It’s Time To Start Getting In Line

Over the past year, I’ve listened to various members of the Professional Left – the various “pundits” and blog owners – make a lot of bombastic statements about the President and the Democratic Party.   As we finish up with New Hampshire, and move on through the rest of the primary season, a few things have become very, very clear.   First, any threats they made about primarying the president were complete bombast.  If they were going to do it, it’s far too late.

Second, I’ve noted a distinct lack of recruiting on their part to find “good progressives” to run.  No, I don’t mean jumping on a bandwagon, I mean finding them themselves, and in particular some to challenge actual “Blue Dogs.”  They’re running out of time, and in a lot of places they’re already too late.

Third, they’d better lose the idea that any of the Republican presidential candidates is going to be “reasonable.”  For all the swooning over Ron Paul, they’d better damn well start looking at the whole package, not just the one or two issues they think he “agrees” with them on.  If you look closely at those few issues, it turns out it’s not quite what it seems, either.    That also holds true of any third-party candidates they might be considering.

Fourth, if it hasn’t sunk in yet, there is a real difference between parties, and if the Republicans in the House haven’t taught them that, they’d better get a clue right away.  While they’re at it, they might want to take another look at the Constitution, and start paying attention to basic civics.  Because if they think things are bad now, it’s going to get a lot worse if Republicans control both houses.   They might also want to talk to the people in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida about how “wonderful” it is to have a Tea Party Republican government.   Reality check time:  If Democrats had been in office, none of the recall petitions and mass demonstrations would have been necessary, because the reasons for them would never have happened.

So there it is.  They’ve spent the last three years screaming, bitching, complaining, and attacking.  Mostly, they’ve been after the president, not Congress, which is where the blame lies.  Mostly, they’ve been unable to deliver on their “threats.”   They’ve had a good run, but it’s time for that to stop.  Criticize?  Sure, but they’d better have a valid complaint, and it had better come with a workable alternative.

There’s a saying in politics which I heard them throw around a lot back in 2008, and it holds true even more strongly today:  In the primaries you fall in love.  In the general election, you fall in line.   Well, the nominee of the Democratic Party for president is going to be Barack Obama.   No ifs, ands, or buts.  The state and local parties will nominate their candidates for office, and if you expect to have a voice in those, you’d better get cracking.    But really?  It’s time to start falling in line.  Because there’s a lot at stake, which the rest of us understand, and if you expect to be listened to,  you’d better understand it as well.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “It’s Time To Start Getting In Line

  1. You do realize that a lot of the Loud Minority Left TM want a republican to take over thinking it will hasten some “Liberal Rapture”.

  2. mdblanche

    The slacktivist crowd may not be busy recruiting candidates but I already see them popping up criticizing Debbie Wasserman Schultz for recruiting candidates not to their liking. They claim the fix is in, so it’s pointless to try. That’s the spirit.

    • (sigh) That’s what I call the real “entitlement mentality.” They want the party to do what they want, but none of them are willing to do the work themselves. 🙄

      • BIGGER SIGH! Where were their sorry asses all last year and more when the rest of us were searching, planning and working for Dem candidates to get our state government and our Congressional Reps back from the teapotty? Those jerks can BITE THE BIG CACTUS!!!

      • Yeah. If you want to put your hands on the levers of power, you gotta walk up the hill to where the levers are.
        But bitching and whining is a LOT easier than actually working for it, so that’s what they do. It’s easier to brew a pot of coffee, bitch and whine on the internet and then go on a raid in WoW than it is to go and recruit or find someone to run for office, let alone go door to door and canvas, or make phone calls for one’s favored candidate.

  3. Nathan Katungi

    Bravo, Norbrook! As always you speak TRUTH! Any one seriously interested in governance, and getting things done, should pay serious attention to your reality based commentaries.

  4. Rustbelt Dem

    Why even cater to them? It’s not like they will actually be of any benefit.

    I say it’s time to show them the door. Anyone that chooses to walk out, God speed, you won’t be missed.

    • I’m not interested in catering to them, I want them to shut the hell up. 😉

      • EXACTLY!!! CO-SIGN, doubled trippled, squared and cubed!!!

        I don’t expect any support from them at ALL. I do just want them to go away and SHUT THE FUCK UP!

        (Sorry,for the swears Norbrook. I’ve been sick with a cold and I have laryngitis which has somehow “unleashed” my inner demons)

        • Don’t worry about the swearing, and I hope you feel better soon.:-( I had a bad case of laryngitis last February (it was the end of March before my voice mostly returned), so I know how it is.

    • Completely agree, Rustbelt. They’ve been nothing but trouble for the Democratic Party since 1968. It’s time for them to GO.

  5. Pan cheetah

    Great comments. Let’s not underestimate how much harder the emoprogs are making the work that the rest of us are doing – registering voters, canvassing,writing letters, attending rallies, and soon here in New Mexico, working with the state legislators to get some decent legislation passed.

    Speaking of getting in line, Obama’s State of the Union address is Jan 24.As usual, he makes one speech and then every GOP candidate on the globe and their emoprog buddies make many statements tearing his speech down. In collective bargaining it’s called “getting more than one bite of the apple.” The antidote to that is to ask a couple friends or neighbors over to watch the speech with you. I had one last year and we had a good time nd talked about the issues. I just met yesterday with someone yesterday about having another one this year. It’sone way to drown out the screeching right after the speech.

    • OFA will have SOTU watching parties all over the country. Grab your friends and take them there so they can spend some time around people who actually get off their asses and WORK to elect their preferred candidate to office.

    • We are planning to do just that and thanks for the suggestion. This is good for everyone, not just OFA volunteers.

  6. Very well said, Norbrook.

  7. ♥ Norbrook! FIRED UP, READY TO GO for Obama/Biden 2012 and all my Dems. GOTV!!!

  8. I’m going to horribly mischaracterize your statements (though I hope to stop short of fencing strawmen) in order to make a point. Do please forgive me in advance and take this as another way of thinking about these things.

    The attitude of “emoprogs need to step up or shut up” is entirely justified, IMO. However, it is ALSO my opinion that politics is about building consensus, coalition, and alliances. At least, it should be. Yes, all the crying about Obama does make it harder to enlist people in the cause of bettering the country.

    But does that mean their grievances are all entirely unworthy of examination? Does that mean their ideals are without basis or merit? And even more to the point (because I presume the only rational answer to those questions can be “no”) do we want to risk taking the attitude of help or STFU in a political environment where purity, even of the “pull WITH me, damn you!” kind eventually results in lost elections and powerlessness?

    Forgive me with my David Brooks-like centrist impression, but I have to believe there’s a way to get the emos on board with us. And that to some degree we need them. The GOP figured out not to discredit their fringe in the 60’s. Look where it got them.

    And yes, I know there are mountainous concepts beneath my forty mattresses, disturbing what should be a serene sleep filled with collaborative fantasy. But this has got way too long, so I’ll stop there.

    • No, it doesn’t mean that their grievances are unworthy of examination. I’ve even in the past said that “we agree on goals..” It’s that they aren’t willing to acknowledge that their grievances aren’t the be-all and end-all of the world.

      The problem, particularly when it comes to tone, is that the Professional Left and the frustrati want make it a one way street. They’re they’re perfectly willing to attack, saying quite a number of things that are false, misleading, and often vicious and dog-whistling racist. When they’re called out on those, they retreat into the “watch the tone” and “you should be nice if you want to persuade me” arguments. But they are not willing to moderate their tone in return.

      When it comes to addressing their grievances, for the past several years a number of us have been pointing out exactly what they need to do to. It’s not terribly complex, it’s just hard work. What it comes down to is an “entitlement mentality.” They’re saying they’re “the base” – objectively they are not – and that the Party/Administration/Congress should give them what they want. All without their doing anything to earn that.

      It’s been 3+ years now, and I’m beyond the patience point. It’s pretty obvious they don’t want to be “persuaded,” that they’re using the “oh, you’re being nasty” arguments as an attempt to deflect attention from their own tone and lack of interest in or ability to do the work needed to help get their ideas put into action.

    • ultraviolet_uk

      “But does that mean their grievances are all entirely unworthy of examination? Does that mean their ideals are without basis or merit?”

      One of the things I find most frustrating about them is that on the substance of most issues, I either agree with them or am to the left of them. But because I refuse to agree that Obama is a corporate shill traitor who is worse than W Bush, I get branded as a right winger too.

      So no, their grievances are not worth listening to, because they are based on a fraudulent analysis of the problem – that Obama is to blame and if only we had a real Democrat in the White House, everything would be fine. Just because we might want the same policy goal, that no longer cuts it. I am fed up having to fight them as hard as the Republicans in order to seize the few small steps forward that they want to throw away because it is not a giant leap.

      • So no, their grievances are not worth listening to, because they are based on a fraudulent analysis of the problem – that Obama is to blame and if only we had a real Democrat in the White House, everything would be fine.

        Bingo! Instead of discussing precisely why something is lacking, and specific tactics to repair or gain that, it’s become a mantra that it’s all the President’s “fault.” I’ve been pretty irritated by the fact that instead of talking about details and tactics, I have to pivot and deal with the beginning false premise first. 🙄

  9. Og Gods. Reading that, I just realised I was more Brooksian than I thought, quibbling over tone. Or so it looks to me. But that’s most decidedly not what I’m saying. I think. Maybe I should STFU now.

  10. I can only say that when John Cole gave me front page status at Balloon-Juice, he should’ve given it to you. You say, much more eloquently than I, those things I want to say.

    • Thanks. 😳 I don’t think I’d have lasted long, though. Cole and I don’t see eye-to-eye on several things, so I don’t go there very often.

      • He’s amazingly liberal about his front pagers, though. And he tolerates dissent and disagreement on his own blog better than just about anybody, certainly me. That’s why I never kept my own blog going. Because I couldn’t trust myself to let the commenters say what they wanted.

        • Well, his unwillingness to police up the place is one of several reasons I don’t see eye-to-eye with him. The final straw was his leaping to Greenwald’s defense when Greenwald was seriously in the wrong (the ABL blow-up). At the time it was going on, I send him a quick message about “the hole is deep enough. stop digging.” 🙄

          I tend to be pretty laid back here about my comment policy, but there is a line. Then again, I don’t get enough most of the time to worry about it. Besides, I’m already tied up as a front-pager over at Blue Wave News, and also write on occasion over at The Albany Project. I’m also still (technically) in “good standing” over at the GOS, even though I haven’t been there in well over a year. 😉