Uncategorized — December 9, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Pragmatism has its costs


First of all, a big welcome to folks coming in from Blackwaterdog’s most-excellent blog “The only adult in the room”.

My blog entry yesterday certainly got some attention. I got over 1,100 hits on my website. It was shared on Facebook almost 1,000 times. The Daily Kos version was the #2 diary of the day, getting over 1,500 comments and nearly 700 “Recommends”.

And I got torn to shreds.

Not by everybody of course. But if you venture into the comments over at Daily Kos, it was an amazing thing to behold. I was called a liar no less than three times. I was told I “have no principles”. I was called an OFA propagandist or paid shill. My favorite was one person who called me a “DLC CORPORATIST enabling propaganda tool” (among other things though “tool” seemed to be their favorite). Second place goes to the person who told me “You need to turn in your progressive card *tear* *rip* *shred*”.

They also maligned my volunteering with Organizing for American (OFA), suggesting all manner of unpleasant things about us, calling us ineffective, worthless and much more. There were at least four diaries on Daily Kos calling for people to unsubscribe from OFA and there’s now even a Facebook page about it. By the way, the people they are maligning are these people, phonebanking for the DREAM Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell last week:

Or these people doing the same thing last night:

Ironically, rather than losing people, we picked up three new volunteers in the past week in Ann Arbor. So much for that “movement”.

The CNN graphic that I posted in my blog with a disclaimer doesn’t have the estate tax deal so many folks latched onto that even though it was a small part of the diary. If you look at the Washington Post‘s graphic on it, however, you’ll see that I was right: there is more there for Democrats to like or that had bipartisan support than what the Republicans came out of it with:

I’ll leave the math as an at-home exercise for ya. By the way, Ezra Klein has some nice graphs about this too.

But it’s been eye-opening for sure. Daily Kos and many of the other progressive websites have become particularly toxic in the past couple of weeks. Like the take-no-prisoners, tolerate-no-dissent teabaggers, a shocking number of progressive liberals, frustrated that the hopes and dreams they had for the Obama presidency have been thwarted are now taking out their anger with venomous, vitriolic attacks on pretty much anyone who dares to show support for President Obama.

I hate the tax-cut deal that the President’s administration cut with the Republicans. Let me repeat that: I hate the tax-cut deal that the President’s administration cut with the Republicans. One more time, for emphasis:


But, ya know what? I still think it’s a good deal. Not a perfect deal. Not a preferred deal. A good deal. The operative word here is “deal”. Because, no matter how much wishful thinking is employed, there is no way the Republicans were ever going to back down on continuing their über-wealthy benefactors’ (and their own) humongous tax break. It wasn’t going to happen. These cold-hearted, callous, greedy bastards are perfectly willing to let millions of people get dropped from the unemployment insurance rolls during the holiday season in order to keep their money. He had to make a deal.

It’s astonishing, really, how many low-information voters happily elect these heartless SOBs with no regard to how they are voting against their own self-interest. I know people, people I see everyday, that think giving the wealthy executives they work for a big tax break is more important than giving themselves one. More important than making sure their friends and neighbors who can’t find a job in the hard-hit state of Michigan can keep a roof over their family’s heads and food on their dinner table. Astonishing.

And because I believe that President Obama got the best deal he could, because I believe that it’s a much better deal than people realize, I am personally attacked as if I had taken food out of the mouths of my attackers children and fed it to corporate fat cats. All because I am a “pragmatic progressive”.

There’s little wonder that liberals so rarely win the game of Politics. It’s the same reason the teabaggers never will: they are so tied to their own ideology that there is no room for compromise. That’s unfortunate and makes the job of trying to win elections very, very hard.

I’m just sayin’…