Home National Politics The Democratic Scorpion, or How We Sting Ourselves in the Collective Ass

The Democratic Scorpion, or How We Sting Ourselves in the Collective Ass

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So the President’s running for re-election. That should come as no surprise to anyone. Most Presidents aspire to a second term. Only natural, and we, as Democrats, should be pleased. Whatever you say, he’s accomplished a lot – more than his previous two Democratic predecessors.

So that’s that then. We should all rest happy in our beds. After all, we have a candidate, ready and waiting for whatever political personage the other side thinks to throw at us.

Only we’re not, are we? Come on, hands up, all you people, allegedly from the Left, who are wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ for a great white hope to rise up from the ashes and primary the President.  Do I hear the Pumas wailing in the wilderness for Hillary to change her mind? How about Alan Grayson? He’s sending out duns for contributions, with the flyer “Elect Alan Grayson” attached – only he doesn’t say for what position he wants election. Do I hear Dennis Kucinich, preaching his interpretation of the Constitution to read that the President needs impeachment?

I was born two years into Eisenhower’s first term. I barely remember Kennedy’s election. I cast my first vote as an 18 year-old for George McGovern in his landslide defeat of 1972, during my first year at college.  I can honestly say that at no time during my adult life can I ever remember a Republican party in such abject disarray and without any cohesive direction or guiding principle other than to undo maliciously any and all previous work accomplished by the Democratic Party, and this President in particular, since the Obama Administration inherited the shitstorm left in the wake of George W Bush and his merry men.

Immediately after the 2008 election, the media, who purport to know these things better than we, pronounced the Republican party dead in the water and rotting. Less than a year later, however, that selfsame media were all over the phenomenon that was the Tea Party like the proverbial bad rash. We know now, even with the debacle that occurred in November 2010, that was all an illusion. They, the media, and their corporate masters wanted us to believe in the power of the populist movement on the Right, even whilst some amongst them were exposing the real corporate roots of the monster, and we swallowed it like a bloated trout swallows bait.

The Tea Party is and was as strong as the media made them. Fox hired their poster girl, Palin, but various and sundry so-called Leftwing pundits, even those who retreat behind a comedian’s mask, constantly gave this willfully ignorant woman more airtime than she deserved, never ceasing to cite her, almost on a daily basis. They leant credence to her shallowness and made her a force to be feared.

Certain areas of the Democratic party, instead of fighting back against the Tea Party and their rhetoric, all of which was based on Big Lie propaganda and the relentless promotion of it, sought to vent ceaseless criticism in the direction of the President, himself, remorselessly for the entire first two years of his tenure. At first, this exercise was piously explained as an effort to show the lock-step Right that the Left was free to criticize their leaders, when they deserved it; that this criticism was intended to be constructive and was entirely for the purpose of guidance. We were “holding his feet to the fire,” making him perform to our specifications.

How many times did we hear this explanation?

We heard it so many times that we were unaware that we were actually criticizing absolutely everything the President did or didn’t do, parsing every word he uttered and then screaming every word we demanded that he say, but didn’t. Nothing he did was enough to the point that we got confused about what it actually was he was trying to do, and we confused ourselves to such a point that many of us ended up believing and still believe that he’s accomplished nothing. It’s so ridiculous that many on the Left are so graceless that they’d rather choke than admit when significant achievements are actually attained by the President in the way he sought to attain them.

It’s not the President’s fault that he addresses us as adults and expects us to respond in kind, when the majority of this country are spoiled children dependent upon instant gratification. Change you can believe in is often slow, almost imperceptible change, to the point that such change becomes the norm before anyone originally opposed to it realises anything is different. Slow change means lasting change.

So two years were wasted rounding on the President whilst a fringe element that actually embarrassed normal Republicans ran rampant. They were handed power in 2010, and now a lot of people – possibly many who voted for them – are experiencing buyers’ remorse. Just look at events unfolding in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana if you want proof.

Now, the Democrats are being handed what any sane person would recognise as a sure-fire victory in 2012 – a second term for the President, a chance to strengthen the majority in the Senate and to recapture the House.

Not only are the Republicans fielding a veritable ship of fools hoping to vye for the GOP nomination in 2012, they’re actually falling apart at the seams in the House they won last November.

At the moment, the potential Presidential candidate the GOP might offer the people could come from the likes of Sarah Palin, mistress of syntactical malapropism and eternal mean girl; Michele Bachman, history and geography revisionist, who would have us believe that the Founding Fathers didn’t rest until they’d eliminated slavery and that the first shot fired in our quest for independence occured in New Hampshire and not Massachusetts; Mike Huckabee, the “aw shucks” parson, who’d force us all at gunpoint to digest an intellectual diet administered by a sinister Dominionist faux history professor; Mitt Romney, commonly known as “Flipper,” but not as cute or clever; Newt Gingrich, trailing three wives and numerous ethics violations; Rick Santorum, homophobe; Herman Cain, living proof that a black man can aspire to the KKK; and Donald Trump, born-again birther, corporationmeister and reality television star.

Did I forget anyone? Oh, yes! Tim Pawlenty, or rather PeeWee Herman pretending to be Tim Pawlenty, who panders to the Tea Party by introducing himself as “Tea-Paw.”

Pretty damned sickly, and in a normal world, the current President could easily beat anyone of that motley crew with a modicum of support from his party; but I seriously doubt he has such support – certainly from very few currently in residence on Capitol Hill and definitely not from a particular tranche of his own party.

Too many elected Democrats in both Houses have been too quick to demand that the President interpose himself directly in the job they’re elected to do – legislate. Like everyone else, they’re looking for a weird combination of Mr Goodbar crossed with Big Daddy. And the supporters keep on holding those Presidential feet to the proverbial fire.

We’re less than a week away from the first government shut-down since 1995. Most of us remember that. It left egg on the face of Newt Gingrich and proved, once more, that Bill Clinton really, really was the Comeback Kid.  But Bill Clinton’s not in the White House. We’ve got a President whom his own alleged supporters are too ready to blame for everything that goes wrong, aided and abetted by a shallow and deliberately misinforming media. More importantly, we’ve got a weak and timid Speaker, nursing a drinking problem that’s no real secret and desperately trying to perform responsibly whilst pandering to the fringe minority of his party which is proving to be the tail wagging the dog. If there’s a government shut-down, as much as some of us realise that the fault lies squarely with the intransigence of the Republicans, our media masters, with a little help from various and sundry elected Democrats and a lot of complaining from many of the Progressive base, will only make the GOP’s whine about the shut-down being all the fault of the Democrats a perceived truth.

The events of last week should have been an epiphany for the Left, but it wasn’t. On the one hand, we had Eric Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, introduce a bill that not only had a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, but also was blatantly unconstitutional, as it purported to make legislation passed only in the House become the undisputed law of the land. When Cantor announced to an assembled press corps on Wednesday, his intent to introduce this legislation, not one member of the media covering Capitol Hill shouted out in protest against the total constitutional ignorance of such an act. More importantly, Cantor’s Speaker, John Boehner, stood silently in the background, to the right of Cantor, and expressed no surprise, no disbelief and no consternation at such a wantonly disgraceful act.

Indeed, the only media person who pursued this affront vociferously was Lawrence O’Donnell, who had formerly worked as a Congressional aide, and who obviously knew more about the real Constitution than anyone currently working in the media and certainly any elected official on Capitol Hill. When the bill was introduced on the floor of the House on Friday – appropriately April Fool’s Day – fourteen Republicans recognised it for the non-entity that it was, and voted against it, including such wingnuts as Ron Paul and Louis Gomert, the Gomer Pyle of government.

And speaking of the Pauls, Rand Paul was causing quite a stir, rivalling Dennis Kucinich, in darting to and fro, telling all and sundry about the illegality of the President’s participation in the Libyan no-fly zone initiative. Once again, O’Donnell stepped into the fray, the only media voice reminding people, again and again, that Rand had voted unanimously, along with the other 99 members of the Senate, on March 1st, on Senate Resolution 85, which called for the installation of an no-fly zone, for humanitarian reasons, over Libya. The Resolution was sponsored by such liberal lions as Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders. Rand Paul not only voted for this resolution, when an MSNBC producer actually rang his office to query this, she was met by a very young and very adolescent receptionist, being audibly coached in a blatant lie by a senior staffer, trying to justify the Senator’s support for this resolution as something that really didn’t count at all.

Instead of focusing on these totally dishonest and irresponsibly acts by the Republican party last week, instead of bringing them to the forefront in defiance of the media, the Progressive Left still nitpick, criticize and second-guess the President’s every move. It’s now come to the sorry situation that, if they don’t have a media stick with which to beat him about the head, they go about making stuff up. It seems they’ve learned well from Arianna Huffington, as much as they try to distance themselves from the ratfucker that she is. Some – at least one, blogging on the Daily Kos – have taken a leaf from Huffington’s Jayson Blair Journalist of the Year, Sam Stein, and created a potential situation from nothing more than the rantings of one Glenn Beck, who seems to be targeting Presidential advisor, Samantha Power, in a new witchunt.

In a blog posted on Daily Kos on Sunday entitled, “Obama, Don’t You ******* Fire Samantha Power!”, this person ranted and railed against the fact that, on the strength of Beck’s latest obsession, the President might even be thinking about sacking Power, when nothing in the media, not even by Stein, had emerged even speculating about this.

And this came in the wake of yet another blogger demanding that Elizabeth Warren mount a primary campaign against the President.

I was weaned on the Democratic Party, by parents born with the Democratic gene as part of their DNA make-up. I seriously don’t know now, which is worse – the Tea Party blindly allowing themselves to be guided to perdition by the Koch brothers, or the Progressive Left, espousing a hatred of all things Obama that would rival that of the Teabaggers. We really cannot see the forest for the trees.

If, for some reason, the White House is lost in 2012 – and that reason would most likely be a primary challenge – then the country really is lost. The scorpion is an insect arachnid which kills itself by repeatedly stinging itself to death with its tail, and that’s the sort of political suicide being effected by the Democratic party, especially when we continuously miss the lemons being thrown at us by the Republicans at our own expense. If the dark side regain the bully pulpit in 2012, we won’t see a Democratic party in power for a generation, and we’ll be increasingly demonised by corporatists and dominionists, whose intent is to create a theocratic nation of ignorant and undereducated serfs.

But ne’mind … we can always blame Obama.

  • Say What

    If what you’re worried about is the Democratic Party’s infinite ability to STING itself … there is no use in worrying. It will happen. The question is more about the magnitude of the quake … not the fact that there will be rumblings.

    I like this President. He’s MY President and I’m very proud of him / for him. He is an intellectual and reasonable man. His heart is in the right place and for the most part has weathered the shitstorm pretty well.

    I have complaints, which really are unrealized hopes that Mr. Obama campaigned on. But then again things could be worse. MUCH WORSE.

    There isn’t anybody in either party that can compete with Obama at this moment. I expect that will be the condition a year from now and in the immediate run up to the election.

    The Republicans still have no one to match up against to Obama. They are still in the “wait and see” mode? They make a lot of noise. They get massive amounts of TV air time at FOX News …. which is an Orwellian Doublespeak operation, corporately sponsored in this world’s leading democracy (republic).

    The Democratic Party is in the enviable position of revitalizing the “Silent Majority”. If team Obama avoids legitimizing the Fox News of this world and blasts the failed Republican policies of the past and present.  Then he stands a very good chance of getting elected in a landslide.

    The “professional” left has great arguments and policies to pursue. The reality of governing however, is that you serve all of the people and share power with other branches of government.  I can’t imagine anyone who seriously thinks they could help the Democratic party by challenging a strong sitting President.

    So I expect those Scorpions you write about will stay bottled up the jar on their own accord.  

  • DCCyclone

    …I am reminded time and again that the data consistently shows the overwhelming majority of liberals and Democrats approve, and a majority of them strongly approve, of Obama’s job performance.  In reality the Democratic base, the liberal base, are firmly behind him.  Voices to the contrary are outsized.

    I guess I’ve always been OK with this President largely because I’ve learned from experience and observation that no political leader in a democracy can live up to a particular activist’s hopes and dreams.  It’s easy to forget this, and many never realize it in the first instance, but no matter what your politics are, no matter what your basket of priorities and positions, you are a small minority.  Almost everyone else has a very different basket of politics and priorities and positions.  Any winning candidate for statewide office in a purple state, or for President, knows this reality.  They get pulled in all directions.  So they are bound to disappoint, probably everyone at some point.

    I’ve had my disappointments with some of Obama’s decisions.  But I accept them because I realize on some things, the politics are completely against us, and a President has to pick his battles–they can’t all be picked, or else they all would be lost.

    I was enthralled with Obama all through 2007 and 2008, even when I long thought he couldn’t beat Hillary.  But even in my enthrallment I knew if he won, if he was elected, we’d spend the next 4 years with so many liberals gnashing teeth about Obama not living up to their expectations.  Thus is the reality of governing, you’re responsible to the whole country, even the 60 million who voted against you.  And even the nearly 70 million who voted for Obama don’t agree with each other on as much as one might think.  So there’s no pleasing everyone in real time.  Only in history will Obama truly be judged fairly by a public that is removed from their strongest emotions of the past.

  • aksully2.0

    Scorpions aren’t insects that sting themselves.  They are arachnids that sting themselves.  But yay to the rest of this!

  • Hugo Estrada

    In business classes they teach you that a disgruntle customer complaining about something is valuable. Why? Because they are giving you feedback on what is wrong. You will never know what was the problem with the ones that quietly slipped away.

    So those in the left complaining about Obama are doing Obama and his campaign a service.

    I think that the Obama campaign has listened, and that is why the video is so understated. They don’t have a big victory to rally people behind. Actually, they do, but for whatever reason Obama has underplayed saving the economy from total destruction for the last couple of years. I don’t understand it, but he has.

    Once again, what do we gain from insulting others? Nothing but turning them off. If we really believe that this election is as important as we know it is, then we should be respectful towards those who criticize Obama. We shouldn’t count their votes in or dismiss them. We need their votes to counter-balance the more energized tea-party.

  • pontoon

    would recognize what the Republicans are attempting to do in states all across the country, as well as in the new Paul Ryan proposed budget for 2012.

    They say they are protecting “entitlement” programs for our children and grandchildren, but what they are attempting to do is dismantle every safety net our country has for our seniors and the weak in our society.

    Community Block grants for Medicaid.  Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act.  Offering a payment to seniors in lieu of Medicare so that they may purchase their own insurance.  However, they’ve not made public the fact that their payment will not keep up with inflation so that seniors will have less money every year to purchase health insurance.  They certainly won’t get more insurance for less money year after year.

    Out of Paul Ryan’s mouth just a few minutes ago in his press conference…a 10% reduction in the number of federal employees….and changing the way federal employees are paid because they make too much when compared to the private sector.

    And not one tax code revision for corporations or the wealthy.  Paul Ryan’s budget is borne by the poor and the elderly, while asking nothing of the rich or corporate America.  Again, an attempt by Republicans to kick the middle class in the stomach and continue to transfer more wealth to 1% of the US population.

    I believe, Young Gun Paul Ryan, just walked way too far out the plank and has handed the Democrats a coordinated campaign message with which we will win not only the Presidency in 2012, but many House and Senate seats.

  • totallynext

    is not needed in this discussion – and it undermines the reasons why people on the left have a voice and may not follow blindly.  There was absolutely no reason to bring race into the discussion.

    President Obama is in fact a great leader, however, he has got to remotivate the people who voted for him in the first place and that he “is expecting” to vote for him again.

    I do not have a problem with compromise or finding legitimate areas of consession.  BUT IT CANNOT BE YOUR STARTING POINT.  That is the issue at hand, one side, the Democrats, cannot be the only side of compromise.  Use the bully pulpit, call political BS – just that BS, but he has chosen to start from a position of compromise and the only consessions are from him.

    He should do daily and weekly messaging of his positions, where there have been compromise and speak up against the BS from the Republicans, put no – silence.