Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Regrets? I'm having some right now.

I, for one, argued early and often that BHO was our best chance to have a Democratic president that might, theoretically break to the left on important issues. I was convinced that Hillary would not do this, given the track record of her husband. That may have been unfair, but it's not like she ran away from her husband's record or said things that made me (or anyone else) think that she would be a liberal president. I also firmly believe that when she decided to run as the racists' Democratic candidate, it was the obligation of all good people in the Democratic party to oppose her.

And yet here we sit today, with a Democratic president that seems determined to be just as center-right as Bill Clinton ever was. To be fair to Barack, he ran as a centrist. Maybe it was too much to hope that a candidate that had achieved little other than getting elected would do anything other than seek to be re-elected. And, unfortunately, a politician gets re-elected by being as timid as possible.

Back in the old days of computing, there was a game that let you be a South American dictator. Your goal was to stay in power until you died. I quickly figured out that the only way to achieve this goal was by caving to whichever pressure group happened to be pressuring you at the time. Teachers on strike? Give 'em a raise. American-backed corporations want a military crackdown on rebels? Crack down. The people want land reform? Nationalize! Landowners want their land back? Denationalize! You get the gist.

After a while it became mindless, but I can see where it might be entertaining to play in real life. How do you stay popular with a populace that simultaneously demands an economic recovery (solution: massive government spending, deficits, tax increases) while demanding less government spending, deficit reduction, and tax cuts? We want health care reform, but not any kind of health care reform that might one day affect what I have right now! Could be fun. Or addictive, anyway.

So here we sit today with a president determined to drive down the middle of the road only dipping to the right every now and again. Here we are, again, with we on the left realizing that it will be another eight years of getting exactly nothing of what we want. We will be told to be grateful it's not worse. That's where we live in American politics, fighting a rear-guard action against things getting worse. We were kings of the world in 1935, it's been mostly downhill since then. Our successes since then - civil rights, women's rights, gay rights - have been hard fought and achieved by the people, with the politics lagging way the hell behind.

Don't mourn, organize!

Yes. Maybe what it will take is for all of us who are looking around for a third party to get out there and get involved. No one hates saying this more than me, as I love my couch and tv, but if I can drag myself out to knock on doors for mainstream, better than the alternative Democratic candidates, then I can certainly do it for someone or some cause that might actually make a fucking difference in this world.

Fuck, looks like I have to actually do something. I'll have to get my pleasure from telling my labor union 'no' when they ask me to go knocking on doors for whatever fuckstick the Democrats nominate.