Yesterday, my friend Spandan C. (aka Deaniac83) over at The People’s View posted a terrific article taking various progressive “pundits” – and in particular one Markos Moulitsas Zuniga to task for the way they ignore and denigrate the very real accomplishments of this administration.
He highlighted many of the points which led to my leaving that particular site, and I added my two cents to the conversation at his. I even did something I haven’t done in a long time – I logged back in to Daily Kos to recommend his cross-posted diary there. One point I made in the comments was that for all the noise they make, they’ve been remarkably ineffective at getting their rhetoric turned into action.
If you read through their comments, you see that they’re angry because what they thought he was when they elected was not who he is. In many ways, it was a case of self-delusion, and in others, it was a failure to realize the realities of governing. They really believe that they are a base – objective evidence to the contrary. Despite that, though, they still believe it.
Back in 2009, when the health care reform debates were in full swing, I saw a lot of people there making comments about “pushing the party to the left,” along with making various statements about primarying various Blue Dogs and “ConservaDems” in Congress. They were going to make any elected official who stood in their way realize they were a force to be reckoned with.
The results? Besides being remarkably inept at lobbying, despite claims to the contrary, it doesn’t look like they were terribly successful at making any elected official “pay” for crossing them. Their main effort was to push Bill Halter in Arkansas, who was in a primary battle with the incumbent Senator, Blanche Lincoln. Despite a massive push on their part, in conjunction with others, they failed. The large number of primary opponents for the Blue Dogs and the other “ConservaDems?” Didn’t appear. They made a lot of threats, but when the time came to make good on them, they didn’t – or couldn’t.
For a group that claims to be the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party,” they’ve shown that they can’t manage to do much except make a lot of noise. They’re very good at making it, and complaining about various Democratic Party elected officials. It gets them attention from the media, and feeds into the right-wing media quite nicely. In terms of actual political influence? They don’t have it. Real influence is the ability to get politicians to listen to you, to be able to deliver on any consequences you promise, and they haven’t done that. If anything, their statements lead me to believe that they don’t want it. They’d much rather be in the minority. They don’t want the work and responsibility of making their ideals a reality, to do the dirty work of getting people elected. They’d much rather sit and complain. For people who claim to be “the future” when it comes to organizing an effective political movement, of being “reality based,” they’re not very effective or based in reality. All they are is “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”