… but I am glad that this year is finally almost over.
In all seriousness, this year has been just plain crappy for just about everyone I know. The economy has sucked, the political dialogue has been shrill, and everyone, whether they recognize it or not, is worse off for the wear. I’m not positive that 2010 will be any better, but I pray that it’s no worse. Here are some of the things that made me want to stab myself in the eye this year.
Republicans – I know for a fact that there are some sincere Republicans in this world. Some of them I am proud to call my friends. Unfortunately for them, and the GOP brand, they are not the ones that get phone calls from the media for interview requests. The result, is a national and state party that has positioned itself somewhere between the Know Nothing Party and a team of trained monkeys being fed a steady diet of Crystal Meth.
The GOP has been foaming at the mouth, and doing just about everything in their limited power to obstruct solutions brought by the President and Congressional leadership, while offering NO ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION, period. Yet somehow, through all the ridiculous rabidity of the GOP, the media has taken their non-position seriously, and reported it on a continuous loop as if it’s some kind of real alternative.
I hope they get what they deserve in 2010, heavy losses, but I fear that while their strategy won’t really “work”, it will appear to in the face of the next thing that makes me want to stab myself in the eye…
Democrats – If I were to write a book about the past year in Democratic politics, I think I would call it The Weakest Majority or Rudderless Politics. From the actions of many in Congress, and to a lesser degree, the President himself, one would think that Democrats have a fundamental misunderstanding of furthering their agenda or even the most basic tenets of majority maintenance.
From the ever-shifting rationales for opposing Health Care Reform to the unpopular sweetheart deals used to buy some legislators off, both houses of Congress, but particularly the Senate, seem mired in a “what’s in it for me” type attitude. It’s the kind of ridiculous self-hating stupidity that makes posts like this resonate with me, and pray for someone, anyone in the Democratic Party to show up with a pair they haven’t borrowed from a lab rodent.
Some National Bloggers – I’m not really sure when it happened, but sometime during the last year I began slowly weaning myself from certain national blogs and/or bloggers. The cause, a persistent and annoying line of reasoning that went something like this: Any kind of negotiation regarding the long and grueling Healthcare debate is the complete and total abandonment of the progressives that got you elected.
Invoking the names of former and current “progressives” including the recently deceased Senator for Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, these individuals filled my inbox, and countered the national GOP’s steady stream of
with threats against fellow progressive Members of Congress if they didn’t deliver. Brilliant!
The issue for me is not that I necessarily disagree with the policy positions of these people, but that their tactics are ridiculous. Virtually every plea, every call for support, every post that flooded my inbox like year-long projectile vomit came from an adversarial position, littered with threats and this and that and the other, while ignoring that the legislative process is not a dictatorship, but a negotiation. With the subtlety and tact of a bull in a china shop, these individuals spent the entire year yelling “The sky is falling” instead of putting together a consistent positive message that the majority of the population, that doesn’t keep a running tally of every legislative burp, could get behind. In short, they Tea Bagged their way into irrelevance.
There most certainly is a place for issue advocacy in the political discourse. If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t be writing this right now, but for the love of God, build a message beyond a series of threats that you can’t deliver on! Keep doing the petitions, and the letter writing campaigns and the phone calling, all of that stuff is good, but don’t marginalize yourself with rhetoric that puts you further out on the crazy side of politics than the REAL CRAZIES out there. You’re not only hurting your credibility, but also your cause.
Anyone who thinks the issue with Democratic Institutions in Tennessee, from the TNDP down to the lowliest of lowly county parties falls on the shoulders of one man or woman is trying to deflect blame from someone who probably REALLY deserves it, that someone either being them, or someone they support. The truth of the matter is that they all have issues that have been around longer than I’ve been paying attention.
I could go on and on about all the crap that shoulda, coulda, woulda, but I’d just be rehashing posts from last November through February, so if you want to know what’s wrong, go back to those posts and apply it to just about everything that has a “Democratic” anything to it in this state, including myself.
In all seriousness, there have been some baby steps in the right direction, but from the TNDP and the Caucus organizations down to the county parties it’s just not happening fast enough.
I hope that by Jan 4th, when petitions are available for state races, there’s some kind of plan in place, at least that’s known by the leadership, that contests the 11 first term and the 10 second term House Republicans in November, in addition to dealing with the incumbents and any retirements/open seats that may come up, but I’m not all that hopeful. I haven’t seen a concerted effort from all the stakeholders to work together on anything but the House 62 special election and that was a nightmare. I hope November isn’t a replay of that.
Here’s to hoping for a better year ahead, and for some of my “targets” to get it together. I don’t think I can stand a 2009 part 2: Electric Boogaloo.