Recently, on several blogs, and principally Daily Kos, there has been push back from some about the criticism they’re receiving from many other progressives. What they say, either overtly or walking around it, is that they’re just “demanding that people stand firm on their principles.” Yes, they want Democrats to emulate the Tea Party Republicans, and never compromise. Those of us who accept compromise as a part of the process are considered “weak-spined,” “appeasers,” and “compromising for the sake of compromise.” Right. As if they’re such sterling examples of “standing firm.”
It’d be laughable, if it weren’t so sad. Let’s see, Daily Kos. A site with the mission to elect “more and better Democrats.” Which has been thrown into the garbage can for some time. You see, that “principle,” or heck, even one about supporting “pure progressives” has often been disregarded, or overlooked when it suits them. Anyone remember Kos stating he was “so over ConservaDems?” I do, since it applied to an election I was active in. But that’s OK, it turned out we didn’t need his blessing. But he managed to change that stance when it came to Bill Halter in Arkansas. Yes, you see, by the time the various “pure progressive” blogs got finished, you’d have thought that Bill Halter was to the Left of Dennis Kucinich. Which didn’t really bear a whole lot of relationship to Halter’s actual record in office. You see, his actual record was of a moderate, a “center” politician, with a few stances that were actually to the right of center. But, because he was willing to say the right thing about labor unions and a few other things, he became a “progressive hero.”
That was followed up by Kos’ embrace of Charlie Crist. By the time Daily Kos and other “progressive” blogs got through, he’d undergone a makeover. Instead of the Republican Governor of the State of Florida, with a conservative record and stances, he was a “progressive” who was running as an Independent. Who had promised to caucus with the Republicans in the Senate if he won.
That’s also the case with “demand purity” Jane Hamsher. It’s not just that her advertising business does work with Republicans, who can forget her demand that every one, and in particular Democrats, boycott Fox News. Which she promptly ditched when it came to her appearances on Fox News. Her demand for progressive purity also managed to be set aside when she teamed up with Grover Norquist.
Over and over again, you see it. The very places whose owners and bloggers demand “no compromise,” who want Democrats to “stand on principle” turn out to have a very different definition of that when it comes to themselves. It’s very much a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”
Way back when I was the military, one of the leadership principles we learned was “Set The Example.” Quite simply, you had to show that you did everything you were asking others to do. Otherwise you weren’t going to get a lot of respect. Which is exactly where I am with them. You want to ask Democrats to stand on principle? Tell you what, let’s see you do it. So far you haven’t, unless your principle is “What makes me money or gets me power.” You get to tell us about standing on principle when you do it, not before.