I seem to be in the minority in thinking that the debate raging between the White House and the Democratic base is a good thing as long as it doesn’t last too long. There are justifiable frustrations on both sides but I think the Obama administration has done a *horrible* job of selling its policies. For example, its health care reform bill is a decent first step towards a goal that most Democrats share: health care as a right, not a privilege. Neither Social Security nor Medicare emerged as the full blown programs we know today. Incremental progress is a good thing but the White House should have admitted that the program needs to be improved and made it clear that they plan to do so in the future.
The main problem we face is that Democratic Presidents have developed a nasty habit over the years of bashing their own supporters. It started during the Johnson years as the Roosevelt coalition collapsed and both Carter and Clinton effectively ran against the liberal wing of the party. Barack Obama did not do so in 2008 but his minions; especially Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod have done their share of base bashing since entering the West Wing. Knock it off, guys, you’ve said your piece; so get over it and move on or as the Veep might say, “Buck up.” Or as Rahm himself might say: “Buck the fuck up.” He should, however, look in the mirror while saying this. One more thing about Rahm. I’m glad he’ll be out as Chief of Staff BUT the idea of leaving this close to an election is tantamount to deserting the President he serves. As we say in the South, “tacky, tacky, tacky.” Fuck you, Rahm. If you leave before the election, I hope you get your ass kicked in Chicago. Fucking yuppie scum.
I think that the Dems have made a mistake in declining to make this a national campaign. That’s what the other guys are doing and it has led to some seriously crazy and extreme people running under the GOP banner. The inside the beltway conventional wisdom is that nationalizing the campaign will doom the Democrats. That’s horseshit. And the CW has led to the insane (inane too) spectacle of the House and the Senate leaderships not making the Republicans vote *against* a middle class tax cut that’s tied to the elimination of the Bush fat cat tax cuts. It’s a winning populist issue and Speaker Pelosi is at least *trying* to get that message through to her troops. The Senate majority has chosen, as always, to duck and cower. Make the fuckers vote and if they threaten to fillibuster, let them. It won’t last long: it’s an election year. This is not only sound policy, it’s good hardball politics.
Okay, now that I’ve chastised the White House and Congressional leadership, I’d like to remind my fellow progressives that the lunatic fringe has taken over the opposing party. Crazy is the in thing among Republicans and these people must be kept out of power on the Hill. It’s not too late either: most people do not mainline politics and do not focus on elections until a month out. Let’s keep those fucking wingnuts in the minority where they belong: I don’t want to wake up some morning and hear about a birther investigation. If you live in a marginal district, please get out and vote, even if you have to hold your nose whilst at the polls. It’s my plan.
I dislike the Democratic nominee in the Louisiana-2 race, Cedric Richmond. He’s a dumbed down but handsomer version of Dollar Bill Jefferson. And like Dollar Bill, his ethics are questionable. His GOP opponent, the Accidental Congressman, Joseph Cao is a well-meaning man who sometimes votes with the Democrats because he represents a majority African American district. This choice is an argument for nationalizing the race: there are many goo-goo NOLA Democrats who may vote locally and if they do so it will be for Mr. Cao. The only issue that matters to me in this race is this; who do the candidates plan to vote for as Speaker, John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi? I speak as an admirer of the Speaker but also as someone who shudders at the thought of Speaker Boner. We all know who will get boned, and where, if that happens: the American people will take it up the ass. So, I plan to affix a clothespin to my nose and vote for Richmond because he will vote for Pelosi and Cao for Boehner. It could come down to a single seat and this is a pickup. A single seat. It’s that simple for me.
Back to the family fight. I think it’s healthy for everyone to vent their frustrations. A lot of this stuff has been bottled up for months and it’s best to let it out. It’s also time to move on and remember who we’re dealing with. Letting the teabaggers gain control of the House is like giving an arsonist a guided tour of one’s own home. Do we really want the likes of the primordially stupid Michelle Bachmann to have any influence on policy? I’m just as disgusted with the spinelessness of many Democrats as many of you but the alternative is so much worse. If you need to hold your nose whilst voting for a Democrat just remember this: clothespins are cheap.