Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Debt Ceiling: Reason, Jackasses and Doormats

Andrew Sullivan had some good points on why the debt deal, while not great, is not nearly as bad as the handwringers make it out to be.  Nate Silver, as usual, also has a reasonable perspective on the whole thing:
If Democrats read the fine print on the debt deal struck by President Obama and Congressional leaders, they’ll find that it’s a little better than it appears at first glance.
That’s not to say that the deal is a good one for them. It concedes a lot to Republicans, and Democrats may be wondering why any of this was necessary in the first place. But the good news, relatively speaking, has to do with the timing and structure of the spending cuts contained in the deal.
Though I‘ve concentrated on the wingnuttery of the Teabaggers, the lack of an effective grassroots response falls squarely on the shoulders of the progressive AKA liberal base of the Democratic Party.   As I’ve said before, they adamantly refuse to adopt a populist tone and although they say they are for the little guy they are certainly not of them.  They are not fighters and don’t have much initiative, but annoyingly they expect others to do the work for them.  As for the complaints currently coming from the left-wing, a comment left by JEP on Talking Point Memo pretty much sums up my feelings:
The naysayers on the far left are as  bad or worse than the T-mob.

Where were they when the media was exaggerating the townhall complainers and turning them into local  heroes?

Where were they when the astroturfers were organizing that T-Mob into a movement?

When the tea-mob started forming and the townhall plants started foaming, "The Left" should have been roaming the same meetings with articulate academic foils to the Tea Mob's illiterate maniacs.

If just ONE LIBERAL grassroots entity had stood against the astroturfers as they congealed crazies into a pseudo-movement, and had the sense to become the voice opposing that staged play, even as it was acted out, instead of long after-the-fact, then the media would not have so easily converted it into the movement it really wasn't.

Without all that media enhancement, many more apathetic centrists and angry liberals would have joined the game in the mid-terms and much of this might not have happened.

But I think all those complainers are really just armchair quarterbacks, always quick to vehemently lament their liberal victimhood from the comfort of their computer desk, but never willing to stand up from those poison keyboards and go do the kind of hard work that thwarts the astroturfers and their cheap mob at the ballot box.

Now they'll blame the voter-suppressionistas, and the state legislatures and everyone else but themselves, instead of leaning even harder into the voter registration efforts most of them have never taken part in.

The answers are "out there" for progressives to grasp, unfortunately they think because their cause is right, they deserve to have government handed to them on a silver platter, and it simply does not work that way.

No matter how correct your cause may be, in this age of wholly owned corporate media and Citizens United politics, you still have to go out and earn your majority at the street level.

Sitting around on your keyboard blaming everyone but yourself won't change a thing.

Amen to that. I knew this would be the case. I saw a comment on Democratic Underground two years ago regarding those town hall debacles that pretty much sums up the “liberal base” response, “They’re so angry, I feel bad, I think they just need a big hug.” And democratic pols are going to worry about pleasing base like that?
Now Jon Stewart’s comments can be put in the naysayers column and I don’t fully agree with them, but he is actually pretty independent and definitely has not been AWOL on confronting the Teabaggers.

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