Not my words; rather, they are the words of a friend of mine who really isn’t all that interested in politics. And those 9 words got me thinking. Thinking of things that bode very well, some very broad observations, and things that don’t bode quite as well. On the surface, what could be bad about a friend who isn’t all that political all but committing to vote for a Democrat, any Democrat, over any republican.
Especially since she also lives in New Jersey and works in New York City, so she knows enough about the republican Presidential frontrunner to dismiss him outright against anyone that the Democrats put up.
You see, I don’t think this is an isolated incident. Many people are fed up with the direction that this country has been headed in just about every way possible. And many of these people don’t pay all that much attention to the details of what is going on or what isn’t going on in Washington. Hell, most of these people probably don’t know anything about MoveOn’s ad, let alone that Congress made a big stink about it. And most of those who know that Congress made a big stink think it was the republicans, and that it is a pretty silly thing to waste time on.
We are hardcore. I know that I am hardcore, and there are many around here who blow me away in terms of being hardcore. But that means that we know about, dissect, analyze and debate things that many people have no clue even exists. And just as we talk about the Washington DC bubble, we tend to think (or at least I do) that thinks are magnified way more than they actually are.
Again, for the Democratic Party, this is a very good thing. And it is, on most accounts, also a very good thing for this country, the netroots and our values. But it also reveals something that I didn’t really put together until a couple of days ago – and that is the reason why the netroots isn’t making as big of an impact on the current goings on as we would like. Now, we are doing some very good things, and these should by no means be discounted in the least. But we are large in size, big in attitude and motivation, and we actually can get our shit together from time to time, sometimes in a really big way.
Logically, this would lead to the potential for a bigger electoral landslide next year than we think – and even if many events don’t change all that much between now and then. And as much as this frustrates me, especially since there are so many things that I feel need immediate addressing and in more than a few instances, radical change, it ultimately means more Democrats and less republicans. We read into and dissect polls and absorb at least a half dozen versions and analyses of many events that most people only vaguely recall a few weeks later. Therefore, it only follows that, in this analysis and debate (and pressure on those that need pressure), we have stronger reactions than most.
And most want a bigger change from the past decade. Even if the investigations go nowhere, most people will only remember that Rove and Libby and DeLay and Gonzales and Cheney, Bush and many others are lying, thieving scumbags that fucked things up big time. So, as much as I hate to say it, I think that elected Democrats either already know this or are banking on this happening, and are merely looking to run out the clock doing “whatever they can do” over the next year and extend their gains in the Senate and House, adding a likely Democratic President.
That is very smart to do politically, that is if there wasn’t so much at stake.
Which leads me to my “not boding quite as well” thought. This gives elected Democrats less reason to listen to us or really do much more than pay us lip service. Now, this is a broad generalization, but Speaker Pelosi did say that she was going to post a diary every week and she hasn’t been here in months, and others have “strategically” avoided or used us in the past as well.
If they know that they are likely to gain seats, challenge in districts they otherwise wouldn’t and gain a greater majority without being bold – frankly, by being capitulating wimps, then why would they want to rock the boat? Now, that can be a callous thought, and I don’t think the motives are sinister. But there are a lot of people like my friend out there, who are just sick of what the republicans have done and will vote for just about anyone if they aren’t a republican.
If that is the case, then there very well could be close to 60 seats in the Senate and a 50+ seat advantage in the House, not to mention a Democratic White House. On the other hand, much of this would have been accomplished despite, as opposed to because of, our efforts.
More Democrats are a very good thing right about now. I think my friend is right and usually, even a crappy Democrat is better than a good republican. The problem is that we don’t need crappy Democrats. Or lazy ones who aren’t stepping up as leaders when this country needs them to the most. Maybe a leader will emerge. More likely, someone will have more than a few moments of great significance thrust upon him or her.
I have an infinitely more amount of faith in Democrats than republicans. But I also don’t have an infinite amount of patience. We need a Democratic majority. Our leadership knows this as well, and can taste it. But we also need bold leadership right now, and can’t afford to wait until January 2009.
Will someone step up in a real way? Or will we be “rejoicing” in November with a whole lot of “any Democrats”?