Serious Efforts

After a major letter writing campaign, local progressives cheered the addition of David Sirota to the Democrat and Chronicle's list of syndicated contributors. Rochesterturning has posted Sirota's take on last night's debacle and the future of the progressive agenda, and it contains this statement (emphasis mine):

But I don’t know if it will work this time, unless it is coupled with - finally - a serious effort by Democratic lawmakers to legislate their promises. And even then, I still don’t know if it will work.

I don't know how any sentient human being could survey the last year of sausage making and argue that there wasn't a whole hell of a lot of "serious effort" applied to the problem of healthcare reform. Harry Reid is probably going to lose his seat in the Senate because he became the point man on the suicide mission of trying to get the last few prima donnas to sign on to healthcare reform. Obama's presidency has taken a big hit because a year of watching the Senate and House bumble around has caused any reasonable person to be filled with disgust at the legislative process. Obama tried to get the clown posse that goes by the name of the Democratic caucus to pass a really watered-down healthcare bill, and he has so far failed to do so. The notion that "a serious effort" would somehow change that calculus is plain old horseshit.

Sirota's whiny piece also talks about the "humiliation" progressives have had to endure, in the following paragraph that sounds like an excerpt from the diary of a teenage girl (emphasis mine):

There is something deeply embarrassing about Democratic voters/groups having to fight with Democratic leaders to get those leaders to even seriously try (much less pass) even the smallest, most modest shreds of their promises. Having to do that evokes feelings of genuine shame - shame in front of the other voters we told to vote for Democrats because it supposedly "mattered," and shame when we look in the mirror at a self that may have allowed itself to be unnecessarily duped.

It wasn't the Democratic "leaders" who didn't "try" -- it was the Democrats like Lieberman and Nelson who didn't want to follow. Unfortunately, progressives didn't want to acknowledge that the real fight was between a few conservative members of the caucus and the leadership, because then they wouldn't be able to produce crybaby graphics like this one, which currently adorns the front page of Sirota's blog.

Somehow progressives who worked hard for Obama's election -- like millions of other Americans -- think they deserve special privileges that the rest of us don't get. Their agenda, much of which requires Congressional action, should have been instantly beamed into existence one year ago. Obama's inability to reach into his store of pixie dust and make it happen means that they've been completely abandoned by him.

I'd rather read Kathleen Parker every day, and Cal Thomas twice on Sundays, than David Sirota. At least those two conservative warhorses don't file columns spattered with bitter tears when they don't get exactly what they want.



clarification - I enjoy reading David Sirota and think he's necessary to create leftward pressure to counterbalance the pressure from the right. But I agree that the hissy fit progressives are throwing because Obama ran out of fairy dust is ridiculous.

Cal Thomas twice? You are one serious hardcore fellow.

Adrian - Unfortunately, a lot of the recent leftward pressure has been using the same reasoning and rhetoric as opposition from Republicans, so it's pretty rich to see Sirota, FDL and the rest now crying about the loss in Mass. Not that it's their fault, because I don't think they influence the wider public debate much. But still rich.

Groundhum - I'm tough that way.

Amen. Amen. And again I say: amen.

I salute you for this epic takedown of one of our own. The wailing and gnashing of teeth has gotten quite tiresome.

Thanks, Betty/Grand PJ

I'd need at least one drink before reading Cal Thomas. Who says I can't pour a little whiskey in the morning coffee? Good takedown on Sirota. I'm getting awfully tired of whiny "progressives."

Oh, Amen and applause for this. Sirota pegged me as a sycophant and obama-worshipper for taking a pragmatic approach to health care reform. Well, lookee what we've got. That idealism is getting us jack-nada. So glad the progressives took over for us all, because LOOK AT ALL THAT REFORM we've got now. WOW.

Thank you for confirming that I'm not as whacked as they think I am. :)

Oh, so now we're blaming the progressives for Massachusetts' loss.
Beautiful, Rotten!
If you check the polls done by MoveOn and DFA after the election, you will see that people want a stronger bill (read: Public Option or Medicare for all). That's Obama and the back room deals, Baby! Single Payer: No room at the table. Remember that? We have a majority. If Obama wanted it, it would get done.
Balls glued to the thighs.

No, I don't think progressives had anything to do with Brown's win. I just think progressives have an unrealistic view of Presidential power, and that David Sirota is a whiner.

He's calling it like it is. The progressives have been f***ed by this administration. You really think if Obama had wanted a public option that it wouldn't have happened?

Yes, I really think that Joe Liberman, Ben Nelson and Olympia Snowe didn't want a public option, and that nothing Obama said or did could convince those people.

Wow! Aren't they powerful people! More power than the pres. Wow!

They have the power to force a compromise, which is what HCR is.