Stop Blaming Democrats in Congress!

(This was originally posted earlier on DKOS and slightly altered)

It’s not that I’m sick of hearing how the Dems are selling out and all that–it’s always good to vent, to express yourself and so on. But here’s my beef: enough already! We know the score or should by now–nothing wrong with a little ranting but at this point let’s rant creatively and in an entertaining way rather than constantly expressing the obvious.

People in Congress are there to respond to realpolitikal conditions they see–that’s their expertise. They are not in their position because they are philosophers, mystics, men and women of letters, common ordinary folks–don’t expect them to “do the right thing” that’s not how the world has ever worked except on rare occasions. In a few instances men (usually) of extraordinary abilities got together and made sine little miracles that change history. Our own country was founded by these extraordinary characters. The last three political leaders that had that kind of stature were John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King; true, they all had flaws but they were extraordinary human beings that would have set the groundwork for a very different society than the Bush family and others have created.

Politics is a very dangerous game and you have to be careful who you cross and who you ally yourself with. If the progressive/liberal community could rid itself of the notion that there are Jefferson Smiths (character in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington one of the best political films of all time)in Congress and begin understanding that the role of Congress is to broker power not make policy. If only this community could understand that political power is not about making an intellectual case for one policy or another and hope to convince anybody but, rather, to make common action with your fellows through organizing and pooling community resources such that the power brokers will take notice. By that I mean you have to be able to kick some ass “on the street”, i.e. make life impossible unless you get your way like AIPAC does, like the Miami Cubans do or used to do, like the bankers and big corporate interests, or like labor unions once did (they literally fought in the streets) then you’d see Waxman, Pelosi, Conyers start to move. Right now they are weighing the cost-benefits and frankly the progressives don’t seem worth worrying about because they simply do not have the intestinal fortitude (despite all the endless rhetoric in the blogosphere) to put their asses on the line and force (not plead, not request, but force) Congress to take action. That’s all those people are supposed to do–they respond to force, that’s their job.

We should be thankful that we in the loose combination of tribes that usually vote Democratic have a Congress that is somewhat dominated by the Democrats. But don’t expect them to flail about armed with your emails and telephone calls and try to battle really powerful interests that are, in fact, more powerful than most people seem to understand.

The neocon movement was no accident–they made alliances, worked hard, plotted, schemed, broke laws, took chances, made deals, made threats, carried a few out and so on. That is politics. I’m sorry, politics is not, I repeat, not what you learned in high school civics class. Left politics is difficult because it means real sacrifice, it means being willing to draw lines in the sand, to be willing to get cracked over the head like so many experienced in the Labor and Civil Rights movements. It means foregoing your comfortable middle-class life and forming collectives, it means arguing with each other face-to-face over tactics, being careful about tactics and strategy–I don’t think, for example, that street demonstrations or street fighting is useful at this time–it’s just a sign of impotence. The ability to boycott to provide an economic alternative, provide clinics, insurance, jobs, cultural centers for people is a far more powerful thing to do–in short, to provide alternatives and to display prowess at doing so–ultimately it is that which attracts people (and if you are single that will attract the better sort of mate to put it less bluntly than I could). I saw this work in Italy with the Communist Party (which, in the 70’s was basically a progressive party not a soviet-style party) they were broken by the Aldo Moro kidnapping which happened under highly suspicious circumstances–but for a while it worked fairly well–I met and liked several mid-level Party members who were public officials I found them very thoughtful but realistic.

Of course our country is unique and I’m not suggesting we copy anybody rather that we understand history and political reality better and not be “shocked” at corruption and the sleazy nature of politics–it is sleazy  and that’s how the game is played. The left in America is too in love with its ideals to be effective–so, again, don’t blame Congress for doing its job.


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  1. i’m holding them fucking responsible for NOT doing their job…

    know, it’s not blame. it’s a mature, fully-fleshed out and steady anger

    it is an awareness of their utter lack of moral fiber

    but i do blame my brother-in-law and aunt… they voted for bush twice and i believe the bro-in-law would vote for him again… yeah, i point the blame finger at the citizens who can’t seem to be bother to learn or keep the fuck up with this insantiy

  2. when they stop getting people killed.


    • nocatz on October 2, 2007 at 03:30

    Politics is a very dangerous game and you have to be careful who you cross and who you ally yourself with.

    Tell that to the Iraqi’s.

    • banger on October 2, 2007 at 03:31
  3. and you choose to denounce us for speaking out against it.

    Interesting choice friend.

  4. Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution or the War Powers Act of 1973 am I suppose to ignore to give your essay an inkling of validity?

    • Pluto on October 2, 2007 at 06:58

    You know — there is one way we could take it back. Only one:

    If the Democratic Party would rise up as one, unified, and DEMAND Mandatory National Service for all young people. No exceptions. Even the disabled can serve in some capacity.

    We don’t have those kind of people, and that kind of personal greatness and commitment, in America anymore. The kind of people we have do not deserve a voice in the destiny of a nation they can call their own.

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