Man, I am really all over the place this morning, worse than usual (heh). My apologies.
Goodbye Lady Libertine (the usual me). Hello Sally Panic (the other me).
Oh man… bring it on.
FIrst I’m gonna give you a compilation of links here to point you to a few things that are ringing my bell. If you read nothing else today, go see Greenwald’s piece this morning. Yeegawds. GG references and links further to this other piece by Ed Kilgore, who updated his with this statement:
After discussing this post with several friends, I should be very clear about my motives here. I am not trying to promote an ideological fight within the Democratic Party or the progressive coalition, and don’t want to exaggerate ideological differences, either. But ideology, however muddled, is part of what makes most politically active people tick. And if we don’t talk about it–and about differences in strategic thinking as well, which should be the subject of future discussions–then all we are left with to explain our differences on this issue or that is questions of character. And anyone paying attention must recognize there’s far too much of that going on. “Progressive pragmatists”–the camp with which I most often personally identify, as it happens–often treat “the Left” condescendingly as immature and impractical people who don’t understand how things get done. Meanwhile, people on “the Left” often treat “pragmatists” as either politically gutless or personally corrupt. This is what happens when you don’t take seriously other people’s ideological and strategic underpinnings; whatever you gain in ignoring or minimizing differences in perspective or point of view is lost in mutual respect. Sure, the character attacks on both sides are sometimes accurate, but nobody should assume that in any particular case without further examination of each others’ ideological and strategic views. That examination is long past due.
So Greenwald jumped right in. Nails it.
Whether you call it “a government takeover of the private sector” or a “private sector takeover of government,” it’s the same thing: a merger of government power and corporate interests which benefits both of the merged entities (the party in power and the corporations) at everyone else’s expense. Growing anger over that is rooted far more in an insider/outsider dichotomy over who controls Washington than it is in the standard conservative/liberal ideological splits from the 1990s. It’s true that the people who are angry enough to attend tea parties are being exploited and misled by GOP operatives and right-wing polemicists, but many of their grievences about how Washington is ignoring their interests are valid, and the Democratic Party has no answers for them because it’s dependent upon and supportive of that corporatist model. That’s why they turn to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh; what could a Democratic Party dependent upon corporate funding and subservient to its interests possibly have to say to populist anger?
Even if one grants the arguments made by proponents of the health care bill about increased coverage, what the bill does is reinforces and bolsters a radically corrupt and flawed insurance model and and an even more corrupt and destructive model of “governing.” It is a major step forward for the corporatist model, even a new innovation in propping it up. How one weighs those benefits and costs — both in the health care debate and with regard to many of Obama’s other policies — depends largely upon how devoted one is to undermining and weakening this corporatist framework (as opposed to exploiting it for political gain and some policy aims). That’s one of the primary underlying divisions Kilgore identifies, and he’s right to call for greater examination and debate over the role it is playing.
There’s at leas two or three more currently that relate here, most importantly here at DD is this one from banger.
I am telling you, people, this is it. Hoist the colors!!
We need to get a handle on a few basic givens. “we”… yeah, who the hell is we, kimosabe? We on the Left, Left of Left, the people who… well, you know who you are. heh. I’m talkin to you. You are not mainstream. You are not movers and shakers, you are not a player. You are nobody and you alone cannot make policy, pass laws, or win jack shit.
What you can do is heave ho pull together and help turn the tide.
And, by the way, Meteor Blades just threw down the gauntlet over at naranja.
Damn Im pissed.
Our only power is in our voice. We have to counter the noise machine that will only and ever continue to uphold TPB. We have to understand that simple truth, and help others who are more “pragmatic” minded that fact. When we say “Kill The Bill” for example, it doesnt mean we want to kill health reform, quite the opposite. Someone else can explain that, you guys get it.
Gah why dont people get it.
I’m going to go read MB some more, Ill be back.
Candidate Barack Obama repeatedly said that he would listen to all sides and take ideas from all sides. We left-progressives knew from the start that this didn’t mean everything we wanted would happen, not even a quarter of it. But being listened to after decades in the wilderness under both Republicans and Democrats sounded like progress.
However, repeatedly, on issue after issue, Barack Obama listens to and talks to the right, the center-right, the center, and the center-left. As he should. On rare occasions, even a right winger has a good idea. The left, on the other hand, can’t seem to get his ear. And yet, now that the end game on health coverage reform has arrived and we say, “you know this thing sucks so bad it’s probably not worth voting for in its present form,” it’s not the No-gotiators or Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln or the insurance companies that get blamed for standing in the way of reform. You know, the people and corporations who still aren’t done gutting this legislation.
Nah. Not them. It’s us. It’s our fault and Howard Dean’s fault and the fault of all the people who swallowed hard and accepted an ever-weaker bill until it became too weak. Our fault.
We get the message.
h/t to cassiodorius who pointed me to this one at FDL The Progressive Power of “No”. Its more about the sausage of this current Issue, but valid and relevant to what Im talking about.
So, what the progressives need to do is to recognize the real power situation, gather their courage, and “stick it to ’em” by just saying no, and insisting first, on HR 676, and only, if necessary later in conference committee, on a very strong, Jacob Hacker-type PO bill. That will be better for the American people, better for the progressives, better for the President, and even better for the blue dogs.