Letter to a Friend...
OK, every once in a while I'll check the comments at Digby's place, especially on her extremely myopic "Woe is me, these awful Republicans are ruining everything, whatever are we to do? The Democrats are our only hope, regardless of their policies, issue positions, and actions-past, present, and future." posts. This one is a good example of the genre (update: here's an even more exemplary post).
Commenter 'bakho' responded to Digby's post in the way that only a true Democratic partisan could.
Let's see what 'bakho' had to say in comments:
Sorry, but the DEMS do NOT control Congress. 49 GOP Senators + Joe Lieberman + Dick Cheney gives the PUGS a 51-50 majority on Iraq.
Liberman does caucus with the Dems because of social issues, but 49 Dems + 2 independents is not enough to stop the Pugs from filibustering (and they are blocking a LOT of legislation).
Everything the Dems try to do right, like SCHIP and troop withdrawal from Iraq can be vetoed by the commander-in-chimp. Dems won't have power to change the course we are on until they have an ally in the White House and a clear majority in Congress.
We did get the min wage increase. Be thankful for that.
So, here's my quick response to this oh so common and oh so retarded lament of the bold, Fightin' Dem Online Nerd Battalion Member.
Tell Lieberman to fuck off. Make him caucus with the Republicans. Get off-line for 20 minutes a day and do some fucking work to have your party act as a functioning opposition party.
ps-How adorable are you talking about the minimum wage? So cute. I recommend you read this:
It is the liberals, then, who count. They are, as it might be, the canaries in the sulphurous mineshaft of modern democracy. The alacrity with which many of America’s most prominent liberals have censored themselves in the name of the War on Terror, the enthusiasm with which they have invented ideological and moral cover for war and war crimes and proffered that cover to their political enemies: all this is a bad sign. Liberal intellectuals used to be distinguished precisely by their efforts to think for themselves, rather than in the service of others....
...But back home, America’s liberal intellectuals are fast becoming a service class, their opinions determined by their allegiance and calibrated to justify a political end. In itself this is hardly a new departure: we are all familiar with intellectuals who speak only on behalf of their country, class, religion, race, gender or sexual orientation, and who shape their opinions according to what they take to be the interest of their affinity of birth or predilection. But the distinctive feature of the liberal intellectual in past times was precisely the striving for universality; not the unworldly or disingenuous denial of sectional interest but the sustained effort to transcend that interest.
It is thus depressing to read some of the better known and more avowedly ‘liberal’ intellectuals in the contemporary USA exploiting their professional credibility to advance a partisan case. Jean Bethke Elshtain and Michael Walzer, two senior figures in the country’s philosophical establishment (she at the University of Chicago Divinity School, he at the Princeton Institute), both wrote portentous essays purporting to demonstrate the justness of necessary wars – she in Just War against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World, a pre-emptive defence of the Iraq War; he only a few weeks ago in a shameless justification of Israel’s bombardments of Lebanese civilians (‘War Fair’, New Republic, 31 July). In today’s America, neo-conservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig-leaf. There really is no other difference between them.
To stop them finally and at long last, we must tell the truth -- all of it, sparing no details and leaving out none of the particulars. Then we will be able to proceed into the future. We will still not have redeemed ourselves or earned forgiveness; that is not possible now or for many years to come, not after what we have done. But we will have honored the truth, and the dead and injured -- and we will have begun to make real a commitment to never again permitting ourselves the commission of such acts.
Some may object that such a course is not politically "smart," or that it will endanger the Democrats' chances in 2008. To such objections, I simply ask: Where in God's name are your priorities? Hundreds of thousands of innocent people are dead, tens of thousands are horribly injured, countless numbers have been and are being tortured, and the horrors still continue, day after blood-drenched day.
The United States government has committed acts of great evil. There is no other word for it. If we genuinely wish to get past this terrible moment in our history, we must tell the truth. All of it.
With regard to Iran in particular, the current Democratic Congress has already approved the critical rationales for an attack. The Senate approved -- by a vote of 97 to nothing -- an amendment that accuses Iran of committing acts of war against the United States. Thus, if we were to attack to Iran, we would purportedly only be acting defensively, and in response to what Iran has already done. This amendment, based entirely on unproven, propagandistic, intentionally warmongering allegations, was pushed in large part by Lieberman. Democrats (and progressive bloggers) may condemn the former Democrat all they wish: the fact remains that every Democratic Senator who voted on this measure voted for it. When the wider war begins, they will have no serious basis on which to object.
Behind all the outrageous events of this era --- Iraq, global warming, the debt, election fraud, war profiteering, failure to create alternative energies, species extinction --- is a culture of non-accountability, cronyism, and obscene profit. How will it stop? Raising the minimum wage by $1.50 over three years might not do it. Arrogance, deceit and blatant crime are responsible for these crises. Not poor execution. Accountability is the way out. There is no reason why we can’t pass fair, life-saving legislation at the same time. We can walk and chew gum. We have grown so accustomed to living in a world of euphemism and double speak, so accustomed to not calling reality by its name, that we think there is no reality except what we can get away with, the reality that sells the product or “develops the resource.” Not true. Nature won’t be fooled. And we only imperil ourselves and our cherished institutions if we don’t hold ourselves accountable. It’s not about partisan revenge, it’s about naming the crime. Some very bad people have broken our laws, dashed our hopes, mortgaged our futures, broken our hearts, and betrayed our country. They need to pay the piper. If we don’t hold them accountable, who will we allow to hold us accountable for making things right?
It’s a platitude to say that political progress is the art of compromise. We compromise in order to share as much justice and opportunity as evenly as we can. But when great crimes have been committed by our elected leaders, we shouldn’t compromise with our sense of justice. It’s hard to admit because as citizens we are responsible, too. But that responsibility demands an accounting, demands an earning back of national integrity by investigating the depth of the crimes. That’s called maturity. Our leaders have inflicted an enormous trauma on Iraq and on us. We will all be much healthier if we heal by inquiry and justice rather than repression.
Oh wait, I'm sorry. You'd have to pull up your pants and stop wanking to this for an hour or so. My bad, get back to work, bakho. Be sure to pull that lever for Obama extra hard. That'll save the country.
Crossposted at ScaryShit.
edited slightly for clarity at 8:27 pm (MST).