Throwing It All Away

It is better to be wrong and strong than right and weak.

William Jefferson Clinton

Everyone already knew that congressional Democrats were a craven bunch. Even before 2006. Democrats re-taking both houses merely confirmed details of feckless confusion; an objective congressional observer today can really only shrug and repeat ‘I told you so.’

The magnitude of Obama’s obsessive compulsion to flinch before political forces dedicated to his (and by extension, our) political execution is unexpected. From Putin to Bibi to Mitch McConnell to the Fox apparant, he has caved in measures large and small. Not just once. And like the proverbial weakling with low self esteem, Obama vents his anger and shame on those he can – his liberal and progressive base, and the independents who took a chance and ‘hoped.’

Bow Before Our Anger, Submit To Our Irrationality

Readers can recall the Stiftung remained highly dubious that a 46 year old with two years in the Senate and no managerial experience at all has sufficient gravitas for this historical moment. Or put another way, he has not experienced enough national-level political combat to justify the absurdly high expectations pushed upon him, and which he passively aggressively courted. Hence, our moniker, ‘Boy King’ at the time.

For a brief moment we retired the nick name. Now, it seems insufficient.

Obama the man is the epitome so far of one who mistakes reading or talking about something with actually knowing or internalizing the experience of something. This we believe lies at the heart of Obama’s foolish jump start of the Movement’s unjustifiable resurgence. He does not ‘get’ active, real world nihilism.

Having spent decades in the bowels of the Movement we are not part of ‘Obama’s liberal Left [sic] base.’ Nor are we wonks on health care policy. But we do know this: (i) the Movement savors flinching; and (ii) independents and others watching both the Movement and Obama will have another gut check on who is the stronger actor. That meta-political snapshot of strength will be the far more enduring and powerful emergent political truth than the technicalities of this bill or that one.

Obama demonstrates that he lacks the necessary internal strength to deal with the Movement, let alone assert a separate positive agenda. Democrats and the clueless commentariat in 2009 who remain willfully stupid deserve the political annihilation the Movement plans for them. Imagine, after Newt in Congress and 8 years of the Warlord, Alter can say this August that it’s all an eye opener. ‘It’s amazing’ to them — I think those were Alter’s words — that the Movement disdains liberal democracy.

One can not engage in serious politics in the 21st Century with such people. The Movement plays for keeps. The Democrats just play. What remains unclear to us is whether the netroots writ large can rebuild a new Democratic Party from within fast enough. Or whether the whole rotten edifice needs toppling in favor of something new, unfettered with ghosts of mediocracies past.

The Stiftung’s major interest is first preserving and then strengthening liberal democracy, knowing that the Movement only may be coaxed into mere participation at best, but does so with no fealty and a hunger to bring it all down. We do not carry here an ideological axe to grind on the current menu list of hot button issues. Our politics are perhaps best be described as classically liberal.

To all of our detriment America doesn’t have a genuine ‘Left’ anymore (the word is our Emmanuel Goldstein as faux boogeyman). We leave reconstitution of a vibrant and healthy Left up to others. They have our best wishes. We worry whether Obama’s weakness also will not bring down at least portions of the progressive movement vested in him. A week is a lifetime and all that. Still we hope they are self aware enough to know that they must jettison him when necessary despite the complicated emotions. Keep eyes on the prize.

All of us can’t afford the Movement’s return to actual power (as opposed to Obama’s incredible gift now of letting the Movement govern by negative implication). We close by asking ourselves for the umpteenth time under the breath, ‘Why are Democrats so stupid?’


  1. A Random Quote says

    “Who would have ever thought that Dick Helms would survive both of us?”
    ~James Schlesinger to William Colby
    New York Mag 12-22-75

  2. A Random Quote says

    “If Bill Moyers were in a whorehouse in Canberra, the White House [phone] operators could find him.”


  3. A Random Quote says

    “Ford – who as vice-president had told John Osborne of The New Republic the that he might fire [James] Schlesinger if he ever got to be president – had never enjoyed the company of the secretary of defense.

    That Saturday morning, Schlesinger lectured Ford. He had a habit of taking his pipe out of his mouth and pointing at the stem of at the president. That stem-pointing habit always got on Ford’s nerves. After all, the president never stemmed anyone, and he had the right.”

    ~New York Magazine 12-22-75

  4. Comment says

    No doubt the funding sources in Dem politics have shifted since the 70s and 80s – That is a big factor/

  5. Euskal says

    Dr. Leo: a very astute observation of the current machinations of Versailles.. One thing one can be proud of hearing the last vestages of AFL/CIO stating that paybacks will be comming for the lack of support of the public option. The public option is clearly the line being drawn in the sand of the progressive movement, whose dear leader Edward the Lion Kennedy its last leader. What does Obama do come next elections with no support from the progressives and labor. The traditional democratic support… Is there not going to be no fallout? It appears the shut up and sit quietly in the back of the bus, clintorian approach is not taking hold… What fun times we are approaching. Vive le republic!!

  6. Comment says

    Btw – this health care hazing will be good for Obama down the road – just like HRC’s challange was. The GOP is sacrficing legitimacy with with their populists BS and lies –

  7. Comment says

    By the end of his first term, we think Obama will have most health care legistlation done – Not all, but enought to wrap himself in the Waterloo label as Wellington, rather than Napoleon, so as to shove it down DeMint’s face.

    We think Obama should also do more – indirectly – to get the other side worried about their crimes.

  8. Comment says

    We think all this controversy will subside – Obama, IMO, will get up t0 80 percent re health care and the GOP will exhaust itself eventually confronting all sorts of issues as they waste time worrying about Obama speaking to schools etc.

    These town halls are just average folks who have been manipulated by vested interests and over time it will subside.

    Right now – it just seems crazy because there are no GOP foils – The media absurdly acts absurd – they don’t really care about health care.

    The socio-political challanges of health care are immense – There are many in these town halls who don’t have health care and (like with death tax et al) and they have been used as tools by slobs on the right.

    The politics are all culturally coded and have a racial subtext – So it will be tough.

    Mid-east peace will be tough too, but that will help Obama with health care – It will take 8 years to doboth.

  9. Proper Gander says

    In retrospect, it is clear what has happened: the Democratic Party has moved too far to the right. It has assimilated the center and the center-right without healing the fault lines which lie between these segments of the electorate and the progressive left. While this outcome might seem acceptable in a merely partisan contest, the nation would be better served by a reformed conservative party (one which excludes the lunatics of the current Republican party as a matter of principle).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


CommentLuv badge