Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We are so screwed, Part whatever it is now

This is an expanded version of a comment I left in response to the linked post.

Over at Crooks and Liars on Sunday, Nicole Belle had a clip from the Chris Matthews Show featuring a bunch of self-important pundits going on about how the real opposition that Barack Obama will face will not come from the GOPpers - who will give him a "longer than usual honeymood" - but from the left. (Video at the link.)

Belle notes, quite reasonably, that
to those oh-so-wise Beltway bobbleheads, we will be the "angry left" that Obama must marginalize in order to have a successful presidency.
But she concludes that this clip is
proof positive that the progressive blogosphere must be smart about picking battles in pushing a liberal agenda for America.
Which is why we are so screwed.

I mean, really? Seriously? That's the lesson to be taken from this? That progressives must be "smart about picking battles?" That the best course is to hold our fire, to be hyper-cautious, to think and re-think, to fuss about appearances, to - in short - let a lot of crap pass for fear of being called "angry" by Chris Matthews and his cohorts?

Haven't we realized that we'll be called "angry" and whatever else seems useful no matter how carefully we "pick our battles?" Haven't we realized that we will never satisfy them that we are not "angry?" Haven't we realized that they will always try to dismiss us, no matter how un-angry we try to appear?

Haven't we realized that the best, indeed the only practical, the only correct, response to that accusation is to say "Yes, I'm angry. Why the hell aren't you?"

Because I am angry. I'm angry about wars that drag on with the argument about the one being if we should continue participating in the carnage for three years or "only" a year and a-half and the argument about the other being how much we should escalate it and whether or not to spread it to another nation.

I'm angry about an economy in the dumpster and the argument being over how much we can give to the rich fat cats of the financial industry and how much we can take back from autoworkers and how the former are the victims of their crisis and the latter are the cause of theirs.

I'm angry that we can cough up a trillion fricking dollars to kill Iraqis and Afghans and bail out the banks but choke on $15 billion to preserve the planet and head off global warming by pushing renewable energy.

I'm angry about persistent hunger, persistent homelessness, persistent poverty. I'm angry about the widespread lack of affordable health care.

I'm angry about persistent racism and sexism, I'm angry about invasions of our privacy by government and corporations, about undermining of Constitutional freedoms by a White House devoted to executive power and a Supreme Court devoted to police power. I'm angry about years of government criminality and even angrier at the apparent intention Mr. Change to not do a damn thing about it.

I'm angry about cops who think that the casual use of a potentially-lethal torture device - a taser - is acceptable any time anyone doesn't obediently follow orders.

So yes, dammit, I'm angry. About a lot of things. If you're not, why not?

And among the things I'm angry about is the persistent, politically self-destructive, inane, fantasy that if we're just polite and dignified and don't come off like, I dunno, crazy hippies or something, if we'll only tiptoe around what we say and when we say it and how we say it and about what we say it for fear we'll get called a name, we'll have all kinds of influence and all kinds of great things will happen.

Haven't we realized that as long as we live by their bullshit, we die by their bullshit? Haven't we realized that the only way to knock down a dismissive stereotype is not to try to disprove it (which only legitimizes the question) but to refuse to accept it and just to carry on and the hell with what they call us? Haven't we realized that we have to do what we think best, not what they think best for us?

Haven't we learned that in politics you never win by backing up and that a compromise without any gain is not a compromise, it is a surrender?

Haven't we learned anything?

Thanks to Lean Left for the link to the Obama-won't-prosecute story and to Jonathan Turley for the link to the taser story.

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