Patience--and a cup of good cheer
He that can have patience can have what he will. -- Benjamin Franklin
I have been accused of many different things--not all of them flattering. Depending on whether the subject has been Impeachment (prosecution, not necessarily impeachment), torture (Calm the #^@% Down) or '08 candidates (Who Cares?), well-meaning people across the blogosphere have alternately called me a DLC shill and a soulless pragmatist, as well as a wide-eyed clueless ranter and naive idealist. Meanwhile, accusations by one progressive against another of similar betrayals of idealism and pragmatism have been flying left and right, like bullets across the trenches of Progressive No Man's Land.
It's time we all put away the hatchet, because what has been happening is utterly pointless. And we can do it if we focus on a single word: Patience.
I find myself increasingly exasperated as the denizens of the progressive blogosphere proceeds to eat their own young arguing about crap over which not only the blogosphere has no control, but over which no one at this point has any control. No one, that is, except perhaps Republicans, who have shown themselves to have essentially abdicated all responsibility for actually governing this nation.
Impeachment provides the first case in point. It is truly sad to watch such luminaries of the blogosphere as Markos, Chris Bowers, Jerome a Paris and Booman argue about this with such passionate intensity, creating large rifts and broken friendships across the blogosphere. When we should be at our strongest and our bonds should be tightest, we're needlessly eating our own.
On Impeachment, Markos is wrong. So is Bowers. So is Jerome. And so is Booman.
Nobody knows shit about whether to impeach or not at this point, because it's too early to know. Not only has the first subpoena not even been issued, the Democratic Congress doesn't even take over for over a month.
Anyone with half a brain knows that impeachment will not be considered--much less succeed--absent fresh revelations stemming from investigations and subpoenas--even if those fresh revelations only bring forward in a new news cycle facts that only hardcore news-reading progressives know today.
Anyone with half a brain knows that three months from now, we have no idea what new shit will have come to light by that time, or what new events (terrorist attacks, regional conflagrations, whistleblower appearances, etc.) will have occurred invalidating all current discussions.
Anyone with half a brain knows that justice can be served just as well by the prosecution of these bastards after they leave office just as easily as by impeaching them.
Anyone with half a brain knows that impeaching Bush and Cheney tomorrow and getting President Pelosi won't suddenly bring our troops home from Iraq.
And anyone with half a brain knows that whatever the political expediency may be today, that same political calculation may change tomorrow based on new evidence.
So why don't we all just agree to to get along on impeachment, CHILL for a while, and see what the morrow (and a Democratic Majority with subpoena powers) may bring?
Same goes for 2008 Democratic candidates. Kos' 2002 cattle call shows just how silly presidential prognostications can be this early in the game--and how really silly it is for people who should be good friends to be biting each others' heads off over support of this nominee or that at this stage in the game.
Anyone with half a brain knows that Obama's, Kerry's and Hillary's campaigns for President will rest much more on what bills they push AFTER they've had a year in a Democratic Majority, than on anything they've done as impotent members of a Democratic Minority. And we don't even get our majority for over a month!
Anyone with half a brain knows that whom the Democrats decide to nominate will depend somewhat on whom the GOP seems likely to nominate, and vice versa. Right now, the GOP is running in so many different directions that it's really impossible to make a pragmatic choice right now based on the opposition we'll be facing.
Anyone with half a brain and a view of history knows that a year and a half is MORE than enough time for one or more scandals or verbal gaffes to utterly wipe one or more contenders out of the race entirely.
Anyone with half a brain knows that Clark's chances at the presidency will depend less on Clark himself, and more on how utterly FUBAR Iraq and the rest of the world becomes, and how much primacy will be seen to be necessary on matters of foreign policy.
Anyone with half a brain knows that Edwards' chances at the presidency will depend less on Edwards himself, and more on how utterly FUBAR the economy becomes for the middle class, and how much primacy will be seen to be necessary on matters of economic policy.
And anyone with half a brain knows that whatever the political winds may be today, those same political winds may change tomorrow based on new evidence and new events.
So why don't we all just agree to to get along on presidential candidates, CHILL for a while, and see what the morrow (and a new Democratic Majority) may bring?
In short, can't we all just get along? Can't we all have a little patience? Can't we focus a little more on policy for a while? Can't we stop this feuding and stop biting each others' heads off for just a little while? There will be more than enough time to play politics in the coming months. For now, It's the Holiday Season, people are dying needlessly all over the world, there are serious problems to face on just about every major policy front, and we have many places to put our noses to the grindstone.
Kos has his work on getting more Libertarian Democrats and on building DKos 4.0. Jerome has Energize America. We should be training progressive bloggers on writing newspaper op-eds, and on proper media presentation. I myself will be making a big push on cataloguing the Republican abuse of America with GOPScandals. I know that everybody has something they can legitimately work on to further our progressive goals while we wait for the Democratic congress to take over.
In the meantime, I'll be working and waiting patiently--with love and goodwill towards all my fellow progressives. Even the ones who have called me bad names. ;-)
What do you say?