Keep Your Powder Dry, Boys

Southern Beale referenced this earlier, but it’s become clear in recent days that theDNC has decided to cut Wisconsin loose, probably because hey, it’s just a state full of union workers and teachers and cops and farmers and steelworkers and so, really, fuck it, we can afford to let it rot.

And rotting is what it’s doing. Make no mistake, we only think we’ve seen what Walker and his Fitzgerald cronies are like. There’s a whole other world of bullying, punishing, vindictive, scorched-earth plans under their skins, and if we think they’re arrogant now, if we think they’re bold now, wait until they survive a recall. Wait until they win that fight. Imagine them then.

This isn’t about $500,000. $500,000 is nothing. $500,000 is lunch money for the DNC. $500,000 is lunch money to anybody who, in the general election, is going to have to face Mitt Fucking Romney and his current group of clowns. $500,000 could be raised in an afternoon, if you put Barack Obama on the phone. This isn’t about the money. It’s about the risk inherent in fighting a fight you don’t know for sure you can win.The polls aren’t perfect. The process wasn’t easy. I know how fractured and frustrating fights like this can be, but none of that matters. None of that matters in the face of this:


They came by the hundreds of thousands. In the snow, in the rain, past the jeering Tea Partiers, through the locked doors, they came and they stood up for something we haven’t seen people stand up for in many, many years: The right to organize, the right to unionize, the right to work with dignity and security and hope. Many, many people, including me, didn’t believe anything like that could even exist anymore. We didn’t believe people had it in them, not to come and certainly not to stay. And still they came.

That’s what the DNC is risking. That’s what they’re abandoning. That’s what they’ll throw away. Look at those people. Give them a place to put their shoulders and they’ll roll back the mountains. Look at their faces. I was in the crowd that day and I’ve never seen anything like that, never ever. I didn’t believe we were still like that, people. Americans. I didn’t believe the fight could still be fought.

So this isn’t a fight Democrats think they can win? Wait until they see what it’s like to lose.

Maybe I’m driven too much by fear. Fear of having to go home and hand in a bad report card, fear of having to tell someone I’m not going to live up to the promise I made him. Fear of having to go out every day and walk past people who will be laughing their asses off if I slip, stumble, fall on my face. Fear of having to listen to those Americans for Prosperity dicks gloat all the way around the Capitol if Walker pulls this off somehow. But here’s my question: Why isn’t the DNC afraid? Why aren’t they afraid of losing? If they’re not afraid of losing their jobs as teachers and bus drivers, why aren’t they afraid of losing face at least? Why are they willing to forfeit a game they should play until the last second they can wring from the clock?

This is the kind of crap that has driven me insane about the party since 2001. Since the Clinton impeachment, really, since the trend of bashing one’s own party to get attention became a thing, since liberals started paring down the number of things they publicly gave a shit about in order not to upset anybody. Since the Bush years of not being able to be against the war because somebody would call you a pussy, since protesting the unprecedented expansion of executive power made you a traitor.

This is the kind of crap that drives me insane about people generally, about the metrics we use to decide how to ration out just what fights we should fight, as if courage is a bowl of sugar, and there’s only so much of it and no more. The odds are tough, sure. They were during the protests, too. They were during the recall petition drives. They’re always tough. Name me one time things have been easy and I’ll call you a liar. You either accept that all unlikely victories in the face of impossible odds are unlikely and impossible and fight every fight out anyway, fight every battle that’s worth fighting everywhere, or you admit that you don’t really want to win, and at least the rest of us will know where we stand.

We stand with Wisconsin.


19 thoughts on “Keep Your Powder Dry, Boys

  1. MBA politics, iow total blinders about the consequences of the actions. Two of the big mistakes of the Harvard Business era is this idea that you do not need customers, that you can screw them over and it won’t matter if you leverage things right, and that you don’t need to pay people who work for you. They miss that if no one is getting paid they don’t have money to buy your product (so there goes a bunch of your customer base). And they ignore that if the choice for people is to not have something or to pay to not have something, they will just not have something and keep THEIR money (losing the rest.)
    The DNC is making both these mistakes. They are refusing to pay their employees, the boots on the ground, the people who get out their votes, the ones whose money pay for the ads when the bankers pick the Republican by having their back. And they are telling their customers, the voters, that they don’t give a damn what their platform says, what they are supposed to provide the people who donate and vote for them. Not supporting the recall in WI is partisan. But fuck this bipartisanship crap. People don’t really want it. They want partisan, they want you to fight for them, for what they need, and they dream of for their children. Refusing to do it because you may lose guarantees you will lose – money, supporters, voters and elections. And then they will be shocked when there is no one to man the phone banks and canvass and even more shocked when they lose the election not because the other guy did better then usual, but their usual voters don’t bother to get there.

  2. With actions that seem intended to inflict perpetual harm on itself, one wonders why the DNC takes these stances…
    And all we’re left with is the most horrific tinfoil hat theories of shadow governments calling the real shots.
    If a true, ground-up democratic movement is this toxic to the US ‘Body Politic,” I submit the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been rendered inoperative (and yes, we’ve seen massive evidence in support of that statement as well).
    I am really beginning to fear what lies ahead.

  3. This is an older problem than 2001. It’s older than Clinton. It’s older than the Democratic beat-downs under Reagan.
    It may even be older than the ’72 election when the Party decided the hippies and anti-war crowd were just too much and turned its back on the progressive wing rather than fully back McGovern. That’s why even after a Republican president had to resign in disgrace before even members of his own party voted him out of office the Democrats only managed to hold the White House for one term.

  4. “Fear of having to go home and hand in a bad report card, fear of having to tell someone I’m not going to live up to the promise I made him. Fear of having to go out every day and walk past people who will be laughing their asses off if I slip, stumble, fall on my face.”
    Been there, done that. And yet I survived. It totally freaks me out, and yet I survive. And then the next day I go out and do something amazing. And then I fall on my face again. And everyone laughs their asses off at me. And I bow and blow kisses And get to my feet again.
    It’s life. 🙂

  5. Well, I posted a site soliciting fundraising for the recall in Wisconsin on my Facebook page. No response. And I even live in what is considered the most liberal community in this city.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same –
    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

  6. *applause* well done, as always, Athenae.
    It’s grim. My wife and I both signed recall petitions, and we’ll probably lose our jobs because of it, if Walker wins against William Jennings Bryan. But these Tea Partiers think that’s just grand. Grrrrrrrr.

  7. See under Institutions, Iron Law of.
    Perhaps we could give some consideration to the idea that destroying “the right to organize, the right to unionize, the right to work with dignity and security and hope” isexactly what the Ds have in mind.

  8. Well, this is why the Dems keep losing. Because they won’t fight.
    Also, someone noted that the Dems have become the party of “professionals”–in other words, a white-collar party, not a blue-collar party any more. Maybe, in fact, just the “liberal” face of the 1%.

  9. Great article A! I tweeted it to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Maybe now I’ll tweet it to Ed, because this shit gets his crow.

  10. The analogy for this is seeing one of your supposed friends on the sidewalk, bleeding after being mugged, and stepping over him, but, over your shoulder, promising to call 911, and then forgetting to do so because you’re interrupted by one of your “better friends” who’s inviting you to a party where you’ll get a chance to meet some high-rollers, some really heavy hitters who might further your career.
    The estimate is that 1% of the population is likely sociopathic. That means there are now, or will become, 3.1 million sociopathic people in this country, and I’m inexorably coming to the conclusion that every fucking one of them is either in politics or paying off politicians to get what they want.

  11. It also seems very, very important to get the zombie-eyed granny starver out of office, but the DNC doesn’t seem interested in that, either. I am glum.

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