Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Season of Discontent?

I have a friend who is an amazing activist; she never fears to put her body on the line for the progressive causes in which she believes. She is very pragmatic and recognizes that the Democratic Party, with all its foibles, represents the best means to achieve her objectives. She voted for Barack Obama in the primary in her state, and we agreed to disagree about who should be the nominee of the Democratic Party. Yesterday, she sent me an email that said,
I really, really need an explanation of his vote on FISA. He's a former Constitutional law professor, for could he vote for something that abrogates the FOURTH AMENDMENT? I MUST know his reasoning on this vote. It's the only thing that's gotten to me about all of this campaign silliness. It's big.
In the immortal words of Bill Clinton, let me say that I feel her pain. I reminded her in an email that I sent back that Obama's ascendancy was none of my doing, but given the deal on the table, that is, John McCain or Barack Obama, I am backing Obama without hesitation.

Last night, my compadre atdnext published a diary here and at MyDD that asked, "Is This What 'PUMA' Stands For?" I exchanged messages with a noted PUMA in that thread and posted this message:

What do you propose to accomplish? Does anyone imagine we can make Hillary the nominee now? And even if we could (and did), what wreck of a party would be left to meet the Republicans in the fall? I am baffled by what you want (or think you want.)

If Obama wins in the fall, you will not share in the victory. If Obama fails in the fall, you will be blamed like we have blamed the Naderites these last eight years.

I don't get it. I just don't understand.
A reply I received was about PUMAs wanting to change the party. Well, maybe that's the case, but endeavoring to change the party in the middle of a general election campaign sure tastes like sour grapes to me.

Both my disappointed Barack partisan and my angry PUMA friends seem to have forgotten that in America, there is a winnowing process where no one gets everything they want but everybody on your side, if you win, gets something of what they want. It is time for all of us Democrats to get past the particularities and look at the big picture. Lots of us may have encountered things in the political process that we find disillusioning. Lots of us may believe Hillary would have been the better candidate. All of us may believe the Party needs reform. Let me tell you something: all of that and $4.02 will get you a venti skim latte at Starbucks.

If people want to hold on to their resentments, turn grief over in their hearts, imagine "what if," or get exorcised about even real grievances, and John McCain becomes president because of it, we are going to wind up with nothing at all.

Me? I think eating a quarter loaf of bread is a whole lot better than starving to death. And that's what I've been doing since November 2000--starving to death.


Anonymous said...

I really agree with the PUMAs on the reform point. When Obama is president, he will install his own people in key positions and they will protect the system that allowed him to become president.

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