Thursday, September 28, 2006
On leaving the democratic party...
A currently Recommended Diary states that the author will quit the Democrats if they roll on torture. My response in the comments, amplified in this open thread:
I wish that conservatives in 1964 were this quick to throw in the towel.
Even as Nixon was creating the EPA and OSHA, they fought, and built, and took over their party. Even when Ford beat their man Reagan in 1976, they simply redoubled their efforts.
But that's why they win. Because they never stopped fighting for their cause, no matter how many setbacks they suffered. Our side, apparently, is made of something lesser.
Stop whining. Stop bitching. And keep working to build a Democratic Party with backbone. The guys currently in DC don't have it? Yeah, we know that. That's why we're supporting a new breed of Democrat that isn't afraid of Rove's shadow. That will fight when the DC Dems would rather cower in fear.
We have a problem. Obviously. Democrats would rather talk about how they need to be strong, than actually be strong. They would rather talk about "moral standing", than actually, you know, stand for what's right. I know that. You know that. I suspect that even Democrats in DC know that. It's just that they're paralyzed by fear.
That's why we need to work for fearless Dems who won't let themselves be held hostage to fear. And remember, this is a long-term process. Just like conservatives didn't quit politics when Nixon was killing them with new government programs like the EPA or OSHA, we can't take our ball home every time we lose on an important issue.
Be angry. But funnel that anger into positive activities. There are good Democrats running at all levels this cycle, and they'll do so again the next, and the one after that.
Democrats think "looking strong" means bombing Iraq or Iran, when "looking strong" really means standing for something because you believe in it, even if you might not think it's the smartest political play. Whimpering every time Rove says "boo!" is not strength. Caving in to the administration is not strength. Surrendering what should be core beliefs because of political expediency is not strength.
Update: Rereading this, I don't think I was clear on this point -- please do put pressure on Democrats to do the right thing. On torture or whatever. Please get angry when they fail us and core American values. And as Stoller notes, this battle isn't over.
What annoys me is when people threaten to leave the party. As though that will somehow make things better.