Righty Tighty Leftie Loosie

I find myself battling with the insouciant left more these days than with the ignorant right.

It bugs me.

It’s not that I don’t understand. Egregious acts against humanity every day. Business as usual. Drones. Corporate lawyers being appointed to the judiciary. No prosecution of the pigs at the financial industry trough. An all above posture on fracking and drilling and fossil fuel exploration along with token acknowledgements for clean energy like wind and solar. The TPP. I get it. I know.

I’m not an Obamabot or a democratic apologist.  They like to call me that.  Pretend I don’t know they’re greedy self serving bastards.  Most of them.  I’m aware of the corruption. The fuckery. The abject avarice and rampant mendacity. I know. I know.

What needs to be understood here is that this shit has been going on forever. The military industrial complex, corporate lobbyists, bullshit evangelical influence, good old boy horseshit…..it’s all been going on since long before Obama was even born. In America. In Hawaii.

What needs to be understood here is that he is one man. Not a king. But merely a president. A man who must labor under this massive construct, a system, a network, a cabal, far more than the sum of it’s parts and one that is far more of a convoluted behemoth than any lone commander in chief can aspire to suddenly and unilaterally reverse like a giant ship on a violently roiling sea.

He’s guilty. I’m pissed. Disappointed. Really wish he would have fought harder and been more resolute and goddamnit stronger, for the the things that are important to me. The the things I care about.  The things you cared about. I hoped for change along with the rest of you.

But I am not naive. I understand for example, that he was not going to ride in on a rainbow colored unicorn, delicately place flowers in gun barrels, change water into the beverage of choice and poof, we’ve got universal health care.  Single payer wasn’t going to fly.  It was a non starter.  It was the last time Hillary got her ass handed to her. As it was, it was a protracted affair that took the better part of a year. Even with a democratic house, a democratic senate and a democratic president, it was frustratingly arduous to watch. Long fought. Over wrought. And now we have the ACA. It’s the best we could have gotten. Now I have coverage when I need it most. Along with with millions of others. Millions of others who either couldn’t have ever afforded it or couldn’t ever have gotten it at any price.

Nice.

No pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, no random cancellations or rate hikes, preventive care covered, affordable, insurance companies accountable for care provided as a percentage of profits. There are flaws, but it doesn’t suck. A start. An increment. Vermont has adopted single payer with the help of ACA funding. See?

California will most likely be next.

So.

Here’s what chaps my ass about you people. You nattering nabobs of negativity on the left. Your reckless intent. You persist to subsume your cynical and callow whining into a movement that is both vital and fragile. You fail to understand or choose to ignore, the potential for good here. It’s actually a young movement with enormous possibility for the first time in a long time. You would destroy it from within. Opining childishly that he engages in all these nefarious things that all his predecessors have engaged in even more nefariously. Pissing and moaning that you didn’t get exactly what you want in exactly the way you wanted when it would have been stupid, stupid and naive to actually expect it to be delivered on the the silver platter with the crust off you somehow had the audacity to expect. You lefty wing nuts are literally as bad as, and as destructive as the goddamn tea party. In the meantime you jeopardize any possibility of moving forward by pissing all over beliefs, myths, facts, engaging in any action that would impede forward movement and yeah, hope for change.

In the public discourse now as we speak, are progressive topics. Topics like raising the minimum wage, gender and sexual identification equality, income inequality, concentration of wealth, equitable health care insurance, raising the minimum wage, social security and medicare……all of the progressive issues that have never been on the table before in this way or all at once. This is progress. This is big.  The makers vs. takers debate is being turned on it’s head.  We know that the one percent are the ones who really have their hands in our pockets and it’s on the table.  The president of the united states is talking about it. People, constituents,voters are waking up. And you and yours just want us to think it’s all a ruse.

I’m really tired of this false equivalency bullshit.  It’s intellectually lazy.  To posit that right and left, democrat and republican, liberal and conservative are somehow two sides of the same coin is an insidious malaise of lassitude that threatens not only the sanctity of the process but the potential for voter participation across the board.  It dissuades.  It discourages.

Nevermind.  There’s nothing you can do.

They’re all the same you wail. They’re all crooks and puppets. Well, no, not all of them. There is a difference and it is often profound. Whether it was Romney/Ryan or perish the thought, McCain/Palin, do you people really think the war in Iraq would have ended or the war in Afghanistan would be winding down?  McCain is already rolling in his grave and he doesn’t know he’s dead. Do you think there even would have been an attempt at Wall Street reform? With Romney, who openly endorsed the failure of the auto industry? What about don’t ask don’t tell? How about kicking banks out of student loans? For the first time in 30 years we’re actually negotiating with Iran and Syria is allowing the destruction of their WMD. Credit card reform and a brand new agency dedicated to keeping American consumers from getting ripped off. The fair sentencing act. Cut the deficit in half. It’s a long and impressive list, virtually none of which would have happened under a republican administration.

And where are on the right are the equivalents of Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Elijah Cummings etc?  Remember Dennis Kucinich and Russ Feingold?

MSNBC and FOX News are the same you snivel. Well, no they’re not. The both have an overt agenda but the similarities end there. FOX is indefatigably guilty of obfuscating, distorting, misrepresenting and outright lying to advance the score, but I challenge you to find any instances of MSNBC doing anything remotely similar.  They actually take pride in facts and truth.  They simply don’t need to make shit up.

Despite all of the above, the wingnut left pusillanimously insists on forsaking the good in the name of the unattainable perfect. That, really chaps my ass.

So have at it lefty wing nuts, throw your votes away on Nader ( a good man) or whomever the contemporary green party messiah is but do the rest of us a favor, grow up and shut up and allow the rest of us to work for change pragmatically within the existing jacked up structure as opposed your Monday morning quarterback, peanut gallery bleating and carping. We don’t want to hear it. Nobody wants to hear it. It accomplishes nothing. We don’t need you to tell us what a clusterfuck it is. We’re well aware, appropriately disgusted and simultaneously optimistic about the transformation we’re witnessing. Your sky may be falling but we can taste the progress.

It’s working.

The moral of the story is this: The hard left in American politics used to be vital and relevant. It served a purpose. As ballast, a counterweight to the extreme right, it served to exert a certain progressive gravity on the political center that was on a precipitous slide towards well, fascism, oligarchy and plutocracy. We needed it.  Hell, we used to need the hard right until it so willingly marginalized itself. What the hard left has become however, is shrill, unreasonable and irrelevant.  The new left has come to mirror the new right.  Just as irresponsible and reckless.  Just as unconcerned about actually effecting change. Beyond the new brand of vulgar vitriol and ugly invective, both sides of extremism have even begun to share language. “Obamabot” and “Kool Aid drinking democratic apologist”.  Accusations of “white guilt”.  Spooky. Why do they single out this president in particular? This president, who for any voter exercising his or her constitutional right to cast a ballot with eyes wide open knew it was for an essentially compassionate centrist and by far the lesser of two evils.

Why?

There’s an analog here. In much the same way that the election of the first optically biracial man to ascend to the presidency served as a catalyst to embolden and empower the particularly odious racist and bigots on the right, is it possible that catalyst has had a parallel effect on the extreme left?

Luke, I am your father.

Drinks for my friends.

26 Responses to “Righty Tighty Leftie Loosie”

  • Ever hear of the ratchet effect? Republicans enter office, they turn to the right. Democrats get into office, and the ratchet goes click, click, click, not actually turning the bolt, but giving the appearance of turning, readying for another torquing again, to the right.

    We’ve sort of been living that, in these last 35 years. It’s nothing but a big corporate CF, people are now worker drones, or soldier drones, as much throwaway commodities as used toilet paper–some people more than others. No worries, corporations say–we’ve got plenty more, younger, dumber, coming up in the ranks, less informed, and not irritatingly wise like you.

  • Kathryn Blackwood:

    Michael,
    Thanks for this. Your piece here made me feel a little more optimistic. I guess what I am really so angry about is the NDAA. The erosion of our liberties has me really frightened.
    But I am going to take your advice. You are right. I have been counterproductive with all my whining about Obama. I appreciate the wake up call.
    Kathryn

  • Pam Veselinovic:

    Another good piece, Mike.

    You won’t hear my whining about President Obama. I think he has done an admirable job with what he has had to work with. It’s been an uphill battle since the beginning, and he has compromised on some things, but that’s what negotiating is about. Win some, lose some. He knows that, and as his second term is winding down, he’s making differences in the lives of the people he cares about most. Just like he promised.

    It’s only going to get better.

    • Michael Douglass:

      I hope you’re right Pam. I’m a little more skeptical than you but just refuse to believe it either all bad or all good and no in between. That’s what really chaps my ass as I say here. The hard left would have us believe that by merely participating we are somehow supporting war crimes and imperialism while they either sit it out entirely or throw their votes away on a candidate who has no chance. The Nader vote is part of the reason we ended up with Dumbya.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Pam Veselinovic:

        You’re right about throwing away votes. It’s smug. Or not voting because you don’t want to choose the least of two evils. Really, most elections are two jerks facing off because nice guys rarely make it to the top and when they do, they are destroyed, like Dukakis, for instance. Too nice to run for President. Enter Willie Horton and the rest is BUSH history. Hopefully the tables have turned and Hillary is next, followed by Elizabeth Warren, maybe. By the time they finish 8 years each, we’ll be too demented or decomposed to care.

  • Joe Owen:

    Outstanding analysis and opinion as always Michael. Kudos!

    • Michael Douglass:

      Thanks for reading Joe. Really pissed some people off with this one. Wish they’d show up here and fight instead of taking shots at me on facebook.

  • Virginia Bossett:

    I agree with you, but he is remember Black because of that One Drop of Black Blood! And I am Pushing for Hillary. The Leftist and Progressives that set out 2010 made it possible to have all of this Hooplar we are going thru!!! “I will sit home and teach the Prez. a lesson on not doing what we said for him to do!!!Include into the mix, Ed of the Ed show.

  • Virginia Bossett:

    Love your Blog Sir!!!

  • I guess I can understand the choosing of the lesser evil. My preference is to not choose evil at all. But maybe that can only occur in an unrealistic perfect world.

  • LeaAnn Loudmouth:

    It is a fact that Obama has increased the wealth of the rich even faster than Bush II did, and that median household income in America has actually dropped under him. And this many years after his election, no, it’s not all Bush’s fault. Obama deliberately chose policies and personnel like Bernanke, Summer, and Geithner who would, predictably increase inequality. And that is what he wanted.
    Neoliberals love offering left-wing voters identity issues, or the appearance of them. They may love the gay (or at least not mind it), but that doesn’t mean they don’t still intend to create a society in which there are aristocrats, and if the serfs want to marry same sex, let’em. Meanwhile, they’ll keep you under 24/7 surveillance in case you start acting actually subversive in ways that could actually hurt their power and wealth.
    Oh, and African-Americans have done terribly under Obama.

    • Patricia Stidham-Burns:

      In regards to Black Americans. He is the President of the United States. Not an Activist for Black issues. He can only do so much with the DO NOTHING Congress that he has. Give him time post presidency and see what he can accomplish. My bet is he will work hard for them. I hope so!

  • Michael Douglass:

    A lot of what you say is true. I have numerous problems with his appointments. The domestic spying has been going on for decades, technology has just gotten better. And as far as the middle class, jobs, income etc., you have an obstructionist congress to blame for that. At least Obama is out on the stump addressing these issues every day.

  • Beautifully said, man. I’ve been battered by folks to my left (and that takes some walking) as well as the usual suspects- the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troglodytes who aren’t comfortable unless they’re positioned to the right of John MF Birch.

    Obama has had to endure more obstructionism than any president in my lifetime, and he’s done a lot of things to placate an unimpressed conservative opposition cabal that would intimidate most into total inaction. I applaud his forthright attempts to ride a centrist path when anything less than that would have ended legislative progress. He simply can’t rule by mandate or executive order, as much as I wish he could.

    And trust me, I’m concerned by the handouts to the corporate whores who run things, and for the environmental backtracking he’s done.

    and yet… what are the alternatives in today’s political environment?

    I’d happily pull a lever and cast a vote for Elizabeth Warren, if I’m given that opportunity, but really, what are the odds an unabashed liberal will ever be a mainstream party candidate in a society that rewards Pander Express riders?

    Nicely written. Thanks.

  • Mandy Andersonn:

    Exactly. This is what I’ve been trying to say and couldn’t. I tend to just get nasty when I see the lefty-lefts in action. I’ve been called both an Obamabot and a Firebagger. I’m neither. I like to think of myself as a realistic liberal. Is Obama perfect? Nope. And I’ve called it like I’ve seen it on many issues – Firebagger. Is Obama horrible, the end of liberalism in America, a fascist dictator looking to bring us all into corporate slavery. Nope – Obamabot. SMH. There is a happy fucking medium. And, oh yes! Sing me the song of the greens or the “Independents”. Explain to me how today’s Libertarians aren’t REALLY just ‘baggers who like pot and don’t like war. Please. Do.

    The real choice, to anyone who’s paying attention, is between wishy-washy Dems and religio-fascist Reps. And between the two my pick will always be the Dems. Even if I don’t agree with everything they’re currently doing. Because there IS a difference.

  • Mary Elizabeth:

    Nicely done Michael.

    For decades now we Lefties have been sniffing derisively that repubs vote in lock-step, stoopid sheeple!, unlike our obviously discerning selves, WE vote for the character of the individual!, regardless of Party! Yes, we are SO brainy and independent WE won’t hesitate to vote for the other Party’s guy if OUR guy doesn’t meet our ever-so-high standards! Oh, and we will also THROW OUT & disown ANY Democrat who doesn’t live up to our standards! In a skinny minute, you betcha! We are so busy enjoying feeling superior for NOT being big ole hypocrites like the Right, that we will RUSH to HELP Rethuglicants throw Blago in prison! To destroy ACORN! To run Weiner out on a rail!

    I’ve even seen far too many of my dear Liberal friends posting their intention to refuse to support Hillary because she sat on the Board at Walmart a hundred years ago!

    We claim to be the Champions of the disenfranchised and the downtrodden, while simultaneously condemning any Democratic Politician who happens to reveal any Human Weakness! Who’s the real hypocrites?

    What Democratic Voters need to wrap our heads around is that the hypocritical, lock-step-voting, lemmings ARE SUCCEEDING!!

    They have pulled this Country so far to the Right that we are living in an Oligarchy RIGHT NOW! And even though we COULD still turn this shit around and undo the damage in just 4, maybe 5 elections, WE WONT because we are too stubbornly prideful to accept that we need to take a page from the lemming play book and VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS no matter how sleezy, slimy, or slutty they happen to be! We need to take back the Power of our Government, THEN worry about cleaning our people up & forcing them to enact our liberal wet dreams! THIS IS IT FOLKS! If we don’t get it together THIS NOVEMBER, and follow through in 2016, we will LOSE this Country to the insanely sociopathic, greedy and destructive Cons! Not just for a generation, but quite possibly, PROBABLY!, for the very short remainder of time Humanity can continue to survive on this planet THEY are actively murdering!

    *deep breath* …. sorry. Your article pushed my rant button. What I meant to say was:

    I agree Michael.

    • Michael Douglass:

      Well said. Nice passion and conviction. What you wrote (along with what I wrote) should be required reading for what I think are being called “firebaggers” these days. Bravo.

  • Patricia Stidham-Burns:

    Thank you Michael for such a great read! I have tried to convince people if they want to vote Green then they need to get their party funded and well known for a fighting chance otherwise it’s a vote for Republicans.

    I have been cursed at,slammed,called filthy names and told I am very stupid for sticking up for Obama. I don’t agree with everything he has done. But has done a lot of good things for our country. The Republicans propaganda bull horn is so incredibly loud it drowns out all his accomplishments and people turn a blind eye and swallow the rhetoric hook, line, and sinker.

    I dare to think what great things we could have accomplished if he had a Congress that cared about “We the People” and actually worked WITH him…

Leave a Reply

Search
Categories