From Ian Welsh, a progressive writer, in the course of explaining why the liberal blog movement failed:
Unlike the Tea Party, most left wingers don’t really believe their own ideology. They put partisanship first, or they put the color of a candidate’s skin or the shape of their genitals over the candidate’s policy. Identity is more important to them than how many brown children that politician is killing.
So progressives have no power, because they have no principles: they cannot be expected to actually vote for the most progressive candidate, to successfully primary candidates, to care about policy first and identity second, to not take scraps from the table and sell out other progressive’s interests.
Yowza. You could make lots of counter-arguments–starting with the fact that the Dean movement eventually elected the most liberal American president in modern history. Obama might not be as liberal as the progressive base would like–and certainly on issue such as Guantanamo, the NSA, and foreign policy in general, he duped them entirely. But even so; he brought gifts, too.
But what’s really interesting here is that this sounds like the kind of revisionist dissatisfaction which conservatives eventually settled on in regards to George W. Bush. (And you could make nearly all the same arguments about the conservative blogosphere too, I think.)
I’ve long suspected that the aftermath of Obama’s tenure will be a deep sense of ennui in American politics–and especially in the American left. I wonder if the Obamacare debacle isn’t the beginning of that.
(Jerome Armstrong responds with similar thoughts.)