Well, that didn’t take long. In today’s paper Susan Collins has shown Barack Obama exactly what his latest attempt to make nice with Republicans is going to yield. Exactly what it has so far, nothing.
Give it up, Barack Obama, give it up and be The one and only President it is possible for you to be given your circumstances. Your Lincolnesque pose is a flop, in so far as governing goes. You aren’t in his position, you don’t have his advantages. Maybe you don’t have his skills or maybe he’d do as badly in your shoes. I don’t know if you are imagining yourself giving Old Abe’s Second Inaugural or some other speech but it’s not working for you.
Let’s state the obvious first, the Republicans are counting on the racists who would hate you and oppose you if you were Lincoln, Washington, Jesus and God all rolled into one. Racist hatred of you is a cornerstone in their unstated strategy, it frequently seeps to the surface. Peeling your support apart through getting you to betray your core supporters is another, making you fail one way or another is the ultimate goal. And that is working too. Your self-deluded attempts to woo them with your considerable charm and persuasive powers is one of their most successful weapons. Those are beginning to fail with your supporters who you wooed during the nomination and general election campaigns, expecting them to work with your enemies is doing their work for them.
Give it up, Mr. President, your chosen office means you don’t get to dally with them any longer. You are betraying those who supported you, the ones who might still be pursuaded to support you agin but only if you immediately give up being the chump of the Republicans.
You are not only choosing to lose and so being a loser, yourself, you are bringing down Democrats from the top of the ticket to the bottom. You are doing the opposite of what Lincoln did, he began a political party, you are ending one. And with it you are insuring that government by, of and for The People will perish. You can savor any irony you like that it is nominally the party of Lincoln who is the beneficiary of your failure, the rest of us don’t find it a savory prospect.
When Did Obama Meet With The House Progressive Caucus For That Long?
I’m not seeing signs that Barack Obama is abandoning his failed strategy, if those are there but are subtle, they’re too subtle to matter. Progressive Democrats have to try something else.
I’ve been a consistent critic of the third party delusion, the history of the dozens of third parties is a story of ideals gone awry, personality cults and total failure. They are a waste of our too little time and resources. I would not encourage even the most disillusioned progressive to go a route that is as likely to fail as Barack Obama’s charm offensive against the Republicans.
But if the House Progressive Causus and the ten most liberal Senators began to act up together, working from a list of basic demands - a real government option, health care bill foremost among them, a real jobs bill second - and making that an absolute requirement for their votes on ANY OTHER LEGISLATION Barack Obama and Harry Reid couldn’t ignore them.
If you wanted to you could think of it as a third party within the party. The Blue Dogs apparently are and they are the rump that is wagging the entire thing right now. As pointed out here for the past two months, their threatened defection and obstruction are the only thing that makes them effective.
This virtual third party of the left would begin with the advantage of having office holders in place, office holders who gained office ON THE BASIS OF A PROGRESSIVE AGENDA. They would not be spoilers, giving seats to the enemies of progress. From everything I’ve seen, it’s the lack of progressive action by the Obama administration and the Democrats in the Senate that are the cause of our problems. Who knows? If the progressives forced some spine into the president and Harry Reid, maybe they could save this administration from itself. Who knows, maybe they could force the Senate to work on the basis of 51 votes, just like it has for Republicans with far fewer numbers of seats.