Every time the Democrats do something to betray the promises of the 2008 election and bitchslap the people who believed in them, someone comes into the comments and says “will you support a primary for Obama NOW Jane?”

I answered the question yesterday during the Democratic Irrelevance Senate Debt Ceiling Watch Party:

It just seems like the same-old same-old. When I hear ideas that seem like they could catch on and ignite the fire of public imagination, I can feel it. The spidy sense goes off. I’m sorry to disappoint everyone but that just seems tired and doomed to failure, like playing with loaded dice and hoping that this time you can win. The very thought of it bores me. The only thing that bores me more are the people whose names have been floated to do it. How many of them are out there right now calling bullshit on both parties over this ridiculous theater? Zero. The idea of putting 5 minutes of energy into any of them makes me want to take a nap.
It isn’t out of fear, or loyalty to the Democratic Party, or Obama, or anything else. I just think it sounds like a shopworn and very ordinary solution to a problem that demands extraordinary vision.

It is unquestionable that the Tea Party moved the entire debt ceiling deal to the right.  How did they do it?  By taking out the people who failed them.  Arlen Specter.  Charlie Crist.  Lincoln Chaffee.  The people they felt betrayed their principles.  Even if you don’t agree with those principles, their consistent adherence to them got results.

Whenever the talk of a primary comes up, I always ask “who is going to do this?” The answer is always someone like Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky, the same people whose job it is to put the Good Liberal Housekeeping Seal of Approval on whatever piece of neoliberal shit the White House cooks up to please the bond vigilantes.  The people who suddenly become okay with war when the White House says so, who shake their fists in the air with outrage right before they fold, the people you can count on to always be there when there’s nothing they can do…and are nowhere to be found when they can.

There were 173 Democrats in the House —  including Dennis Kucinich and every single member of the Progressive Caucus —  who voted for Reid’s Catfood II Super Congress yesterday. The one that is designed to cut Social Security and Medicare.  That’s what it’s there for.  That’s the only reason it exists. To allow Congress to fork over the power entrusted to them by the citizens who elected them to an elite body that stands above congress itself, and escape electoral retribution for doing something that 82% of the country does not want them to do.

If you want my attention, tell me how you’re going to take out Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky or Raul Grijalva or Peter Welch.  Let me know how you plan to send a message and enforce discipline with the people who claim to represent your values, but betray them over and over again because they have no fear whatsoever of you.  Dennis Kucinich is getting redistricted out of office, so the other side certainly knows how to make themselves heard.  Message received.

Yesterday Bernie’s job was to stand up in the Senate and whine about Tea Party extremists.  If Bernie had one-tenth of their conviction,  his vote alone could have saved the country from the shitty health care bill that put them all in office.

If you want to have power, stop slobbering all over abject failure.  And stop dreaming that you’ll ever have any influence at the top by elevating people whose only systemic function is to serve as an opiate for liberals when they’re getting screwed. Good lord, Mitch McConnell ran circles around the Democrats these past few weeks.  Even as you watched him orchestrate the American decline, you had to marvel at his political skill — and acknowledge there was no one on the left who could do that.

How can you hope to challenge the established order when your leaders are nothing more than serial losers?

New leadership will not emerge until  you make room for them by taking out the old, corrupt order. And that job starts with the enablers.  The ones who will be rolling out any minute now to placate liberal outrage and whitewash the piece of shit they voted for yesterday. The ones who will wrap themselves in the flag and mewl that they “had to do it for the country.”

Few will admit they were willing to cast old people into poverty and deny them medical treatment for the sake of Barack Obama’s 2012 election hopes.  They’ll just furrow their brows and shake their heads with concern over the final deal — now that their votes are no longer needed.  Obama will cast himself as a centrist and curry favor with independents by dismissing them as extremists.  You can already hear it.  “Some on the left say….”

I give Obama credit.  Just as Mitch McConnell forced him to show his bottom line (his 2012 election prospects), so Obama forced the progressives to show their bottom line (Obama’s 2012 election prospects).

Obama got what he wanted — a deal.  What did these “heroes” get for you?

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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