All right, everybody calm the fuck down

Okay, yes. Losing the bankruptcy bill was bad. Losing fights like this, which are about protecting those who are preyed upon by credit card companies, is tough. We should feel bad. We should fire off a pissed letter or two to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi saying, man, gotta see these things coming, and plan a frontal assault sooner. And keep your people the hell in line. The only way the Democrats stand for something nationally, as a party that can lend an identity to an unknown candidate, is if all its members act in concert on certain principles. And to steal from the Bible, which I don’t do that often, those principles should be to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and lift up the widow and orphan. So, Nancy and Harry, you screwed this pooch.

But there’s a whole Westminster Kennel Club out there, and we can’t allow our disgust at losing this fight to make us turn away from the fights coming up. Social Security. Medicare. Another ill-conceived and ill-considered war. There are causes we can take up as our own: honest to god reduction in the rate of abortions through sensible sex ed and birth control provisions, the absolute finest care of our returning troops, health care for uninsured children.

What bothers me the most is that I’ve seen despair in the blogosphere in the past couple of days that reminds me of that long week after the election. I’m not saying don’t be pissed, I’m saying don’t waste the whole world’s supply of pissed right now. You’re only truly beaten, you’ve only truly been conquered, when every last one of you has stopped fighting. So long as we continue to raise our voices, write our letters, make our phone calls, march in the streets and sing to the rafters, our opponents cannot claim total control over all opinion. And you never know who your words and actions may inspire.

I know it’s hard, I can’t imagine how hard for most of you. I HATE losing, it sucks, the more so for the good people who will be hurt because of this legislation. But even one voice raised against the status quo is a victory; in these times one sign on the freeway, one e-mail, one note card with the words “Do better next time, Harry, goddammit, or no more happy democrat photos for you” is worth more than the equivalent time spent in silence, raging ineffectually against things you only think you cannot change.

Now, what’s next?