Back at the end of January, I decided to leave one of the more prominent “left” blogs. While it seemed to be a “sudden” decision, it was actually the culmination of a long process of disillusionment. Mind you, I didn’t become a conservative. What I am is a pragmatic liberal. That is, I’m reality based, and more interested in accomplishing something, rather than adhering to a philosophically ideal construct. It’s one of the things that’s made me direct more than a little scorn against the Tea Party groups and Republicans. That said, I’m not excusing various people (and groups) from the “lefty blogs,” either. They’re just as prone to forget reality, or to decide that purity is more important than results as the far right are.
I ran into this during the healthcare reform debates. There was a sizable crew at Daily Kos and Firedoglake who were arguing vehemently for “killing the bill.” Why? Because it wasn’t perfect. You see, they wanted single-payer healthcare, and no compromises. Since this bill wasn’t it, or even their “fallback” of a “public option,” it was (to them) fatally flawed, and should be canned. I got it. Really. I understood why they felt the bill was flawed, heck, there were points where I agreed with them on the flaws. Where I had a problem with them was that they had no fallback for failure, or what they did have didn’t even come close to matching political reality. How did I know that? Because I actually flat out asked them in a number of their diaries, and received no answer. So I posted my own diary, challenging them to show me the plan – and they couldn’t.
If that had been the only cause or battle, I very likely would have stayed around. The problem was that it wasn’t. There was no legislative initiative that didn’t meet with their scorn. They’d label it a “failure,” and proceed to rend their clothing and moan about the betrayal. There were various threats of retribution issued (“primary them!”), along with statements that it would be better to lose elections than it would to keep certain Democrats in office. A recent example was the financial reforms passed by Congress. No sooner did it pass – literally – there were bloggers on the left posting diatribes about what a failure it was, how bad it was, and how the President had “sold out” to Wall Street. It’s apparent that none of them have an understanding of governing, but they do have an ideology.
Once again, I’m seeing them in action. The President’s Press Secretary made some comments about the “professional left.” The whining, screaming, moaning conniption fits that followed from the same groups would have led one to believe that he had mortally offended one of the key demographic bases. The reality check? They’re not. They’ve been griping since the beginning, and while they’re noisy, they are not the base. They’re not even representative of “liberals.”
It’s nice to have ideals, but at the same time, one must take reality into account, and deal with facts. Not what you may want to believe, but what is. That was my problem with them. I have ideals as well, but I also have a strong pragmatic streak. I’ve had enough experience in life where the “ideal” is the “not going to work.” I’ve had my own share of run-ins with people who tout their ideal when it doesn’t match the reality, and it has made me more than a little skeptical of people who have a “perfect solution” to a long-standing, complex problem. I also like to paint a win as … a win. It’s not a loss. So I’m not a blogger on the “left” anymore, because I’m an adult. Maybe someday they’ll grow up, but until then, I’d rather not put up with it.