Thank You, Dick Cheney, For Giving Me the Proper Words

by: David Sirota

Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 15:00

Like many of you reading these pixels, I've found myself in the last year burnt out on American politics, mostly because it has become a glorified red-versus-blue summer camp color war devoid of substance and logic. That kind of thing, which might have been fun as a kid in summer camp, is neither enjoyable nor mildly interesting as an adult muddling through day-to-day issues here in the real world. Sure, political junkies on cable TV, in the blogosphere and in the halls of power think the world revolves around political palace dramas, but as Jon Stewart so aptly put it, "Most Americans don't live their lives solely as Democrats or Republicans or conservatives or liberals -- most Americans live their lives that our just a little bit late for something they have to do."

The fact that so few in our political arena appreciate that truism is one reason I've really just had it. There's only a finite amount of time in a given day, and I -- like most Americans in the real world -- just don't have time or energy to contribute to the part of our culture that pretends D.C. gossip and the day's manufactured partisan controversies are monumentally important when, for the most part, they aren't -- at least not to those of us who are living here in a real recession-hammered world that both parties ignore.

The other reason I've become less interested is because the political arena has become less interesting. It is as if the drama of politics -- once vaguely provocative -- is now all pre-programmed. We know what Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are going to say. We know how progressive media is going to respond. We don't even have to tune in to know the reaction.

This is particularly true after elections -- and, in specific, when it comes to the mind-numbing "Future of the Democratic Party" debate. Indeed, I could have told you months ago that the week after the election would be marked by various self-appointed pillars of the Democratic Party coalition saying Democrats should do this or should do that to rescue their electoral future.  

David Sirota :: Thank You, Dick Cheney, For Giving Me the Proper Words
For example, I could have told you that a washed-up has-been like Evan Bayh would publish a New York Times op-ed insisting that Democrats "were too deferential to our most zealous supporters" (read: liberals) even after the Democratic Party crushed a public option, watered down Wall Street "reform," extended Bush-era civil liberties atrocities, escalated the Afghanistan War, further ballooned the defense budget and began moving to extend the Bush tax cuts.

Likewise, I could have told you that those careerists in D.C. who make their livelihood off this kind of pablum would publish a "strategy memo" in something self-importantly called "The Democratic Strategist". And I could have told you that this "strategy memo" would defend the bash-the-liberals meme with bromides about how "all of the major perspectives within the Democratic Party have a legitimate place and role in today's Democratic coalition" and about how "the present moment categorically demands a basic level of Democratic unity from every element of the coalition" (read: liberals shouldn't criticize the corporatists who destroyed the Democratic Party -- and the country).

I could have told you all of this because, as I said, it's pre-programmed. It's not spontaneous. It's not reacting to any reality out here in the real world. It's not responding to a changing country. It's pre-written, pre-conceived, pre-packaged feces sprayed at us in liquid form, all to justify a continuation of how it's always been -- and, frankly, how it probably will always be.

In the past, I may have contributed to some sort of organized pushback. But not this year. No, this time I can muster only one Cheney-esque response to the whole grotesque kabuki theater surrounding the inane "Future of the Democratic Party" debate: Go fuck yourself.

Evan Bayh and Third Way and The Democratic Strategist and the DLC and all the professional pundits and cable-TV zombies and D.C. spokesholes - all of you soul-raping corpses and shit-eating poindexters paid to appear on my television screen and scream at me about liberals ruining everything, please, I beg you on behalf of the silent irritated majority: Just go fuck yourself.

Go fuck yourself because all of your arguments are about what policies should be pursued to rescue Democratic politicians' electoral future, rather than about what policies are needed to rescue, say, the fucking country's future. Additionally, go fuck yourself because if you know so much about winning elections and if you are so sure conservadem-ism/Blue Dog-ism is the way to win said elections, how come it was the conservadems/Blue Dog candidates - not liberal candidates - who lost the most elections this year?

Also, go fuck yourself because the fact that you are even trying to create the same old bash-the-liberals debate exposes you not just as substantively wrong, but as professionally employed to despoil our culture with bullshit -- and specifically, with bullshit that you know is bullshit. That, really, everyone knows is bullshit.

The facts are painfully apparent. Though hundreds -- if not thousands -- of people in D.C. are professionally paid to pretend these facts require debate and analysis and parsing and speculation and press releases and pithy Tweets and Sunday Show roundtables and C-SPAN symposia and to-camera cable-TV rants and lengthy thousand-page books, they don't require any of that. The facts are simple. The facts are obvious. The facts are undeniable to anyone not paid fistfulls of sweaty money  to lie or sensationalize:

1. The Democratic Party shit on its base with its policies, as noted above.

2. This demoralized the Democratic base, which responded by not turning out to vote. As CBS News notes, "Hispanics, African Americans, union members and young people were among the many core Democratic groups that turned out in large numbers in the 2008 elections (but) turnout among these groups dropped off substantially, even below their previous midterm levels."

3. In cause-and-effect style, the result of all this was, as the Washington Post reports, a freshman congressional class that is primarily made up of angry, white, lunatic-conservative assholes.

So yes, all of you who are wasting all of our time pretending this isn't the basic point-A-to-point-B story of the election -- and there are a lot of you out there -- please, if not for me, then for everyone else: Go fuck yourself.

We've got lives to lead, we've got struggles to struggle through, we've got bills to pay - in short, we've got to get through the shit you've created and continue to create. And as you now incessantly bitch about the alleged scourge of those evil election-losing liberals, as you whine and wail and cry from the cocktail and hors d'oeuvre paradise of TV studios and green rooms and congressional offices and party fundraising events, you've made quite clear you don't give a shit about the harsh reality we all face - the harsh reality we all face thanks to you.

Knowing all of that, I'll end just reiterate my one succinct request: All I ask is that as you continue your hard work to prop up the kleptocracy, as you continue to clog our last remaining democratic conduits with your viscous rhetorical shit bombs, please, do us all a favor and for the love of whatever god you worship - please just stop wasting our damn time and go fuck yourself.

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Wow, quite a blast (0.00 / 0)
and I won't try to criticize you for it.  We're all feeling pretty raw this week.

Instead I'll point you at some interesting analysis of one of the few bright spots of this week.

It may shock you.  But you know who campaigned using the strategy we probably all wish the Democrats would adopt?  None other than Harry Fucking Reid.

So no matter what the "Democratic Strategist" may have meant (actually, if they intended another Rahm Emanuel rant, they kept it cloaked), isn't the answer really "why can't we put together the coalitions that worked for Harry Reid", who, as I hardly need to state is not the embodiment of where we need to go.

Nonetheless, Dems would be well-advised to study his campaign.
That's my answer to the "Democratic Strategists".

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

Shameless plug (0.00 / 0)
I posted a QH about Harry Reid's race here.  Also, Esquire has a piece about it here.  Definitely a race worth studying.

[ Parent ]
Actually (0.00 / 0)
if you read the "Democratic Strategist"'s screed carefully, you could take its argument to cut just as strongly against the Rahm Emanuels as it cuts against the progressives.  

Its lead author, Ed Kilgore, wrote a piece about a year ago that was fairly well-received here, because it argued for taking the ideological differences between the different factions seriously, instead of shouting past one another.  Sorry, I can't seem to load it except as cached content from Google, and the URL won't work if I post it.  But google "Ed Kilgore seriously" and you'll find it.

Kilgore wrote:

"Progressive pragmatists"--the camp with which I most often personally identify, as it happens--often treat "the Left" condescendingly as immature and impractical people who don't understand how things get done. Meanwhile, people on "the Left" often treat "pragmatists" as either politically gutless or personally corrupt. This is what happens when you don't take seriously other people's ideological and strategic underpinnings; whatever you gain in ignoring or minimizing differences in perspective or point of view is lost in mutual respect. Sure, the character attacks on both sides are sometimes accurate, but nobody should assume that in any particular case without further examination of each others' ideological and strategic views.

I'd prefer to argue with these guys than to shout at them.  That's why I posted the link above about Reid (which came from Firedoglake, actually).

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
The piece is called "Taking Ideological Differences Seriously" (0.00 / 0)
and it can be found here.

As for my own opinion, "well-received" would be an understatement.  This is literally some of the best political writing I've ever read in my life.  No joke.

[ Parent ]
thanks (0.00 / 0)

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
"I won't try to criticize you for it" (0.00 / 0)
"instead I'll damn you with some faint praise"

[ Parent ]
I don't mind criticizing you, however. (0.00 / 0)
Getting stuff off your chest isn't political action.  You wanna be a drama queen, go for it.  How about dealing with the substance of my remark?  If Harry Reid, Mr. One Foot in the Grave could fight, what about the rest?  What does it mean that he did?

You could make some lemonade from those lemons.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
"drama queen" (0.00 / 0)
sure is homophobia in here, Mr. 1957

[ Parent ]
Good grief (0.00 / 0)
Good night

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
Hey, you also forgot (0.00 / 0)
to charge me with ageism.

sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
And, I'd add, (4.00 / 2)
I was relieved by the end to not see this.

[ Parent ]
I hope that was as cathartic to write as it was to read. (4.00 / 4)
Yes, these idiots... these vacuous, moral cripples... these corporatist wankers... they're all quite happy with the smaller pond, as long as it is they--and not the rabble they so despise--who are the Big Fishies.

Unity! But for US, not them!

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

*Slow Clap* (4.00 / 1)
Well said, sir. You've encapsulated my own feelings perfectly.

yep (4.00 / 1)
totally with you on this one. plus four

turnout dropoff (4.00 / 1)
2. This demoralized the Democratic base, which responded by not turning out to vote. As CBS News notes, "Hispanics, African Americans, union members and young people were among the many core Democratic groups that turned out in large numbers in the 2008 elections (but) turnout among these groups dropped off substantially, even below their previous midterm levels."

Does this mean the absolute value of turnout was lower than previous midterm levels, or that the dropoff (i.e. difference between 2008 and 2010) was bigger than, say, dropoff between 2004/2006 or 2000/2002?  Cuz if turnout was massively higher in 2008 than in previous presidential years, of course the fall will be greater too.

and women (4.00 / 1)
The drop off in women voters for Democrats was huge.  I think we all know why.

Thank You Indeed! (4.00 / 1)
My friend Cactus Pat sent me a link to this article and as I read it  I realized something.

I think my son was switched at birth!   That has to be the answer.  David Sirota must be my son, not that little wimp who doesn't bother to vote most of the time and when he does he allows a paranoid girl friend to dictate how he will vote.

Oh well, maybe he will grow a fucking brain and read David's columns.

By the way David I have a better spelling for one of the words you used....bullshit.  I developed the 'Nazi' version for the sole purpose of describing Republican garbage.....Bullschitt!  

I join David in telling the entire Bu$h administration & the obnoxious know-nothing Republican Party....GO FUCK YOURSELF!


Grandma Maggie who developed the most colorful language this side of Timbuktu during the 8 yr. Cheney/Bush reign of terror.  


Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! (0.00 / 0)
Fantastic Mr. Sirota!

Thank you, David Sirota, for giving me the proper words (4.00 / 1)
Amen, amen, amen.  When will the Democrats cut the "how can we get reelected" bullshit and screw up the courage to take action in the interest of our country?

David, you probably thought twice before posting this, but thank you for writing for the majority of Americans who are sick of both entrenched political interests and erzatz grassroots movements.


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