Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Defeatocrats Win Again

Over at Carpetbagger's, he's got two posts in which defeatist Dems are using setbacks in the healthcare debate as proof that they were right, Obama and Congressional Dems are ineffective, and we might as well just toss up our hands and abandon the party. Not that they'll admit to this, as they like to imagine themselves as the fighterist of the fighters. Yet, that can be the only conclusion from reading their words.

One is a post in which Carpetbagger highlights Senator Grassley's crazy comments and how Dems would be crazy to try to work with him. And another post was about the unfortunate situation we're in, in which liberals have more to lose by walking away from the bill than conservatives do. And as usual, I agree with Carpetbagger on both of these posts and fail to see how any sensible liberal could find any problem here.

Yet in the comments section, there are waves of progressives who imagine that these posts are the work of a naive sell-out who is the cause of our problems. Like in the first post, where one commenter calls CB "brain dead" for even writing about Grassley's comments. Others make the same point CB made, that it's "crazy" for Dems to work with Grassley, yet act as if CB hadn't just written that. Huh? It's like they're all on auto-pilot. Carpetbagger writes for a mainstream liberal site, so he couldn't have suggested that Dems not work with Grassley.

And the second thread was even worse, as many of them were insisting that we should walk away from any healthcare bill that didn't have a public option, despite the fact that this is exactly what Republicans want. And it's the same thing we saw earlier this year, in which provisions which didn't need to be in the stimulus bill were removed, and these people saw it as a clear sign of defeat; which was all Obama's fault, for not allowing a "real progressive" to win the election. And they insisted that if we didn't fight to keep funding for contraceptives in the bill, that Obama would lose every battle thereafter and we were all doomed. Yet if the provision had never been in the bill, nobody would have missed it.

And reading this stuff, it becomes obvious that it really isn't about the provisions in the bills at all that they care about. It's about beating Republicans in every battle. And if Republicans win anything, then we've lost everything and we were stupid for even trying. It's not about getting us the best healthcare plan. It's about making sure that everyone knows that they wanted the best healthcare and were correct when they said we'd never get it. And we're all stupid, naive, and brain dead unless we insult anyone who isn't saying the same thing.

And that's the weirdest part: As much as they imagine themselves as hardcore policy wonks who firmly believe in their progressive ideals, it's quite obvious that they're the most political of all of us. They loath compromise, not because it weakens good bills, but because it means we lost part of the fight. And that's all it's about: The fight.

One last thing: I'd like to stress, as I did there, that I think reports of the death of the public option have been greatly exaggerated and definitely would be upset if its not in the final bill. But that's one of the most telling things about these people: They've already decided it's dead. Not because they have some deeper insight into politics than the rest of us, but merely because it confirms everything they've always believed.

Again, these defeatists aren't trying to get us better healthcare; but merely to tell us they were right all along when they said we couldn't get it. If only they spent as much energy pushing for these policies as they do naysaying, we could have already gotten the damn thing passed by now. But I suppose it's a lot more fun to sneer at anyone who's trying to make a difference than to actually try and make that difference.

No comments: