Where I Take On Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editor of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel (can I call you Kat?) posted her outlook for 2010, and walks us down memory lane of past lefty upheavals, pausing particularly on the failure of Bill Clinton to pass health care reform.
Seems some thought it was too hot.
Some thought it was too cold.
Too few thought it was just right.
And so, it died of loneliness.
Then came W, selected by one vote of the Supreme Court and led the country with an iron fist for eight years.
Warrantless wiretaps? No problem.
Retroactive immunity? Dood!
Torture taxi drivers? No problemo.
Double the size of Government, start two wars and cut taxes?
Indeed, the only defeat W. saw was immigration reform where he defied his racist base and the nomination of Harriet Meirs to the Supreme Court. Neither of which the progressive base or Kat had anything to do with.
And now, with a Democratic Senate, House and White House, a totally irrelevant party of teabaggers, birfers and deafers, she whines about the Senate while completely ignoring the seat of power.
In Kat’s latest post, she writes this:
We also make a mistake when we attribute our successes and failures to the strengths and weaknesses of President Obama. As Mark Schmitt argues in The American Prospect, “Just as [Obama’s] campaign was built on a base of organizing, online activism, and civic engagement that preceded him, so the success of his presidency and this Congress will depend on the strength of the progressive infrastructure. If progressives don’t support these structures for policy development and advocacy, further failure will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the fault will lie not in our star but in ourselves.”
This is what is called a move so smooth she had to be raised on Ex-Lax. Not only does she hold it a mistake to hold Obama harmless to failure, but she quotes another to support those progressive leaders, such as herself, for future “not as sucky as republican policy” cheerleaders.
Hardy fuckin’ hardy har.
Obama campaigned for Lieberman.
Obama insisted to Harry Reid Lieberman maintain his chairmanship on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Obama sent Rahm to Reid to capitulate to every demand Lieberman made for his support of Health Care Reform.
All of this came after the Democrats of Connecticut kicked Liebermans sorry ass out of the Democratic party.
Now Kat, I understand you have a tight rope to walk here. Kewl parties on the one hand, invites and stuff where the swells hang out. On the other hand is the future of your product and the really fuckin’ hard job of telling the progressive community that:
Mandates is the repeal of DADT
Drug Reimportation denial is good for homeland security
Fraud exception for pre-existing conditions protects benevolent insurance companies from giving cancer treatments to pimply people.
The public option was a necessary sacrifice to get all these sooper sweet concessions, like, well, a health care bill that keeps corporate donations flowing to corporate Democrats instead of corporate Republicans. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
And Obama is the innocent christchild hammered to the cross of political inevitalism, despite all his promises and overwhelming mandate.
I do agree with one thing lady Kat say’s:
Critique is something we must do, it is part of our editorial DNA. But I believe now is a time for more annunciation, less denunciation.
We will aim to have an affirmative idea in every issue of the magazine–one proposal or effort that attempts to shed light on the path ahead. I believe in avoiding the betrayal sweepstakes which promotes disillusionment and despair, and furthers what our adversaries seek: our disempowerment. We can’t afford that. These are times to avoid falling into either of two extremes–reflexively defensive or reflexively critical. Only through being evolutionary will we succeed in being revolutionary.
We do have to move forward here, and if we want a progressive nation we must have clear eyes and not be drawn into personality disputes. Where I see Katrina’s failures is her belief that President Obama is an innocent bystander–that he has a toe-in-the-sand “ah shucks” position on health care. I only have one test in leadership. One is either responsible or irresponsible. It really is no more difficult than that.
And it does not behoove the progressive community to defend irresponsible behavior. C’mon Kat, get with the program.