What Is It Going To Take?

Wow. I came back and there’s still stupid all over the place. I would have hoped somebody could have cleaned it up before I came back but no, we’re still sitting here, hip-deep in bullshit, telling the guy with the shovel that he’s making us look bad.

Steve, as usual with the apt metaphor:

If you owned a football team and the coach didn’t change his gameplan after several losing seasons would you not fire him?

This whole conversation is irritating and here’s why. It’s a way of discounting people’s opinions. You see this in the bloggers v. Howell mess, too, where the Washington Post doesn’t feel it needs to listen to people who got the idea to e-mail them from a blog. Oh, they’re those blog types they don’t count. The fuck? I’d wager we know more about politics than two-thirds of the people with whom little Debbie spends her days, and I really, really loathe the idea that being well-informed and able to target our efforts towards those who can make a difference should somehow count against us so that Debbie listens less to us than to some git who reads a paper once a month and called to point out an error in the crossword puzzle. Just because a letter-writing campaign is well-organized doesn’t mean it’s wrong, Deb my darling, and you’d do well to listen to the substance instead of the surface.

What’s being lost here, in this back-and-forth over who’s allowed to express an opinion on the Washington Post’s site and who’s allowed to have a say in the Democratic Party’s future and who can comfortably be ignored because after all, they have a website how gauche, is that the reason we get worked up about this shit is that it affects us. We have friends, to name a personal example, getting letters from their husbands stationed in Iraq and Kuwait, who don’t know when they’re coming home. We have student loans that are getting harder to pay off because the money coming in no longer pays the bills the way it used to, or there’s no money coming in at all. We have memories of a house in NOLA that isn’t there anymore. We have nagging little worries like the pain in our backs or our stomachs that won’t go away, but it’s too expensive to go to the doctor. We sit up at night thinking, will I be able to sell my house in two years, or is the economy going to bottom out? And who’s speaking up for me? Who is my leader at a time when all the current power structure seems to care about is screwing me as hard and as loudly as possible?

These are real questions and they matter and demanding answers and action from people in a position to give both is not outrageous shrillness and it’s not overstepping the bounds of civility and it’s not anything at all other than our goddamn patriotic duty as Americans and our obligation as human beings.

And what people like Debbie and people like the DLC consultant types sitting around talking about how reality is fucking up their strategy need to remember is that however tough we’re making their day, there are in fact people who have harder jobs, tougher things to deal with. Grow the fuck up. You work at the Washington Post, the posh office in the Capitol. You have no problems you could pay me to care about.

The soldiers and sailors, the people in the food lines, the kids trying to graduate from college, the young couple trying to make a salary stretch far enough, the babies just trying to get through their first year of life, the grandparents in apartments without heat, the sixth-graders struggling to learn to read, the scientists trying to cure diseases that are ravaging our families and friends, the people of faith whose voices have been silenced, the good people of all faiths and no faith who find themselves scorned, me, you, your parents, your friends … These are the people we care about. These are the people we have in mind when we write and call and e-mail and get together on sites like this one and talk about how to make the world a better place. And if we seem to get a little more excited than your average bear, well, these people, real people and not demographics and ad buy statistics, well, these people are just a few of the many, many reasons why.