We Are Better Than This
Does morality have any meaning to “progressives” who refuse to support a primary challenge of Obama?
They’ll be offended that I’m questioning their morality, they’ll be offended that I put “progressives” in quotation marks when I refer to them. Well ask me if I give a damn. They’re going to vote again for a “Democratic” president who authorizes the assassination of American citizens, who’s complicit in war crimes and torture, who protects Bush Administration thugs and Wall Street criminals instead of prosecuting them, who’s abused power and obstructed justice ever since he lied his way through his oath of office, who did nothing when five rightwing freaks on the Supreme Court gutted what’s left of fair elections in this country, who praised the Chamber of Commerce after its savage blitzkrieg of attack ads decimated his party, who will do whatever he considers necessary to appease corporate fascists so he can “win” reelection.
They can huff and puff all they want about Republican criminals being even worse than “Democratic” criminals, but it’s nothing but the huffing and puffing of hypocrites. Morality either matters or it doesn’t.
Human beings set themselves on fire in the Middle East in an ultimate protest against dehumanizing regimes. Hundreds of them have sacrificed their lives for democracy, in Tunisia and Egypt and Yemen and Bahrain. Libyan protesters were slaughtered in air strikes, they’re being gunned down by mercenaries, but they are not backing down, they’re still in the streets, they’re taking control of entire cities, they‘re ready to die for democracy, they’re ready to die just for a chance at democracy.
But here in America, the illusion of democracy is good enough for many “progressives”, their Lesser Evil strategy has been an epic failure for 30 years, it’s had catastrophic consequences, but every election year they wipe the blood off it, pledge allegiance to it, and expect us to admire their pragmatic and sophisticated moral cowardice.
Primary challenging Obama needs the support of Netroots leaders like Jane Hamsher, but she’s concluded that a primary challenge would be really stupid because it would inflict seriously serious harm and damaging damage on the “Democratic” Party and ruin everything for everybody. She has this all figured out . . .
I don’t think a primary challenge to Obama is realistic, it just won’t happen. And even if it did, I can’t see how it would be successful. He dominates the party machinery, and anyone who would challenge him would be hobbled by a damaged and embattled brand in the wake of a nasty intra-party fight.
If we primary challenge Obama, would we be shot dead in the streets? No. Would fighter jets drop bombs on us? No. The consequences would be even worse–there’d be a “nasty intra-party fight” and we’d have “a damaged and embattled brand.”
I don’t like to criticize Jane. I love Jane, I love Firedoglake, if I didn’t love her and this community I wouldn’t be here. We’ve seen the world change dramatically since she posted that assessment, because of one street vendor in Tunisia, revolutions have erupted across the Middle East. Was it realistic to think that would happen?
Well it happened, it happened because people have seen enough. Labor protests are spreading across America, conditions are right for primary challenging that corporate hack in the White House, the corporate elites have been rocked back on their heels, we have to ramp up the pressure and keep ramping it up.
I’ve been told about the FAQ’s, I’ve been told to tread carefully, but I’ve seen Obama take our campaign contributions, I’ve seen him take our activism, I’ve seen him take our help and our votes, I’ve seen him take the huge majorities in Congress and nationwide mandate for change we gave him and throw it all away with a Centrist grin, a wink at Wall Street, and a middle finger salute for everyone on the Left. He expects us to support him again in 2012, he thinks we have no choice.
I don’t know if the Left will finally take a stand and primary challenge that grand bargaining asshole, I don’t know what the “leaders” of the Netroots will say about it in the months ahead, but I know what Dr. King would say about it, I know what Bobby Kennedy would say about it, I know what Paul Wellstone would say about it. They’d tell us the Left gave America the New Deal, they’d tell us the Left gave America the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, they’d tell us the Left shut down the Vietnam War, they’d be ashamed to see us sitting here in the ruins of American democracy, afraid to primary challenge a puppet president because it might damage his puppet party and hand power to the other puppet party, they’d tell us what no one on the Left should have to be told . . .
We’re better than this. We are better than this.
We need to primary challenge Obama. Refusing to primary challenge him is immoral. I’m talking to you, Jane. I’m talking to you, Firedoglake. I’m talking to the front-pagers, I’m talking to the editors, I’m talking to the moderators, I’m talking to the diary writers and the readers, I’m talking to all of you. Morality is not irrelevant, it’s not meaningless, it matters, it matters more than anything else.
We all have the blood of the innocent on our hands, we’ve all been complicit in the crimes of that “government” in Washington, but we don’t have to be complicit any more. We can start washing that blood off our hands, we can begin atoning for our complicity and moral cowardice, we can take the first step down the road to redemption by primary challenging that pretty-word-peddling-puppet of the oligarchs.