When Nancy Pelosi served as speaker of the House, her job was conditioning her members for disappointment. It was Pelosi who had to bring them around to a Senate-designed health-care law that lacked a public option, a cap-and-trade bill that gave away most of its permits, a stimulus that did too little, a bank bailout that endangered their careers. Pelosi had to do that because, well, that’s what the speaker of the House has to do. To govern is to compromise. And when you’re in charge, you have to govern.
Lately, Boehner has not been governing. What should have happened Friday is obvious: Having failed to pass a conservative resolution to the debt crisis without Democratic votes, he should have begun cutting the deals and making the concessions necessary to gain Democratic votes. That, after all, is what he will ultimately have to do anyway, as whatever he passes will also require the approval of the Senate and the president.
But Boehner went in the opposite direction. He made his bill less conservative. He indulged his members in the fantasy that they wouldn’t have to make compromises. It’s as if Pelosi, facing criticism for dropping the public option, had tried to shore up her support by bringing a single-payer health-care bill to the floor. Even if that would have pleased her left wing, what good would it have done her? Her job was to prepare her members to take a vote that could lead to a successful outcome. Pretending that that outcome could be far further to the left than it actually could be would ultimately make her job harder.
Did you catch that?
I seem to remember the Whiny Left crowd chanting for exactly that when the Public Option fight was going on...kill the bill and start again with Single Payer.
What we're seeing now in the Debt Ceiling fight is the exact same hole you wanted to dig us in during Health Care Reform. So, thanks for nothing.
I'm sure ramming through Single Payer would have made the aforementioned people feel sooooo much better, and accomplished exactly nothing as the whole of Health Care Reform would've gone down in flames.
The very thing so many Lefties are excoriating the Republicans for today, is the very same behavior they are still mad at the President for yesterday.
The purpose of the Speaker, of the Senate Majority Leader, of the President, in a strange way are all exactly the same, even if those three will occasionally come to blows. It is to prepare the caucus for what the deal will look like (yes, disappointment, but with realism), but at the same time do so in preparation for a successful outcome.
The problem I have with the Bill Killers from HCR, with the Ed Schultzes, the Jane Hamshers, the Adam Greens, the Arianna Huffingtons, the Keith Olbermanns (there, I said it), Bill Mahers and the Glenn Greewalds of the world, is that they are very good at sketching out what is their preferred outcome is, while conveniently neglecting to give us any realistic indication of how to get there. Sure they give us 100% Grade-A bullshit like "he should have lead more", or "he's not using the bully pulpit", or "he's really a Republican".
(And for the record, Robert Reich has been through these fights and should know better. I guess he enjoys getting his ass kissed too much by the Huffington crowd.)
I went through the Bush Years with a belief that the Left, the people of my ideological stripe, were at least the one's mired in reality. But the last two years have shown, that that's nonsense. The Left is terrible at Politics. There's a reason they lose as many campaigns as they do. They're lazy and arrogant (lazy because they feel they should just present their ideas and have everyone bow in acquiescence). The problem is the Left hasn't heard that lesson...and multiple defeats at the polls have not taught them otherwise.
My marker is down, and remains down. The only way this President does not win re-election, honestly, is if douchebags, like the ones I've mentioned above don't show up. I am a Liberal, and I will always remain a Liberal in my beliefs, thoughts and actions...
...but I can't stand Liberals. And if they don't show up to support the President in 2012, I will make it my mission to end organizations like MoveOn, like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Like Chris Mattews said yesterday, "I will not forget those who did this..."
But I'm talking about you Professional Left.
I have discovered your mirror opposite, and for some reason...they've been allowed to sit in the House of Representatives.
P.S. Oh, and Conservatives...if that's how I feel about Liberals, imagine how I feel about you?