Righty Tighty Leftie Loosie

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Eschew Obfuscation
By Michael Douglass

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

MichaelWadeDouglass1

Michael Wade Douglass

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.

Michael Douglass is a new contributing columnist with the New American Journal. He publishes a regular column on his own blog @ Brainspank.org.

© 2014, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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  4 comments for “Righty Tighty Leftie Loosie

  1. February 23, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Excellent article Michael. I very much agree.

    I lived in Canada for 21 years and was very much hoping for a shot at single payer with Obama’s efforts. Shortly into the battle I realized he was absolutely right. We couldn’t change that fast. We’ve been wasting a trillion dollars per year feeding this unnecessary greed machine and one president doesn’t have the power to turn that around that much entrenched power, that completely, that quickly. What he did accomplish barely squeaked through (he really only had a super majority in the senate for a few weeks).

    We’ll get to something like single payer, the private for greed portions of our healthcare system are simply unsustainable. The US is very wealthy so we could afford to be silly longer than other nations, but we now need those precious premium dollars to go for healthcare. It would have been too much of a shock to the system to do it as quickly as the greens want. So we’ll try it in some states and then it’ll spread because the other states will want it. Just like it happened in Canada, in 1966, the year I was born.
    —————
    “I’m going to keep doing everything in my power to make sure this law works as it’s supposed to. Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege, it is your right.” —President Obama

    • Susan
      February 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Michael said: “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.”

      Darrel said: “…and one president doesn’t have the power to turn that around that much entrenched power, that completely, that quickly.”

      I am grateful for these statements because I have understood President Obama’s limitations from the beginning, and I still see him as a wonderful human being who has done the very best he could under the circumstances. It angers me when instead of giving him credit for what he has accomplished, other leftists put him down. Most of them wouldn’t have had a prayer of doing as well, let alone better.

  2. February 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I agree too. The left in Alabama has tried to push for Medicaid expansion. Good for them. Of course it hasn’t worked yet. I suspect nothing will change in Alabamaland until 2018 or 2020. The South is always years behind the rest of the country.

    BTW: I like the idea of the Fayetteville Freethinkers too, LOL.

    Good luck in Arkansas : )

  3. David Underhill
    February 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    This statement: “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….”

    Seems at war with this statement: “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.”

    Please provide the terms of a truce.

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