In trying to get one-time Obama supporters to volunteer for the November election, I often hear this refrain: “The Democrats have sold us out. I’m tired of their spinelessness, their subservience to corporate interests. I’m staying home to teach them a lesson.” Not everyone responds this way, but enough do to make me worry, because if these people don’t show up and work to get others to vote, it could make the difference in race after neck-and-neck race, as a similar withdrawal of Democratic volunteers and voters did in 1994. As I’ve written, we either get past our broken hearts to help elect the best possible candidates between now and November, or cede even more power to the most destructive interests in America.
Dec 01 2008
Pragmatism does not mean paralysis
(Cross posted from Daily Kos, published last Wednesday. I made just a few modifications for this site and no doubt missed others.)
It has been a while since last I posted. ek — the wily ek — convinced me to come here and post this. I thought that it might be provocative despite being meant with affection, but he thought it would be worth your collective time.
It’s a good time to note, by the way, why I haven’t been here much. It’s the same reason I’m not on Open Left, Boo Trib, and countless other progressive blogs: I have simply found that for whatever reason I operate best when I limit myself to one blog; it lets me keep up with the conversations I start. If I switch around, I write diaries and comments that I won’t follow up on for hours, days, weeks, months…. It feels to me as if I’m being rude. So, given my limitation, which I’m glad that others do not share, I contribute only on El Permsimmon Grande, although I’m always (well, almost always) happy to see my Docudharmatic friends there.
Best holiday wishes to you all and I hope that you are happy and hopeful — even if hesitant in ways — over the political transition now underway. I’ll try to come around more and prove myself a liar in the preceding paragraph. If I don’t, feel free to hound me; apparently it works. (And also feel free to port anything I write to here.)
Two years ago on DKos, in the wake of the 2006 election, came a rumbling on the right column of the front page that led to a series of withering assaults on Markos and some of the contributing editors. Two years ago tomorrow, in fact, saw publication of a great example that will give those who were not yet here a sense of the arguments then taking place on the site: “Calling Bullshit on America,” by OPOL. He and I “shared words” in the comments section of that diary and many others; it’s funnier now that we are friends. His diaries — while still pungent and potent — have ratcheted down a little and I have come to better appreciate his talents.
The fight back then was between Pragmatists and Purists. I was one of the loudest Pragmatists commenting on the site. I’m still a pragmatist. And here, today, we hear shouting once again from the right side of the page towards many CEs and others who dare criticize Obama’s choices — and again I find myself disagreeing with my fellow diarists.
I disagree because I don’t think that their position is pragmatic at all.