That would be the Democrats. They are being held up by the corsets that corporate donations provide. Of course, they are also the pragmatists. But I agree with Ruth Rosen:
When I opened The New York Times today, I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. The headline of the lead story announced that "The Democrats Seem Ready to Extend Wiretap Powers."
What, I asked myself, won't they deny the Bush administration?
I'm hardly naive. I realize that most of them are worried about being viewed as soft on terror and getting re-elected. But they are complicit in creating an authoritarian infrastructure that could one day be used against any and all of us. That, of course,is the long view, which is not the way they think. For them, it's the short-term goal of getting re-elected and damn our democratic traditions.
Well, I am naive in hope. I get reborn a virgin in hope every morning, with a desperate desire to believe in human wisdom and the long arc of justice and all that other shit. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't know how the game is being played. All it means is that I remember it is a game, and that its only justification has to do with the values underlying it. If there are no values then what is the game all about?
The game the Democrats play is over the votes of the Independents. They know that the liberals and progressives have nowhere to go in a two-party system where the other party would love to eat them for morning roughage. Thus, what those dirty fucking hippies want can be ignored. Even what middle-of-the-road Democrats want can be ignored. What matters is the people who are not actually Democrats. It is those people who decide what the Democratic Party will do. Weird.
What is even weirder is this: The Republican base is all-important for the Republicans. The Democratic base is completely unimportant for the Democrats.
Riddle me that.