Okay, I don't usually do the "all the other bloggers are doing it" stuff if I can help it. But today I decided, what the hell! I've supported the Obama Administration this far, and the Democratic Party since.....my whole life, basically. So why not voice an opinion about whether I feel like the tone of things said recently by the Administration I voted for and that in not quite two years seems to be working on its campaign promises, even if they aren't addressing the issues I totally think they should--
I know I'm not really a hippie. I'm a gutless armchair conformist office-job non-marching virtual-skinned avatar of liberal checkbook and e-activism. I got no real cred, man. So maybe that's why I don't really feel "punched". I'm not whining, and I'm still going to vote, just like I always do. And so are many of the other people like me--just politically committed regular Democrats who long ago internalized the meaning of the phrase "the lesser of two evils".
If you take a look at what I blog about, right up there with the church/state issues are civil liberties and gay rights issues.
I don't see enough progress with these. In my mind, Gitmo should have been not just closed, but the ridiculous allegations regarding the downside of closing should have been met with real, factual, clear resistance. The Bush Administration's detention policy is sheer bullshit. The lame legal contortions regarding who to try in civil courts and who to try in military tribunals is weak because a) the Bush Administration never seemed to care enough to create a coherent strategy and b) I don't think the Obama Administration really believes civil courts aren't the right way to go, judging by past successes. I think a full-court press by Holder and others in Justice should have refuted the crap put out by Liz Cheney and the like and I would have liked to see that in Year One. It didn't happen.
I also don't think the Obama Administration is right re: assassinations or drones. I don't think they are quite right re: wiretapping (no shock, though, re: Obama's Senate voting record). I do think ending DADT with an executive order would cut through a lot of bullshit--especially since recent court rulings have shown it's just wrong. But I understand why Obama's biding his time for a congressional vote--to ensure maximum public acceptance of its legitimacy.
I am disappointed. I'm always disappointed, though. I always wish government would hew just a little bit more to my ideals. And I guess I must be used to it not doing so. But I know that if I keep trying, and keep voting, even if not for my ideal candidates, but at the very least against people who I think suck and would do absolutely nothing I want--then I can see things get a little better. That's the perspective I take on it, anyway.
Just a little bit better. A little better, all the time. As opposed to Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and Joe Miller. For the love of pasta, can any one of us afford a future where Louie Gohmert looks like one of the sane members of Congress, and Trent Franks is one of the smart ones? Me, I don't think so! So disaffected or disappointed or disgruntled or even a little insulted--we still do have to vote Democratic, and get less awful people in. And maybe that will put starch in the spines of Democratic legislators who considered being fence-riding DINO desperados.
The only way for the Tea Party to succeed is for us reasonable people to stand back. There is definitely a time and place for criticism, and I am full of complaints, but I can't remake the world--only participate in its remaking--so I say--do what you can.
Vote for incremental slow-ass unsatisfying, less-worse, change you can plausibly accept happening in a real world of multiple opposing viewpoints and various contingencies--
instead of allowing the party of no, the party of numberless budgets, the party of tax cuts for the wealthy forever, the party of science-denial, the party of "suck it, sick people, old people, poor people", the party of okay with racism and sexism and theocracy and Islamophobia and homophobia, the party of "No we can't", the party of fear, the party of war mongering, the party of irresponsibility, the party of lying and the party that gave us Watergate, Iran-Contra, Iraq-gate, the de-regulation of the banking industry with two major bail-outs in the last 20-something years, and no sense of accountability whatsoever.
But in the meantime, I will counsel the Democrats as follows: You ever hear the phrase "Dance with the one what brung you?" We brung you--not the other way about. And we do expect you to do the things we actually elected you for. So, um, do us the favor of doing them. And never mind the bollocks.