Barney Frank whines about the effectiveness of partisanship
The House's umpteenth attempt to repeal Obamacare passed today, to no one's surprise. Barney Frank, everyone's favorite errand boy for big finance, took a moment to complain about it to Esquire, and I was struck by his analysis of his enemies:
"I spent 12 years here with the Republicans in power, and it was never like this. The Clinton impeachment was all about power. The Terri Schiavo thing, they all really thought they had the country behind them. But they weren't all extremists. Now, all the Republicans are either part of the Tea Party, or they're afraid of being in a primary with one of them. They're behaving more like an opposition parliamentary party in Great Britain. It's 100-percent opposition, and it's our job, as Democrats, to make sure the American people know how extreme this party has become."
Gee, Barney, it sounds like partisans on the far right have the will and the stomach to throw their own people overboard if they don't conform to their views. And you think this is terrible because in the good old days everybody held hands and sang kumbaya and passed NAFTA together.
Now, this isn't a perfectly applicable lesson for the left, because the rightist partisans have the shadowy backing of all manner of psychotic oligarchs who know the right's intentions will lead to neofeudalism. The Democratic Party can't be fundamentally changed from within. However, it might respond to outside pressures. Like, for example, if Obama were to lose the election this November by a margin of 2% or 3% and Jill Stein gets 4% of the vote. That would really rile up the shitsuckers in the media and the blogosphere. They'd yell and scream at all the leftists, accusing them of repeating what happened with Nader in 2000 (never mind that the whole story is a lie).
And the proper response to that, if it happens, will be to spit in their faces and say, "Of course we're the reason Obama lost. We're quite proud of it. We'll do it again, everywhere we are. So you can either get used to losing, all thanks to us, or perhaps you could start responding to our views. Or you could make our activities illegal, but that will end badly for you in the long run."
There's always something to be gleaned from the behavior of successful extremists.