change--is not a part-time, fair weather pastime; it's a privilege and an obligation

    I do not understand why Obama's entire appointment schedule was not put into force by the 2010 elections.

    Other than that...

    There is a new movement; a movement so depraved and so lacking in social consciousness that I am fixed in a nauseous fit!

    No one can predict the future; unless you are a member of the Wall Street establishment that has the proper software of course!

    We might lose in 2012 like we did in 2010.

    How many Shamwows might the repubs sell with a billion dollars and no respect for the truth?!

    But I was talking with Chris and we were recalling the old days of post WWII propaganda and the fact that half of the history taught to us in the 1950's was bullshite. hahahahah

    How much angst should be pointed at Baucus when his constituents are ready to lynch minorities?

    I dunno.

    I still feel that our President is doing the very best he can.

    I could go on and on like I normally do but I do know this.

    There is an enemy out there.

    They call themselves republicans and we are labeled as part of the Democrat party. And they are experts at selling manure to the general public.

    And since we are a democracy, shamows win out sometimes!

    the end.

    dikkday48

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    1. Richard, my friend, I miss you! How are you?

      I don't understand why everyone who is not Right Wing or Republican isn't out there trying to build vast armies to combat that total evil out there. Instead, they waste all their energies lashing out at Obama, practically guaranteeing a loss for the Dems in November.

      What do they think is going to happen then? Is life going to be good because Obama is gone? Do they live on the same planet we do?

      It's nuts!

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    2. I do not know how exactly to work you blog but:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGs2iLoDUYE

      Newman notes:
      They are trying to wash us away, they're trying to wash us away.

      That's all I got.

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  5. First comment---great blog! I especially appreciate how you participate in the comments section----that's the sign of a true blogger.

    On the subject---I disagree that Democrats saying they will opt out of the election until 2016 is similar to saying that we will opt out as Americans until America comes to its senses. Being Democrat does not mean we owe our vote to whomever the Party nominates.

    I believe that Obama is a con man, and WE DEMOCRATS are the marks of his con! It is not a conclusion I have reached lightly. But seriously, the man is no fool. He is a former professor of Constitutional law at Harvard! How can someone with such a background send his AG out to make some ridiculous claim that the Constitution ony ensures "due process," not "judicial process?" (The Constitution actually ensures "due process OF LAW"). There is no way to reconcile such a statement with a man that obviously knows better, unless it is part of a con game.

    I haven't exactly made up my mind if I am going to vote for Obama anyway as the lesser of two evils---as Al Gore said, a presidential election is a choice, not a referendum. But I can see something in the argument that rejecting Obama will demonstrate that Democrats will not be conned by their leaders, despite the dreadfulness of the alternative. How else can we make that point? If we reelect Obama, we are simply conceding that Obama can continue to con us. Might it be better for the country in the long run if we demonstrate that we only will tolerate true Democrats, not con men, and suffer through four years of Romney?

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    1. "I believe that Obama is a con man, and WE DEMOCRATS are the marks of his con!"

      I agree with JosephP completely. I bought Obama's snake-oil about "change" in 2008. I'm not buying it in 2012.

      One thing that has astounded me these past 4 years is how the Democrats kept carrying on about what awful shape the country was in after 8 years of George W. Bush. To hear them tell it, it was as bad as the US was in 1932 after 4 years of Herbert Hoover. Yet, when Obama got into office with his Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, he did nothing except to continue the same policies that the Democrats claimed were failing. Obama was supposed to have been a scholar regarding FDR; yet he acted more like Hoover than FDR.

      I personally can not handle 4 more years of Barak Obama. My vote is Mitt Romney's to lose. Maybe if the Democratic Party can purge the Republican wannabes and get some REAL progressives into office, and if it can choose a TRUE Democrat who has the smarts to occupy the Oval Office in 2016, then my vote will be the Democrats' to lose.

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    2. I'd rather vote against a REAL Republican, and bring in Progressives in the House and Senate, go for a more Progressive President in 2016.

      Or maybe Romney is your kind of Progressive.

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    3. JosephP, thanks for your comments. I have to agree that calling Democrats "Fair Weather Friends" probably wasn't my best move. Having said that, equating Democrats threatening to leave the party because the party isn't working for them with Americans leaving America because it's not working for them makes a lot of sense to me.

      As a Democrat unhappy with the shenanigans of my party I don't see how it helps to either stand by the Republicans and blast them together or outright leave the party. We build a strong party by working together, just as we have to build a strong country by working together.

      I obviously don't agree that Obama is a con man, but you have a right to your opinion. You also have a right to vote for whomever you wish.

      I'm addressing Democrats who want to make our party relevant and essential to the people who need a strong party so badly. I'll say it again: Our leaders aren't the main elements of our party--the people are. The leaders can be replaced and they can be "persuaded" until they act like Democrats again, but we can't do it without having majority power.

      We can't do anything if we're not in the majority, and that's the issue. We have to win in order to make positive change. Otherwise it's a backward slide until we reach the bottom, and then we're not in a position to help anybody.

      So, as you can see, I disagree with almost everything you've said but I'm glad you took the time to comment. Really.

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    4. To Unknown: I'm curious about how we'll work to get more Progressives in our party when our party becomes so decimated it no longer functions?

      I'm also curious about how it helps us as Democrats to teach Obama a lesson by giving the presidency over to Mitt Romney and the Republicans?

      If you personally can't handle four more years of Barack Obama, how do you think you'll be able to handle four years of Mitt Romney? You can't honestly believe it won't be any worse. It will be terrible. Every forward step we've made will disappear. The poor and disenfranchised will be sacrificed to these fits of pique, when the obvious remedy is to work within the party to build a more progressive leadership.

      It won't happen overnight but it won't happen at all if the Republicans win.

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  6. Also, I would like to say that the headline "Fair Weather Dems will be the Death of Us Yet" is insulting. I am not a "Fair Weather Dem," I am a "Principled Dem." And insisting on our Democratic leaders to actually support those principles, or else they don't get our vote, is not the same as "taking our toys and going home." This is not a petulant reaction---it is a desperate and frustrated one. Not rewarding Obama for his treachery to our principles is perhaps the only way to save the Republic in the long run.

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    1. Replying to your pair of comments...

      I could not disagree more.

      On the left, I have a person who (some feel) hasn't upheld (some? many?) Democratic principles and ideals.

      On the right, I have a near-weathervane that, when it does act, it acts directly against my well-being.

      A choice between a person trying to help but not always getting there, and a person who is trying to hurt you should not be hard to make.

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    2. Certain aspects of the Obama presidency such as the NDAA and the attacks on whistleblowers have been scary. Its hard to endorse someone who in some ways has taken the war on terror and the power of the presidency beyond Bush. We wanted a solid reversal of those policies. I would shudder to think what a Romney would do with this power, now that presidents can execute Americans without due process.

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    3. Makes sense to me, Anonymous. Thanks for writing.

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    4. JosephP, I'm baffled and disheartened by some of the edicts coming out of the White House, too. I just don't get it, and I applaud anyone who tries to shine light on the motives.

      But at the same time, I can't disregard the successes, meager as they may be in the eyes of some. They're not that meager to those without hope, and they may be life-saving in the end. I give Obama credit for working to make some changes that help the poor and middle class. That is isn't enough isn't in dispute. It's not nearly enough, but if we don't work to give him four more years every advance will be lost. We won't be able to start over again, and the people counting on us to keep the momentum going are going to be lost.

      We're in such trouble in this country the direction of this election will impact everybody who is not part of the 1%. That's almost all of us.

      For that reason I'll work my tail off to make sure the Democrats win. Then let the smacking around begin.

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  7. I'd like to suggest to all the Anonymii out there that it's easy to sign up with Disqus and create a username. It gets really confusing when there are more than one commenting on a post. I don't know if I'm still talking to Anon One or if there's an Anon Two out there--or maybe an Anon Three.

    Thanks.

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  8. I'm not happy with some of the things Obama has done and not done but a vote for Romney or not voting at all means another 2 or possibly 3 Scalias, or Roberts, or Thomases on the Supreme Court.

    In addition there are federal judges in the lower courts to be considered.

    We progressives just can not allow that.

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    1. registered, that point might be more important than anything else we can come up with. We're still waiting to undo the logjam of department heads, as well. We deserve a government that works for us.

      Thank you.

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  9. Ramona, I wrote you a long comment, one that well exceeded the character limit. I'd like to e-mail it to you, because it also includes a bit of history I have to leave out here that you might find interesting and valuable, but couldn't find your address. (Mine is 'jimbenton' (without the 'o') and I'm at verizon dot net, if you want to write me so I can send it to you. We could discuss it there, or maybe you would find it worth excerpting.)

    Anyway, I not only agree with you, I find the idea of scratching Obama and either not voting or voting for Romney to be as counterproductive as it is insane. Romney will lose anyway, he has been so turning people off I've bet 500 books to 5 that he won't get 100 electoral votes. Not voting will simply help elect more Republican Congresscritters -- and further convince the DNC that it is better to ally with the centrists who may hold them back than to ally with a Left that has shown itself to be unreliable, untrustworthy and incompetent to even achieve what it tries -- an impression that started in the Nixon era and has yet to be disproven.)

    I would accuse them of committing 'suicide by principle' except it isn't suicide. Most of the FDL Posse, The Hamster Herself, GG, and Arevosis in particular, are well off. They could lose SS, and there is no reason to imagine they've ever even met someone who personally needed Medicare.

    No, it's not suicide but homicide. If Romney and the Republicans are elected, people are going to die from the cutting of the safety net. I can't tell these progressives from the fabled 'religious policemen' in Saudi Arabia who, acting on THEIR prnciples, allowed a school full of teenage girls to burn down rather than to permit the girls to appear in 'religiously inappropriate dress in public.

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    1. Jim, FYI, there is a "Contact" button under the banner that gives my email address, but it is ramonasvoices at gmail dot com. I look forward to hearing from you.

      You make some excellent points, not least of which is the reason the DNC tends to play safe and stay centrist. I long ago removed FDL from my blogroll when I saw how destructive their rants were, but that doesn't mean I don't wholeheartedly agree that a liberal populist movement with millions of members willing to make their presence known is absolutely essential to any form of Democracy.

      I want the Democratic Party to be a leader in the liberal populist movement and I'll keep working to make that happen. When the unions began moving away from the Democrats, not trusting them to put labor first, I knew our work was cut out for us. It's the party leaders who need to be made to understand who we are and what we stand for. And it's up to us to make sure they understand that.

      We are Democrats. We are NOT Republicans. Any thought of a merger in any branch or in any office is repugnant and totally unacceptable.

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  10. Thanks for this post. I get SO discouraged by the "cut your nose off to spite your face" crowd that I could scream.

    I'm sorry to comment as another "Anonymouse" but when I tried to use my WordPress URL I kept getting a message saying it contained illegal characters. I go by Marion in Savannah.

    Thanks again!

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    1. Marion, thanks so much for taking the trouble to comment. I've had problems with the comment section here on Blogger forever. I thought I had it fixed by adding Disqus, but I guess not.

      I'll have to see what else I can do to make it easier to comment. No point in having a blog if people can't comment.

      Thanks again.

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    2. Well, it appears that Disqus has disappeared from my blog. Trying to figure out where it went and how I can get it back. Stay tuned.

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    3. Heh... It's hard to stop an old fart like me from saying what she wants to! I just love the fact that you're so very responsive to the folks who comment -- even newbies like me. Trust me that you're on my "read every day" list of blogs.

      Marion in Savannah

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    4. Marion, my doors are always open. I HATE when people walk on by without stopping in. Looking forward to seeing you here. I don't post every day but the bloggers and media folk on my sidebar are very active and come up with stuff by the minute. Come on in and read the noos.

      (And call me Mona, y'all.)

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  11. This was a really good post and I, along with a lot of other progressives are very disillusioned by the President. I have had similar conversations with democrats and they will not vote for president Obama again. I have actually been looking at the Green Party, and your probably right, they don't stand a chance.I guess the biggest problem in politics is people run for office with a certain platform, then either do nothing about it or complete reversals. Maybe it's because no one is accountable for their actions any more. And we are not allowed to "look back". Certainly,Romney is a train wreck. I don't know how President Obama is going to convince the people who feel almost betrayed by him, to get out and vote for him again.

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    1. Patricia, there are many Democrats going vocal about their feelings of betrayal by President Obama, and much of if is justified.

      For the record, Democrats have always felt betrayed by their leaders--going back in my lifetime to FDR, who, while a great president, nevertheless undermined projects that would surely have alleviated intolerable misery for many who were waiting to be saved. His administration put thousands of Japanese-Americans in internment camps. When they were finally released they found they had nothing. Their homes weren't theirs anymore and their belongings had disappeared.

      JFK and Johnson had to be pushed hard in order to recognize the need for their input on civil rights.

      I'm not making excuses for Obama, just pointing out that even Dem presidents aren't perfect! Still, I'll take a Dem president any day over a Republican.

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  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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I welcome your input and want to keep this as open as possible, so I will watch for and delete comments that are spam, vicious or obscene. (Also, please note that I've switched to Disqus for comments. Hope this clears up any commenting problems. If not, please let me know.)