Friday, October 15, 2010

On Moving Rightward

One of the inevitable arguments by progressives against letting Republicans take control of the House of Representatives this fall goes along the lines of "It will make the Democrats go farther right." This has always struck me as a ridiculous argument. Here's an example of why, provided by the putative leader of the Democratic Party:
During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.” He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.

Education Of A President
The reason those progressives' argument makes no sense to me is that, by their own actions and words, the Democratic leadership have proved again and again that they will move right no matter what. Look at the nonsensical reasons the guy in charge of our government spouts as if they actually make sense. The idea that concentrating the stimulus bill on shovel ready projects didn't save time and money is utter nonsense - anyone who has ever gone through a state or federal contracting process can tell you that. A project that's been approved, awarded, and just lost its funding is a lot further along than one that was just dreamed up last week. Tax cuts versus tax breaks, what the hell does that even mean? The stimulus would have been more effective with no tax breaks at all, if they'd spent the money instead on something even moderately useful.

These guys aren't taking politics to the right because that's where America is going. They're taking politics to the right because that's where the money is. Those big corporations aren't going to drop campaign funds into the campaign coffers of the kind of politician who will watch out for the little guy. Despite blog activism and Act Blue, there's not much money there, and I doubt there will be as long as the income disparity continues as it is in America.

They're also taking politics to the right, as I've pointed out many, many times, because progressives don't demand that their politicians be progressives, where conservatives aren't foolish enough to accept progressivism from their politicians. Politicians will chase the power that can go elsewhere. Progressives don't change their votes - they can always be counted on to vote out of fear of the Other Guys, and any national politician who doesn't know that was probably appointed to his job.

That's enough motivation to pull politics to the right no matter which party wins in November. Until progressives learn to demand better of their politicians, none of that is going to change.

(h/t to Ian Welsh for the quote.)


4 comments:

One Fly said...

Agreed and it's only getting worse.

Cujo359 said...

Progressives are slowly buying a clue, I think, but whether it will be soon enough is hard to tell.

Suzan said...

Thank you, sweetheart.

Someone had to say it.

Love it!

S

The reason those progressives' argument makes no sense to me is that, by their own actions and words, the Democratic leadership have proved again and again that they will move right no matter what.
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Cujo359 said...

Thanks, Suzan. It's hard to believe that so few progressives have apprehended this.