Reality Check

by matttbastard

Despite the empty promise of a magical unity pony being giddily floated by the Very Serious Set (sample conventional wisdom: “[t]he big argument for centrist governance is that nothing significant can be achieved in Washington without bipartisan support, without members in both parties owning a stake”) politics, as they say, ain’t bean bag. Sooner or later it’s gonna once again get real ugly in Washington and, as Digby observes, nakedly partisan:

Considering that the Republican party really has been purged of moderates now, I’d say that the GOP is going to be the much bigger roadblock to compromise than the left. They’re more radical than ever. The Republican party is now led by Rush Limbaugh. There’s nobody else. And when Obama reaches out his hand to Rush Limbaugh he’s going to get it whacked off with a chainsaw, at which point, these villagers (who haven’t even considered this political problem) are going to blame Obama for being unable to govern in a bipartisan fashion.

All over television this morning the gasbags seemed convinced that Obama had been elected to stop the left from ruining the country. And when it turns out to actually be his supposedly cooperative new partners in governance — the right — that stands in his way, they will blame him for being too far left. It’s a trap.

Something tells me Digby has a Scrying pool somewhere on the grounds of her palatial estate, because the preceding sounds like an all-too-plausible dispatch from the near future. Look, change is not magic, nor is it going to bestowed upon us from on high by any individual, remarkable as he or she may be. It is going to take some hard goddamn work from the ground up and from all of us to move forward with a progressive agenda in the US, Canada and the rest of the world (or, at the very least, put a stop on the regressive course of the past 40 looooong years of movement conservative ascendancy.)

Party time’s over, kids; time to take a deep breath, roll up our sleeves and once again get down to the dirty business of making a better world. We’ve been given an opportunity. Let’s not squander it.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

7 thoughts on “Reality Check

  1. No. No. No. You can’t make me get back to work yet! I need a week off, so that means I have until Wednesday to luxuriate in the bubble of this glorious win! Wednesday morning, I’ll report for duty! ;-)

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  2. It’s Obama who is floating the unity pony though, is it not? Presumably so the applause from the centre will blunt the teeth on that chainsaw.
    (I’m really asking here – I don’t follow US politics as closely as you)

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  3. It’s Obama who is floating the unity pony though, is it not?

    Only in the requisite concilliatory manner that all president-elects do after a bruising campaign (eg, ‘I’m a uniter, not a divider.’). But he hasn’t made any specific promises to moderate his stated agenda, nor to govern from the centre[-right] in a Clintonian triangulatory style. That talk is just The Village giving their by-now-antiquated all-purpose advice to incoming (Democratic) presidents: “‘partisanship’ is teh BAD! CENTRE-RIGHT NATION!”

    I don’t have any illusions about the progressive bona fides of this incoming administration. But I do believe that the organizational acumen displayed by the Obama campaign during the election will carry over into governance. And that should help start the painstaking process of shifting the center to a point where being a ‘centrist’ no longer means being a moderate Republican.

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  4. Move back here and help us. :)

    Seriously. My decision not to stay in school is based in no small part on the realization that the real work is just beginning, and that it’s not done in an ivory tower.

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  5. Honestly? I think it’s always been the case that plenty can be accomplished in Washington without bipartisan support, and that it’s also the case that bipartisan support, and both parties having a stake, is often politically useful. The politically canny have good judgement about when to go the one way, and when to go the other.

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