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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm seeing a marked uptick in lefty griping in my feeds, often with some variation on the phrase "washing my hands of the Democratic Party." I'd say this sort of proclamation was unfair, but I guess its time has come; Obama has been president, after all, for two whole months and yet puppies still die.

Confidential to my fellow travelers: What I wrote about pragmatism during the primaries (1, 2) still holds. I don't like the way the financial crisis is being handled either, but unless you foresee wholesale Constitutional reforms before 2012 you're going to have either a Democratic or Republican president. You have to pick one, and there's only one who will ever even listen to people like us. The happy feeling you get from not voting for a Democrat is worth exactly nothing.

Elections have consequences. To take just one example that passed across my newsreader yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency has now blocked mountaintop-removal coal-mining. That happened because the far-too-centrist, corporatist, hopelessly compromised Democratic Party is now in power. And not just in power, but more unabashedly progressive than it's been for forty years. Drag the country to the left with one hand, hold your nose with the other, but we're stuck with the Democrats if we ever want to get anything accomplished. You don't have to like it—but if you want to be a politically relevant actor in America you have to come to terms with it.

I would have thought the example of the last eight years would have proved this point well enough. Have our memories gotten so short?