And it's sad to say, but there are far too many liberals who are the mirror image of that. Unless a Democrat is out on the stump demanding the impeachment and imprisonment of every Republican who's ever held office, they're a traitor who has sold us out. But of course, the key difference from conservatives is that the liberal equivalent knows that this is the surest way to lose, as the Powers That Be will never allow such a candidate to succeed. So while conservativism can never fail, liberalism can never be allowed to succeed. And both sides know that the Establishment is in the pocket of the other side.
But all the same, these savvy cynics expect every politician to follow their lead, and until that happens, we'll keep getting sold the same bill of goods every time. It's like they believe that people will elect any Democrat who gets the nomination, and hate the fact that moderates keep getting the nomination. Somehow, it never seems to occur to them why that is, or that perhaps the reason their candidates can't get the nomination is the same reason they'd get trounced in the General Election.
Obama's Already Sold Us Out
And so now that Obama has won, these savvy cynics are pouring out of the woodwork to rub it in our faces that Obama will sell us out. I have no idea how they know this, as they've dropped no hints that would suggest they have ESP or a time machine; but they're quite confident that it's going to happen. Some of them even insist that Obama's supporters will be quite angry at him if he betrays them, and you'd think that Obama would know that more than anyone and that this would be a reason he wouldn't sell us out; but somehow, that sort of logic eludes them.
And the primary thing that they point to as their "proof" that Obama will sell us out is because he keeps talking about being bipartisan and reaching across the aisle. And even worse, he actually says nice things about McCain and other Republicans. And to these progressive-types, that's the worst sin possible. We're in an epic struggle, we're told, and before Policy One is ever discussed, the line in the sand must be drawn: No matter what happens, Republicans must be attacked first, last, and always. It's the only way we can get anything done.
And the problem is that, because they're so cynical about everything, they don't expect for politicians to get anything done. And so they don't care about having a strategy that might actually get something done. In fact, one of the key signs you're dealing with such a person is that they always tell you how Republicans or traitor Dems are going to undermine us, without ever explaining what we should do to stop it. But in fact, the savvy cynic knows that nothing can be done, but to sit back and lament on how they had prophesied the whole thing.
Fighting to Fight
But of course, it was all a self-fulfilling prophesy. If any compromise is a bad compromise and compromise is the only way to get things done, then nothing will get done. And that's exactly what they want. While they lament about not getting everything they want, it all just comes around to their insistence that we need to fight. And again, this is why Republicans failed, because they were beholden to a conservative movement that thinks the same way: Compromise is never permitted because it's the first sign of surrender.
For example, they'd rather see no healthcare plan than a compromised one, as they somehow imagine that they'll be more likely to get the Perfect Healthcare Plan if they hold out longer. But of course, Republicans know better. They know that once you establish the idea that an entitlement is a good thing by creating it, it's just a matter of time until it gets expanded upon enough that people will always expect it. That's what happened with the Medicare prescription drug plan. They were hoping for a cheapie election gimmick and actually ended up with a halfway decent plan that cost a fortune.
And that's why conservatives oppose all of these sort of entitlements on principle: Once it's established that the government can solve problems, people will expect it to solve more problems. That's also why they work so hard to break government. But rather than understanding any of this, the savvy cynic insists that we need to have the Perfect Policy at all times. Unless they get every demand met, they'll know they were sold down the river.
Even during the Dem primary, because Hillary's healthcare plan was seen as being superior to Obama's, Obama was an unacceptable appeaser who couldn't win the election. No talk is actually given to whose plan has a better chance at passing, or if Hillary's plan might have had political weaknesses that could have hurt her in the General Election. No, these people were acting as if these two plans would be enacted the day after the election, and if Obama won, people would suffer forever and there could be no room for improvement ever. It all came down to that.
Getting Things Done
But again, they don't even like the discussion of how things are actually supposed to get done. For as savvy and cynical as they imagine themselves to be, they never actually worry about real world discussions of how bills become laws. As if such talk is beneath them. But of course, the real reason they can't discuss it is because it undermines everything they're saying. If you're actually concerned with getting a healthcare plan passed, it really doesn't help if you're spending all your time denouncing Republicans. Especially as it lowers you to their level and makes their antics seem less shocking.
One big reason Obama did so well is because he didn't join the mudfight that Hillary had been promising us. Instead, he let McCain throw all the mud he wanted and sat back as all the mud just fell back on McCain. And it never occurs to them that it might be easier for Obama to get things done if he pays lip service to bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle. And they don't trust Republicans at all and see them as a monolithic group that can't be negotiated with, and see no reason to not burn every bridge they see. And if you even suggest that it's possible to work with a Republican, then you're a naive moron who deserves their scorn. If you suggest that any Republican might side with us, they'll insist that every Republican is Rush Limbaugh and that they'll always attack us, and that you're a fool for not knowing this.
And really, that's what it's all about with these people. Scorn, hatred, attacks, and savvy cynicism. It's all about them being smarter than you and being too cool to actually care about a politician. They've been burned in the past and that means they'll always be burned, and if you don't already know that, than you're just another fool who they'll laugh at when they're finally proven right. They'll stick with Ralph Nader, who has never lowered himself to the level that he actually became a viable option. They're much too cynical and reality-based to support a reality-based politician. Only fools support anyone who could actually win. And when they lose, they'll just chalk it up to being proven right, yet again.