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.