I asked this on Twitter yesterday, but I think it’s an important issue. At lunch with a coworker last week talking over the “pay freeze” nonsense and the bargaining over the Bush tax cuts, I was a bit ready to throw the towel in over Barack Obama….
Now in political advocacy terms it doesn’t make sense to say “well, I’ll forgive a misguided pivot to austerity because the Vietnam War was a bigger mistake.” Nor does it make sense to say “I don’t care about claimed assassination powers because the internment of the Japanese was a bigger curtailment of civil liberties.” Nor does it make sense to say, “I won’t complain about cutting a deal with Pharma to get a major expansion of the welfare state because FDR cut a deal with white supremacists to get his.” You need to stand up for what you believe in in politics and complain when elected officials don’t do the right thing.
I listen to Slate‘s political gabfest, and last week Emily Bazelon was bemoaning the lack of effectually of the Democratic majority in 2008-2010. David Plotz pointed out the passage of healthcare reform, and Bazelon brushed it off with “oh yeah.” Basically, it seems like liberals just want an eternal revolution and deny the reality that change is hard. Conservatives aren’t the only “stupid party” (Bazelon is a Yale graduate,* but that doesn’t prevent her from behaving in a petulant manner because the Democrats didn’t dole out all the policy candies she craved).