A Whiff Of Grapeshot (Slightly Revised)

Can be just that. Or it can signify the rout of an army, unleashing shattering changes. The difference? Often literally what we choose.

So it is now, post-Coakley. Such pointless freneticism.

Who is surprised the Democrats can’t govern? Old news. 2006 and it’s limp aftermath gave us that tattoo you. The remaining variable is Obama. So people ponder can he be or is he worth salvage?

What will he stand for? What demonstrably will he fight for? With mind as well as heart? The Stiftung still doesn’t know. Do you?

We’ve all along suspected the answer is not much. But we didn’t think he’d blow a first year this badly. We have to apologize to a friend of ours at Fox News. He called pretty much this entire state of affairs last April, including the unemployment rate. We lost that bet. (Note to Doris Kearns Goodwin, enough with the bizarre JFK juxtapose at this point, in January 2010).

Whatever happens we hope the netroots collectively continue to identify promising progressive candidates and encourage them to run. Such excellent work allows people like the Stiftung to find out how we can help. Even with just a donation. Disagreement among the ‘Left’ [sic] about specific tactical issues ala confronting Obama or supporting them on this or that meme? All small potatoes. Eyes on the prize. A new ‘Democratic Party’ that can govern awaits.

Here’s a request. For the next seconds here put Coakley, Obama, Palin — everyone else — aside. And let’s ask ourselves the very questions we posed to Obama above: (i) what we stand for; (ii) what we demonstrably will fight for; and (iii) with mind as well as heart? See how clear it is that this moment in time is about us, not the careers or egos of politicians. These public figures recede to their proper place. Agents or employees. In life some work out, some don’t. Some will surprise us and even betray — ala Joementum. This is our story, not theirs. They’re just passing through.

We opened with the Valmy reference to make this point. If it’s our story then we can see a whiff of grapeshot for what it is. And ignore all the frantic babbling. Pick up the pieces and go forward. Some in our story are still in Act 1 (albeit the troupe is not promising). Is it possible Obama will recover and see a new noontide sun? Like Reagan, rekindle his connection with the American people before 2012 should unemployment fall? Perhaps. But then remember, he is simply our agent, our employee to take this country where we want it to go. The Stiftung personally won’t pretend to believe he knows the way.

The goal was always getting our country back from radical Christian Socialist Authoritarianism. If these agents or employees can’t do it, we’ll find some who will. This Coakley debacle is a wake up call. Avoid seductive intoxication with personalities and ‘life stories’. It may be the final price will shock us all. Possibly we are fated to endure yet another Great Restoration with all its ensuing rapacity. Just for the chance to throw the dice again for the right to even try and win back a trebly battered republic.

Still a deal worth doing. If *we* all collectively decide that’s where we and the country ought to be. In the interim, let’s all put the Olbermanns of the world on ‘mute’ (Tweety, beyond ‘mute’) and get back to work, wiser. It’s just a whiff of grapeshot. Forward, shall we?


  1. RedPhillip says

    “The remaining variable is Obama. […] But then remember, he is simply our agent, our employee to take this country where we want it to go.”

    It may be true that those elected to whatever national office are our agents/employees, at least in an ‘as designed’ sense. We deal, however, with the situation ‘as built’, and I have no question at all that while they are certainly someone’s agents and employees, they are absolutely not mine nor that of anyone I know (regardless of how any given person may have chosen in the marketing Kabuki of US elections).

    There was never any doubt about Obama. The Hopeā„¢ and ChangeĀ® of his campaign had as much real content as the terms ‘New’ and ‘Improved’ have appearing on any random product’s package re-design. Virtually everything put in place by the Warlord stands, now given the gloss of official affirmation from both factions of the ruling party. Obama’s charge was to placate genuine popular hatred of the Warlord faction’s policies, neuter what passes for a ‘left’ opposition, and put prettier, more well-spoken lipstick on the Empire.

  2. Tbilisi says

    Right on brother.

    I believe in decreasing, not increasing, infant mortality in the United States.

    I believe in the (re)devolution of power from the federal government to the states.

    I believe in functional, professional, and modern Weberian bureaucracies.

    I believe in checks and balances, of all descriptions.

    I believe in a contracting industry in which contractors resemble not players in a shadow government, but either an indie record label promoting talent or (unionized) prostitutes in Amsterdam.

    I believe in the Monroe Doctrine more than the Truman Doctrine, but not exclusively.

    I believe in freight rail; coast-to-coast, border-to-border, and low cost.

    I believe in power and authority for myself over my own life.

    I believe in equal pay for equal work.

    I believe in increased electronic surveillance of the state over the citizen only if also of the citizen over the state.

    I believe change is possible in the undiscovered country.

    I know what I believe.

    Fuck you

    if you don’t.

  3. Comment says

    We think the Brown campaign – while instructive – also has some exceptional elements – He has a solid block of conservatives combined with low info voters and angry types and Obama’s base was not really that enthused by Coakley. Coakley also campaigned as if the entire state was what the right wing thought it was – Cambridge liberals. She just really PO’d a lot of peoople and her ignorance of basic baseball facts was just incredible. We do think Mass, Va, and NJ were false dawns for the GOP and once the jobs cycle improves and the economy on a better footing and Obama makes some better enemies among unpopular elites – then he will weather the midterms.

    The weakening of USA under Warlord/Cheney was so massive and accross the board and so stunning that people still have not really groked it. Entire swaths of the US just stopped functioning and their economies disappeard. Almost all growth was bubble and illusionary.

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