Many of my old comrades from The News Blog days have long since departed for Purity Angel Elysium. Over the years (shit, I mean decades) I have heard from a few of them, them every now and again, mostly during the administration of Barack "Worse Than Boosh!" Obama, and almost exclusively to chastise me for being a bad and unworthy Libtard.
Ah well. I've been thrown out of better places. I've been called worse things. They seem happy up there in paradise, secure in their own self-regard, surrounded by the like-minded and removed from this grimy, elbows-deep-in-the-imperfect world. And what more should one want for old friends than they find a little happiness in this old universe?
And speaking of old friends long gone, I thought it might be time to trot out this ancient colloquy between the late Steve Gilliard and the retired-from-the-field Billmon. This is done by way of a reminder that today's differences, which seem so manifest and present, actually long predate President Stupid. And the Bernie Sanders campaign. And Donna Brazille. And the seemingly centuries-ago days of the Barack "Worse Than Boosh!" Obama Administration when the Purity Angels could luxuriate in their contempt and sneer at ol' Droneglass secure in the knowledge that, worst-case, they'd have President Hillary to gleefully beat like a pinata for four or eight years' worth of bitter candy and delicious self-righteousness.
But it didn't work out that way. Instead, well, the K'rupt Duopoly was overthrown. By a Man From Outside The System -- a man who is moving swiftly to smash every yucky, stale, old tradition and standard of behavior to bits.
It's Mission Accomplished, kids, so why the long faces?
From the late Steve Gilliard in August of 2006. Take a close look at Billmon's language from 11 years ago. See if you notice anything familiar.
It matters to some peopleBillmon posted this up and it bugs the shit out of me.A "Bad" Sign............................
I used to argue that progressives in this country had no choice but to support the Democrats -- even pathetic frauds like Howard Dean and inept Thurston Howell III clones like John Kerry. I used to quote Frederick Douglas's despairing comment about what the Republican Party of his day represented for African Americans: the rock; all else is the sea.Maybe that was true, once. But I've finally come to realize that in modern-day America there is no rock -- just a vast, featureless expanse of reactionary ocean, like something from the set of Waterworld, except without a gilled Kevin Costner.So here's my confession: At this point I really don't give a flying fuck whether the Democrats take the House or the Senate back. No, wait, that's not true. The truth is I hope they don't. It wouldn't save us from what's coming down the road, in the Middle East and elsewhere. It wouldn't force President Psychopath to change course or seek therapy. But it would make sure that the "left" (ha ha ha) gets more than its fair share of blame for the approaching debacle.That may well be the natural role of the Democratic Party in our one-and-a-half party system, but I don't want any part of it any more. Which means that when I say it's a bad sign (consensus opinion always being wrong) that Charlie Cook now thinks the Republicans are likely to lose their House and/or Senate majorities in November, I just mean that it's a bad sign for the Democratic Party and its professional hangers on.For the rest of us, and for whatever is left of this country's soul, it doesn't really matter. We've already lost.
Then comes Mr. Gilliard's response:
You know, if you have a good job and a nice house, you can think this way.If you're making minimum wage, you need a Democratic Congress, if you want to be treated with stem cells, if you want to get an abortion.It's easy to sit back and say nothing will happen to Bush, because nothing will happen to you. But if you're fighting with the VA, it fucking matters. If your kid is in Iraq, it fucking matters. Fuck the shit which comes with Bush, there are people who need the help, even minimal help, a Democratic Congress can provide.A lot of nice, middle class progressives forget that the fight isn't for them. You think for one second I believe Ned Lamont knows what it's like to be working class, much less working class and black, living in a New Haven housing project?What I know is that Joe Lieberman turned his back on those people and put his foot on their necks in so many ways I've lost count. It's their kids dying in Iraq, coming home to a fucked up VA, not getting their benefits.At least Lamont wants to listen and Lieberman stopped long ago.You better remember that if you see a vast sea, there are some folks drowning and the question is whether you save them or leave them to their fate.When those Coast Guard pilots and rescue swimmers flew over New Orleans, they could have said, shit, too many wires, too many unknowns, let's get some boats for them. Instead, they jumped in the water and started saving people.Which is what we are tasked to do. We don't have time to worry about Bush, there are people who need a government not at their throats. They don't need it in theory, they don't need it in some undefined future, they need it today, and if not today, tomorrow. Those Wal Mart workers need real health insurance, and the GOP isn't going to give it to them.There are real people who need what a Democratic Congress can provide and who need it as soon as they can get it.
For the record, a lot of those Wal Mart workers eventually got real health insurance. So did tens of millions of other Americans who desperately needed it.
It was messy and complicated and most of the Red States opted for lying, sabotage and sadistic fuckery instead of Medicaid expansion, and Ted Kennedy died, and Scott Brown was elected, and it took longer for them to recount, certify and seat Al Franken than it takes Michael Apted to bring out an Up film and the Majyk Single Payer Fairy was too busy on some other plane of existence to put a horse-head in Joe Lieberman's bed, and a bunch of other maddening shit happened too.
And tens of millions of Americans who desperately needed health insurance got health insurance. And they got it specifically because one of our two major political parties -- the Democrats -- managed to get something passed -- just barely -- over the unified, berserker opposition of the other one of our two major political parties. The Republicans.
And for the last eight years, the central organizing principle of the Republicans has been undoing every single thing the Black President did, starting with stripping health insurance from tens of millions of Americans, so they they can give their donors trillions of dollars in tax cuts.
Right now, at this moment in history, there are two sides to this very ugly fight.
Behold, a Tip Jar!