Stupak taunts progressives (Steve in Sacto)
Via Ryan Grim:

4:18 PM ET -- Rep. Stupak on progressives: You can't be crying wolf all the time because you lose your wolfiness.


HuffPost asked Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), the lead Blue Dog negotiator, why he succeeded and the progressives failed.

"Because I didn't threat[en]. These are the facts," he said.

But you did threaten, a reporter pointed out.

No, Stupak said, it wasn't a threat. It was a promise. "No, they know I'll vote against the rule," he said.

Stupak said the Blue Dogs have gradually been sending a message to leadership and that much of it goes back to a previous vote involving an appropriations bill that Blue Dogs wanted to include pro-life language.

In July, the House considered a Financial Services Appropriations bill that would allow publicly-funded abortions in the District of Columbia. Stupak and allies were not allowed an amendment, so they sought to "take down the rule" -- in other words, round up enough votes to deny he bill a chance to get voted on on the floor. When time expired, the pro-lifers had prevailed. But Pelosi held the vote open for extra time and persuaded four members to switch their votes.


"Now, I have not threatened that every time that we went to Rules Committee and we didn't always get our pro-life amendments, I did not try to take down any rules. You have to pick your fights at the right time. You can't be crying wolf all the time because you lose your wolfiness. You lose your credibility," he said. "So I'm not going to lose my credibility. So you use it at certain times when it's appropriate."

It sounds to me
like he wasn't talking about the Blue Dogs, not Progressives. He was saying that Blue Dogs can't cry wolf all the time, they actually have to back up their talk with action.

That said, Progressives should learn a lesson here. The hard part for Progressives is that unlike Blue Dogs, they actually want to get something done. Blue Dogs are happy with gridlock and failure, though they don't realize that failure will cost them their jobs next year, not Progressives.

Yup, that's how I read that, too.
But of course, his point that he didn't "threaten" is simply ridiculous.

[ Parent ]
Two lessons
Progressives must demonstrate on something that they'll actually carry through on their threat by actually doing it. The threat must be seen as having a real chance of being carried through successfully.

You must pick your spots so the threat is credible. Otherwise you will appear to be crying wolf. The worst thing that can happen is to have your bluff called when you can't or won't follow through.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

Lessons learned, one hopes.
The Progressive Caucus, and Grijalva especially, need to pick an issue and start managing it long-term like this.

I'm just not sure at this point whether grassroots progressives will look at this as the first setback in a longer fight to move the Overton window leftward, or as the last straw - the final betrayal by the Democratic Party.


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