Monday, June 27, 2011

Quote(s) Of The Day

The world of political commentary provides dueling quotes of the day.

The first is from commenter Romberry, responding to an earlier assertion that President Obama just gets his ass handed to him by the Republicans in negotiations:
Obama is not a weak negotiator. What you need to understand is that Obama is not negotiating for the Democratic position with Republicans but is negotiating for the Republican position with Democrats. And he’s succeeding. Wildly.

Romberry 27 June 2011 at 8:42 pm
Other people have made that observation, including me after a fashion, but I've not seen it put quite that elegantly before. This is Obama. He's not a liberal, nor is he a progressive. He's a conservative, and when he leans on people he leans on the progressives in his own party. Those progressives are the ones who can't negotiate jack.

The second quote is from Ian Welsh, on the subject of gay rights activists who are now sweet on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after the passage of the gay marriage bill:
The fact still remains that the left doesn’t hang together well enough, and that that is going to cost a lot of people lives, jobs, health and so on. More and more as time goes on. There is only one cardinal rule to effective alliances, no separate peace. Those who are making a separate peace with Cuomo because they got what they care about more than anything else, are not allies of the rest of the left.

One more note on the New York Gay Marriage, Cuomo and the Gay Rights Movement
I don't think Ian has any particular problem with these gay rights activists - this is really a problem with most progressive pressure groups. They supposedly look after their own interests, but don't offer support for any other progressive causes. The Democratic Party is, or at least was, composed of people who have quite a few different goals. Once the Dixiecrats bolted from the party back in 1968, there really hasn't been any fundamental conflict between those groups, it's just that they have never gotten together and agreed on a set of principles that all will fight for, and that none will accept non-support for. Labor, environmentalists, minorities, human rights groups, and economic liberals have all gone their separate ways, and mostly have gotten their asses handed to them separately.

Often times, as commenters at that link have pointed out, those progressive organizations aren't particularly good about identifying Democratic politicians who aren't supporting progressive issues.

imagine a hungry wolf here Image credit: Arrr!.

I've referred several times to the Russian tale of the sleigh, where a woman in a sleigh is being pursued by wolves, and tosses her children out one by one until she doesn't have any more, and she has to face the wolves alone. Part of the reason Democrats can behave that way is because when one kid gets thrown over the side, all the other kids just sit there. If they banded together, they could make it much harder, or they could throw the woman over the side.

If you're one of the kids, either result is preferable.

If we're ever going to have any real effect on Democratic Party politicians again, these groups are going to have to do a better job of both cooperating, and pointing out when those politicians are failing to do what we sent them there to do.

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