Journal: Zenlitened - Archives
Saves the rest of us a lot of effort.
...a lot of the huffing and puffing youíre hearing isnít meaningless posturing. Itís how the system works, and is supposed to work. Negotiators need to press for their best deal; advocates have to do the same. It produces a lot of excess, extraneous noise. That may not be appetizing to many people, but itís actually quite healthy. It is, one might say, the sound of democracy.
No gang-banging, no grand bargains. None of that Shock Doctrine shit this whole affair represents.
Although I'm surprised you misunderstand the word consensus. It is, in the context of elections and governance, synonymous with building majorities.
(No, not an expectation of "ideological compliance," the term you use in your OP. That's a complete strawman, itself.)
In any event, I imagine that in order to build these majorities, you did not merely ask people where they stood on the issue.
I imagine you went beyond that, and attempted to persuade them to support your point of view, at least in the instance of a particular election.
That's leadership. There was no guarantee that your efforts to persuade would be successful, yet you made the attempt anyway.
Hardly pragmatic. But successful nonetheless. And by your very success you disprove the rather poorly-constructed argument of your OP.
Too often, they respond to criticisms of presidential policy or politics by informing the critics that they have deluded themselves.
That they projected their own hopes or desires onto Mr. Obama's campaign statements.
That they they are mistaken to believe certain commitments were ever made at all.
In essence, these supporters argue, "Change You Can Believe In... can mean whatever the listener invests in it."
So, the republicans aren't exactly breaking new ground here.
That talking point has already been deployed all over the blogosphere.
Fortunately, it has been shown to be a pretty weak argument, and has failed to gain much traction.
She wasn't talking about ALL supporters of Pres. Obama, just the extreme fringe.
*This hypothetical address.
This issue is about at the level of a national emergency, and they know they'd catch too much shit if they flat-out refused.
Now, they might still insist that the address be scheduled around America's Gleeful Bachelor Idol or whatever.
And that negotiation, between the WH and the TV suits, might be going on even as we speak, or will take place very soon.
But if the WH wants to do a prime-time address on this, they can. I'm sure of it.
The statement about "trimming benefits" was part of an answer to a reporter's question about the $4 trillion size of the deal Pres. Obama favors.
In that answer he listed many issues favored by progressives, including Social security and Medicare but also Head Start, student loans, medical research, and infrastructure.
Tax cuts was not part of the context of that Q and A at all. See the official White House transcript:
Q Do you think heíll come back to the $4 trillion deal?
THE PRESIDENT: I think Speaker Boehner has been very sincere about trying to do something big. I think heíd like to do something big. His politics within his caucus are very difficult -- youíre right. And this is part of the problem with a political process where folks are rewarded for saying irresponsible things to win elections or obtain short-term political gain, when we actually are in a position to try to do something hard we havenít always laid the groundwork for. And I think that itís going to take some work on his side, but, look, itís also going to take some work on our side, in order to get this thing done.
I mean, the vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements; would prefer, frankly, not to have to do anything on some of these debt and deficit problems. And Iím sympathetic to their concerns, because theyíre looking after folks who are already hurting and already vulnerable, and there are a lot of families out there and seniors who are dependant on some of these programs.
And what Iíve tried to explain to them is, number one, if you look at the numbers, then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up. I mean, itís not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. And if youíre a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great that we look after our seniors and we look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term.
And if youíre a progressive that cares about investments in Head Start and student loan programs and medical research and infrastructure, weíre not going to be able to make progress on those areas if we havenít gotten our fiscal house in order.
So the argument Iím making to my party is, the values we care about -- making sure that everybody in this country has a shot at the American Dream and everybody is out there with the opportunity to succeed if they work hard and live a responsible life, and that government has a role to play in providing some of that opportunity through things like student loans and making sure that our roads and highways and airports are functioning, and making sure that weíre investing in research and development for the high-tech jobs of the future -- if you care about those things, then youíve got to be interested in figuring out how do we pay for that in a responsible way.
And so, yeah, weíre going to have a sales job; this is not pleasant. It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues. But the reason weíve got a problem right now is people keep on avoiding hard things, and I think now is the time for us to go ahead and take it on.
... it really wouldn't be a trial balloon *with* a quote. It would be a policy proposal.
This demand, "show me where they said they're cutting!", it really makes no sense in this context, of the WaPo article and its fallout.
In fact, it suggests a degree of naivete, IMO.
If this was indeed a trial balloon, then the process worked exactly as it should: the idea was floated, it was shot down, and the President never had to attach his name to it.
All very pragmatic. All very practical. And all in keeping with the *reality* of the way things have been done for a long, long time.
Pragmatism. Practicality. Realism. Aren't these the very qualities we are told are most esteemed in today's political climate? Why are they not similarly valued in this case?
And I doubt people like Cesca even care about helping, actually.
I mean, they take a list of actions taken by Pres. Obama, then wrap it up in smirking insults, poisonous insinuations and (in this case) even an outright lie.
It's a shit sandwich, with the shit on the outside. And they wonder why people don't scarf it down?
Look, I am glad you support the LGBT community. Society-wide support is crucial in every civil rights movement.
But people who take Cesca's approach are an entirely different story, it seems to me. I don't think they really give a damn about LGBT civil rights, I think they're more interested in feeling "victorious" over someone who sees the political situation differently than they do.
How else to explain the browbeating, the crowing, haranguing, condescending tone of their words? The easy, often scornful, dismissal of the realities experienced by GLBT citizens each and every day?
That's not support. That's a stab in the back, delivered with a sneering smile.
And yet, amazingly, these people seem to think they're doing Pres. Obama some sort of favor. They imagine, apparently, that they're gathering support and votes come 2012.
When, in fact, they've been the prime drivers of alienation right from the start. By greeting any and every expression of concern or criticism, however heartfelt, with a blitzkrieg of snide retorts and reflexive denials, they've fanned the flames every step of the way.
And now they wonder why we all find ourselves in the midst of a conflagration of ill will?
Believe me, "support" like theirs isn't doing anyone any good at all. Not the LGBT community, not the President, not the Democratic party, not DU itself.
The whole "you're an idiot now vote for me!" approach has been a complete failure, as we've seen since at least January of 2010.
Let's do better, huh?
People have acknowledged and continue to acknowledge incremental progress, if only you care to see it.
But they are unlikely to do so in a thread that starts with an enormous falsehood (which you concede is both "major" and yet merely a "red herring") and which then proceeds to layer on sanctimony, hypocrisy and hostility.
Have there been genuine accomplishments the past three years? Yes. And to those who support Pres. Obama, the LGBT activist community says... you're welcome.
These are not gifts that Pres. Obama has deigned to give. These are the results of long years of hard work, as Pres. Obama himself acknowledges.
You ask: "What about the rest?"
Well, when the crowd that brought us the "didn't get a pony" garbage packages these accomplishments up in sneering put-downs, insinuating that each victory is somehow a defeat for the very people who stood up and fought to help make it all happen...
Well, what do you expect? Instant detente? Kumbayas and group-hugs for the very people who poisoned the whole discussion in the first place?
Now would be a good time for some of that "realism" we hear so much about.
Face it, some people have done so much damage that they can't credibly be part of the discussion anymore. And they're sure not going to win hearts and minds by coating Pres. Obama's actions with the kind of crap Cesca is layering on.
What about the rest? Find a way to separate it from the toxic attitude and outright lies, and we just might see people begin to filter back in to the conversation.
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