13 to go: The odious Professional Left, Part 1

Hey! Did you know I’m apparently an “Obamabot”? It’s supposed to be an insult; the label has been bestowed upon me many times by professional lefties and PUBs (Progressive Unicorn Brigade). I have to tell you, though, I’m in good company. Some of the smartest people I know are “Obamabots.” Why wouldn’t they be? Look at everything he’s done, despite unprecedented obstruction, and compare it to the people who constantly whine about him.

For the record, I don’t agree with President Obama on absolutely everything, and never have. But I do trust him, and trust that he has the country’s best interests at heart when he embarks on anything. He’s level-headed and smart, and he has more information than the rest of us on most situations, so I understand that one reason we may disagree is because he has more information than I do. And so far, there have been no disasters, so my instincts about Obama seem to be right on. Except for Benghazi, there have been no terrible events, and the country is progressing. Could it be progressing more quickly? Of course. But you can look to the GOP House if you really have to blame someone for the slow pace of economic recovery. 

I’m proud to be an “Obamabot,” because he’s actually done a stellar job. Unfortunately, the professional left (meaning those bloggers and other lefty media types who make a living peddling their “liberal” opinions) seems to be all too happy helping the Republican Right Wing keep on winning elections, and preventing any more progress than the President can eke out on his own. It seems as if every GOP attack ad talks about “Obama’s failed policies.” However, you’ll note that none of those ads articulates what those “failed policies” are. They don’t have to, because the professional left has always been more than willing to articulate them for everyone. Here, we have the most potentially progressive president in a generation or more, and the most vocally “progressive” side of the aisle is more than willing and able to point up all of his faults. In doing so, they offer an able assist to the GOP in their ultimate goal, which is to depress turnout, and make their “base” votes count more. 

It’s actually part of a pattern, and it undermines the entire progressive movement, because it keeps Republicans in power. The professional left seems to think Republicans are successful because they all think in lockstep, and they want all progressives to think in lockstep as well. By attacking the President repeatedly, and attacking every Democrat who doesn’t hold a purely left wing position on every issue they have created a tightrope so narrow that the only candidates who could survive it are those who represent solidly liberal districts. And let me assure you, there are not 218 of those. There are also not 30-35 solidly liberal states, which makes it difficult to get a 60-vote majority in the Senate.

Once more, it’s hard to believe I have to write this out loud, but we live in a democracy. Okay, a “democratic republic.” That means a candidate needs the most votes to get into a governmental body that makes law and policy, and those laws and policies that we claim we want passed can only be passed if a majority in that body agree to it and the executive signs it. On the federal level, that means 218 Representatves in the House and at least 60 (for the time being) in the Senate. It’s been 44 years since Democrats have had that, and for 30 of the last 34 years, Republicans have controlled enough of the government to block progress. And might I say, they’ve done that very well.

So, why are so many professional lefties and PUBs complaining about Democrats being “spineless,’ and chiding them for “not doing enough”? How are they supposed to do progressive things if the GOP controls the government? Who do they imagine is supposed to do all of these “progressive” things, if the GOP is in a position to block them right now, and has been for a generation. A lot of these types of progressives hate it when I point this out, but 34 years of neocon-dominated politics has made the populous move somewhat to the right. Many of the attitudes we convinced people were right back in the post-war era have been altered by a generation of GOP-dominated politics. “No taxes, no regulation” has been the rule for 34 years. Why would that surprise anyone? Think about it; the people who were born when Reagan was elected and the GOP took over the Senate are 34 now. The people who were just starting to vote are in their 40s and 50s. Those who were over 45 when Reagan was elected are dead now. Why would anyone think our politics should simply “be progressive” after so long? The country has moved right, and it will take time to shift t left again. But we cant do that id we don’t align with a majority party, and work within it to get better people elected. Some on the professional left can’t seem to grasp the concept that having all of the “correct progressive positions” regarding issues does not make you “progressive.” You actually have to do something to actually make progressive policies happen. That means supporting the best majority possible. We live in a country with 34 years of neocon influence in its background. If you don’t get that some Democrats will be a little farther to the right than you may like, well, you don’t get politics. Politics is what the people make of it. And in a democracy like ours, that means (hopefully) ALL of the people. Just as important now is getting the Republicans out of the majority.

I don’t understand this idea that elections many “progressives’ seem to have, that elections are simply unnecessary nuisances. You can’t complain about taking away voting rights, and then turn around and give more power to the party that takes away voting rights. Pro lefties constantly help Republicans win election by helping them depress turnout, and then seem shocked – shocked, I say! – when Republicans try to do right wing things.

It’s important that we help Democrats run the government. Let’s be clear;  marches and protests didn’t give women the right to vote; legislation did. Blacks didn’t get equal rights (on paper) because of marches and protests; they got it through the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act and affirmative action statutes. Title IX was a law, not the name of a branch of the SDS. Medicare wasn’t created by a voice vote by “we, the people.” The Vietnam War didn’t end because of marches and protests; it ended because the American people tossed out the elected officials who started that mess, and elected new officials with the political courage to end it.  Of course, it also works the other way, too, as we’ve seen now for 34 years. When the wrong people get elected, we lose things we fought hard for. Workers’ and union rights have been severely weakened, and the right to vote has been under attack for years.We’re probably about 1-2 steps away from women losing their reproductive rights. We finally got the beginnings of a universal health care system, but it’s weaker than it should be. However, we’ll never strengthen it until we get rid of the Republicans in Congress and the states. 

Yet, with two weeks to go before the midterm elections, and the possibility of handing the entire Congress over to Republicans, the professional left is still whining about and trashing Democrats. They love to use the term, “spineless,” because the PUBs who gve them money love the word, but in the 111th Congress, the Democratic House passed hundreds of bills (here’s a sample of some of them), many of them very progressive, that were blocked by 40-41 Republicans in the Senate. That doesn’t sound “spineless” at all. Though the solution was fewer Republicans, the professional left went after Democrats who weren’t perfect, most of them lost, and for the last four years, Congress has been the worst. These “progressives” are actually responsible for givin us the Tea Party, since every Blue Dog Democrat who lost was replaced by one.

The most prominent professional left media types have a lot of people snowed. They portray themselves as the ultimate progressives, based on their stances on issues. But many of the most influential blogs in the “liberal blogosphere” are run by relatively wealthy white people. Among the most prominent (and those who tend to be the most dogmatic) include:

  • a Manhattan litigation lawyer for a high-powered firm and former right winger who at some point had a “change of heart”;
  • a wealthy socialite who was once married to a gay far right Republican, who at some point had a “change of heart”;
  • a movie producer and author who made millions producing and writing extremely sensational music, movies and books before turning the same talents to writing about politics, out of boredom;
  • a lawyer and former acolyte of a notoriously right wing Congressperson who at some point had a “change of heart”.  

I’m not using names, because it’s not pertinent  it’s not personal, and I don’t want to drive traffic to them. There’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer, movie producer or author; some of my best friends are one or all of those. I also don’t have a problem with changes of heart. But doesn’t it seem strange that so many of the most prominent and loudest voices within “the professional left” used to be right wingers? I’m not talking about just leaning a bit to the right, mind you; these folks were right wingers. What’s worse is, these professional left “media types bring a right wing style of politics to the left, and it’s killing the progressive movement. Let the idiots on the far right decide who’s a RINO; the Democratic Party is and always has been a big tent, and the term DINO doesn’t fit, especially right now, with the GOP being so radicalized.

If I hear/read one more of these idiots tell me how some Democrats are “Democrat-lite,” I’m going to scream. If you can point to one Democrat who would fit into the current incarnation of the Republican Party, well, you have one hell of an imagination, because such a person doesn’t exist. The complaints about Blue Dogs that rattle around among professional lefties and PUBs have no basis in reality. They are equating the Democratic Party of today with the Republican Party of today, while envisioning the Republican Party of the 1940s. I know this, because they always quote Truman, who said, “Given a choice between a fake Republican and a real one, the public will choose the real Republican every time.” But he said back in 1946.  At the time, the GOP had a right-leaning wing, but it also had a variety of viewpoints represented. In 1946, a large number of African-Americans were Republican, because it was still “the party of Lincoln,” in some respects. But now? In 2014? Even Ronald Reagan would have a hard time making it in today’s GOP because he was “too liberal.”  

Where does the professional left derive their authority? As progressives, we advocate for the poor, the sick, the children and all of those who have been treated badly by our society. We count among our numbers black and brown people, single mothers, the working class, unions, welfare recipients, and the poor, among others. Where do wealthy white former right wingers get off telling the people in those categories they’re not “real progressives” because they don’t conform to their idea of what every progressive should believe? And if you think they don’t do that, consider the level of Obama-bashing that’s come out of the far left media over the last six years. Consider that my advocacy for the Affordable Care Act was unrelenting, and for a long time, the professional left took me to task for it. Many of them even called for Democrats to vote against it, because it didn’t have a “public option.” In other words, these so-called “progressives” (again, many of them former right wingers) advocated to deny 30 million people access to health insurance, because of something they couldn’t even define. 

That’s not progressive. Sorry.

More tomorrow…

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