At the Big Orange Satan, our old friend from Wales provides strong evidence that he does not understand the only effective role the Netroots can play to promote progressivism. He bemoans the mean attacks on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, arguing, more or less, she is doing the best she can.
It is unfortunate though that the critques of the diary in the comments thread are rather wild and ineffective. Impeachment? Raising money for Al Wynn? Is that really where Pelosi is failing? Puhleeeaze. The reason Dems won in 2006 was the promise to end the Debacle in Iraq. It is obvious, as I have written in the past, that the Congress can not enact its agenda. But what it CAN do is stop the Bush agenda. It can end the war – by not funding it. It can not grant extraordinary powers to the President to engage in warrantless surveillance. It can disapprove of torture and not approve an AG nominee who will not say waterboarding is torture. It can prevent the most egregious excesses by the worst Administration in history. The Congress has done none of these things.
But let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, the Welshman is right. That Pelosi is doing all she can. If the Netroots wants to change the field of play, what would be the smartest course of action. Should it rationalize away the failures of the Congress, as the Welshman suggests? Should it say, ‘oh well, that’s all they can do?’ Should it settle? Of course not. The Netroots and the progressive base is the left flank of the Democratic Party. If they accept the status quo, then no progressive change will EVER occur. The proper role of the Netroots, in my opinion, is NOT to cheerlead and rationalize Democratic failure. The proper role of the Netroots and the progressive base is to pressure, cajole, push and prod for progressive movement in the Congressional agenda. If it does that, Pelosi’s job (assuming she really wants progressive change) becomes easier. She needs to feel and see pressure from her Left. Some would see the Netroots and the Progressive base as just an arm of the Democratic Party, there only to support Democrats in elections. I’ve discussed this phenomena in the past. It is wrong and will lead to the utter irrelevance of the Netroots in particular.
It’s funny because if Welshman understood the quote from Nancy Pelosi that he defends, he would not have written the diary. Pelosi said:
“They are advocates,” she said. “We are leaders.”
Advocates do not excuse the failure of leadership on the issues they care about. Advocates ADVOCATE for the issues they care about They do not worry about being “fair.”
In essence, the Welshman chose to be an advocate for PELOSI, not for progressive issues. This is a variation of the Cult of Personality that infects the Presidential primary season. The Welshman demonstrates the flip side of the coin of Hillary Hate. It is an Apologia for a Politician. It demonstrates another aspect of what ails the Netroots.