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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On how the Dems forgot what American Politics was

Jon Stewart said what many of us have been thinking last night when he reminded us that even if Martha Coakley loses the Dems would still have an 18 vote majority which is still "more than George W. Bush had whenever he did whatever the f*** he wanted to."

Don't fear the Republicans filibustering, let them do it as long and as petty as possible; let them shut down the government, not get money to the troops and aid to the needy; that may not be a bad thing for democrats.

My question is how is it that in 1 year Obama has gone from hope to goat. Sure, the right always hated him and even if things were going much better they'd still say he ruined their country, or at least their imaginary version of it. How is it though, that everyone else, Dems included only gave the guy a year to fix things? I mean the dudes fighting two wars, dealing with the biggest financial meltdown since the depression, and also trying to work on health care reform. Even a football coach at Notre Dame gets at least three years to try to fix the program. Suddenly, because a senator in Mass. phoned in a campaign and lost, his presidency is over? And suddenly everyone is talking about a GOP landslide in 2010 and a Republican president in '12. After 1 year we're ready to give the country back to the same people who had over 8 years to screw it up?

Obama’s failure is really the failure of Pelosi and Reid. The Democratic Party doesn’t need to be as centrist or even apologetically liberal; just themselves. Instead, they watered down their agenda so much, the ambitious agenda we voted for, to the point that we don’t recognize it any more, don’t want it, and the only people who care anymore are the Republicans who hated it in the first place.

It’s always easier to be against something than for something, which is the eternal problem which has always faced progressive movements. This was no different. Usually the left is guilty of being far too idealistic, but here, the Dems were far too pragmatic; instead of the moon, they aimed for the ceiling and somehow hit their head on the corner of the coffee table.

Or maybe the Dems bought into the bi-partisan myth of bi-partisanship. The legislative branch has never worked that way, there was never a time when the two parties sat down and compromised; it’s been a history of one party doing things there way, then a period of another party doing things there way, until someone screws things up, and somehow things right and things left balance out into some sort of bearable thing nobody‘s happy with called the US government. Some examples: one of our founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, was shot in a duel, something not entirely out of the ordinary in 18th and 19th century politics, at least two senators being killed inside the capital itself. The bloodiest and costliest war we’ve ever fought was between ourselves, we’ve had border wars, and incidents like Lyndon Johnson having to call in the National Guard to Alabama to enforce the law, which was less than 50 years ago.

This democratic legislature’s failure was worrying too much about how they looked, worrying too much about the right being too mean to them. Jimmy Carter was probably the nicest guy who’s been president. Richard Nixon was in more than one way a Presidential Dick. But Dick Nixon got results. It’s not pleasant, it’s not nice, its not moral; It’s politics.

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