Tuesday, April 05, 2011

My Emancipation Proclamation

On the heels of Obama's election-mongering kickoff, I found Glenn Greenwald's observation to be right on time:
One thing is for certain: right now, the Democratic Party is absolutely correct in its assessment that kicking its base is good politics. Why is that? Because they know that they have inculcated their base with sufficient levels of fear and hatred of the GOP, so that no matter how often the Party kicks its base, no matter how often Party leaders break their promises and betray their ostensible values, the base will loyally and dutifully support the Party and its leaders (at least in presidential elections; there is a good case that the Democrats got crushed in 2010 in large part because their base was so unenthusiastic).

In light of that fact, ask yourself this: if you were a Democratic Party official, wouldn't you also ignore -- and, when desirable, step on -- the people who you know will support you no matter what you do to them? That's what a rational, calculating, self-interested, unprincipled Democratic politician should do: accommodate those factions which need accommodating (because their support is in question), while ignoring or scorning the ones whose support is not in question, either because they will never vote for them (the hard-core right) or will dutifully canvass, raise money, and vote for them no matter what (the Democratic base). Anyone who pledges unconditional, absolute fealty to a politician -- especially 18 months before an election -- is guaranteeing their own irrelevance.
And I'd say all the efforts of my husband and his political friends and connections during the last election were thrown into perfect irrelevance after deed was done and the oath was taken. Despite the fact that Obama's networks continue to ply us with never-ending e-mails, the connection has been broken. Time and again we have watched him betray his own promises and ostensible ideals, and time and again we have watched him throw in the towel before the fight even began. And when we dared to complain, we were called names and made the butt of his mouthpieces' jokes, and it was made known to us in no uncertain terms that we were to sit down and shut up until he decided it was time for us to elect him again. In the meantime, he continued to sell us out to his Treasury cadre and cave to the bellowing brutes of the John Birch Society and the Chick Publications yokels of Christian Reconstructionism. The choice as I see it now rests on how we want our deaths served up to us: fairly quickly with no bullshit, as the New Social Darwinist Party intends, or in the piecemeal death-of-a-thousand fashion that has become Obama's trademark way of giving the Right everything it asks for. And don't tell me how he's done some good things. Even George Bush signed into being the largest national protected area that ever existed in the United States. But does it really matter to the children of Iraq who lost their eyes and arms?

I have no interest in being played for a sucker anymore. All through my adult life I've had a history of voting for people I believe in, and I'll be damned if I am going to stop now. Obama can kiss my ass, and get his rich buddies on Wall Street to knock on doors for him.