Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quote Of The Day

Quote of the day honors go to Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald, for making the same observation I've been making since December about congressional progressives and the health care bill. Hamsher writes:

Look, we had to get here ... people had to see it in action. I know I did. I couldn’t imagine that members of congress would hand us all this campaign fodder, all the videos that their opposition can use against them for elections to come, if they had no intention of fighting. But we’re watching a replay of the war supplemental: after 80 progressives signed a letter saying they’d vote against any war funding that didn’t have troop withdrawal provisions, when their vote mattered only 32 remembered that pledge. Magically just under the 39 needed to stop it from passing. This is what we can expect from House progressives in the future. Now that the number who can safely hold their principles and still allow the bill to pass is “zero,” that’s how many have them.

Yes, Rahm Is Totally Vindicated

Which Greenwald confirms:

What's not debatable is that this process highlighted -- and worsened -- the virtually complete powerlessness of the Left and progressives generally in Washington. If you were in Washington negotiating a bill, would you take seriously the threats of progressive House members in the future that they will withhold support for a Party-endorsed bill if their demands for improvements are not met? Of course not. No rational person would.

Has Rahm's Assumption About Progressives Been Vindicated?

By not sticking to their guns, progressives in Congress have made themselves irrelevant. It was easy to see that coming, even for someone who isn't a politician.

The sad part, and this is lost in all the rationalizations on this issue, is that the health care bill could have been useful. It could have made the insurance industry behave, or made it irrelevant. The progressives didn't need this bill as much as the conservatives and President Obama. That gave the progressives power to insist on changes. That's another thing that I've been pointing out for months.

Instead, they let this happen. As a result, they are now truly useless. Their colleagues won't believe them, and neither will their supporters. The cliche about not being able to trust politicians is wrong - they need to be trusted by at least their colleagues and their supporters to remain effective. Now that these congressmen can no longer be trusted by these people, they are powerless.

And they deserve to be.


lawguy said...

I wonder what happened to liberals, at one point they had principles and stood for something. But I guess that was about 40 years ago come to think about it.

I have completely given up on politics at the tender age of 63. There is not a bum I would vote or work for again. Now if I can just avoid going down with the ship.

Cujo359 said...

That was the previous generation, not ours. They came back from World War II and were determined it should never happen again. We were the beneficiaries of that determination, but many of us didn't know what it was we missed out on. The rich were able to avoid Vietnam, and they learned that they could do whatever they wanted.

That's where we seem to be now.

I don't know how to fix that. I'm not sure it can be fixed. Frankly, the fools and loudmouths who seem to run most of the news and most of the more prominent blogs are just as depressing to contemplate as our politicians are.