One of the most obvious tells about Obama's critics on the left is how they really don't give a damn if their criticism is based upon reality. Like with Kagan being Obama's newest nominee: She's the fricking nominee. It's done. It's over. Whatever you thought before the nomination was announced is no longer applicable. Kagan is the nominee. The choice isn't about the "perfect" candidate versus Kagan. It's Kagan.
And so at this point, the question is: What do we do now? For me, that means supporting Kagan. What other choice do I have? If she goes down in flames, then Obama takes a serious hit, and the media will finally be able to paint his presidency as being weakened; thus empowering conservatives. And that's certainly not good for liberalism. But even worse, Obama would be stuck picking someone conservatives would like even more. So any criticsm of Kagan will only make things worse for us all.
Yet many progressives aren't happy with her, primarily because she's not a strident progressive intended to shove Republican faces into the dirt. More than anything else, progressives want a fight and their entire political strategy is designed solely to maximize fight potential. And so they see Kagan as the sell-out choice. Not because they have much against her (how could they), but because they wanted a fight.
Fighting for Nothing
But what exactly do they plan to achieve? Again, if Kagan sinks, then we'll get someone worse than Kagan. That's a guarantee.
Yet all the same, progressives seem to imagine as if there's some other alternative. As if they're fighting for a more liberal choice. As if "The Perfect" is somehow still an option. And so they're debating Kagan's unknowns against an ideal they can't get. And they'll raise a snitfit any chance they can, to remind you how pure they are, because they want a nominee they can't get; while their actions, if anything, could lead to us getting an even worse nominee.
But there's nothing new about that. They didn't want Obama and would rather have had a pure candidate who loses than an imperfect one who wins. And they'd rather sink the Stimulus Bill last year, rather than give any concessions to Republicans. And they'd rather keep the status quo healthcare that was failing us, than the reasonable healthcare we got. It's a theme with them. Apparently, losing makes it easier to win later; in accordance with no known rule in the universe.
And yeah, I get it. You're pure. You're holier than us. You have the perfect political solution to every policy debate, and it always involves taking a hardline liberal stance and fighting it to the end. Bully for you. But in the meantime, your politics suck. And were these people in charge of the party, McCain (or worse) would be in the Whitehouse, the Republicans would control Congress, and rather than debating the merits of Kagan's hiring practices at Harvard, we'd be howling about how horrid the next Scalito is. But hey, you'd have your purity, so that'd count for something.
And yeah, I understand the idea of having ideals and being pure. But at the end of the day, I'd still rather have an impure president than an evil one. No, you can't sell-out all your ideals. But if what you're fighting for is something you can't get, then you're not fighting for anything. And I'd rather fight for a little of something than a lot of nothing.