Monday, July 18, 2011

From the Dept of Terrible Excuses: Liberal Malaise Edition

Dave Weigel reports from MoveOn's progressive grassroots reboot:
Diaz has asked the question plaguing liberals since February 2009, when the first impromptu, blog-organized protests against the stimulus plan broke out in Seattle and Tampa. What the hell happened to liberal protests? How could the same mall that filled front to back for Barack Obama's inauguration be conquered nine months later by Tea Party activists? Why were members of Congress shouted down at town halls when they talked about health care, when every liberal could Google polls that proved the public option was popular?

Liberals can come up with two answers. They can say that their movement sputtered because Obama didn't govern from the left, didn't nail Wall Street, and proved every Republican argument right by conceding it. Or they can blame themselves for electing Obama, buying the commemorative Shepard Fairey "Yes We Did" poster, and then sitting back and laughing as the Tea Party out-organized them. (emphasis mine - JG)

If you ever meet a progressive attempting to traffic argument number one, I would say you would be justified in smacking them.

Personally, I'd like to offer explanation number three: there are a variety of structural impediments to enacting progressive policies, including but not limited to; the unintuitive and politically unpopular aspects of Keynesian economics, the constitutionally structured weakness of the presidency and unprecedented deployment of the filibuster by senate Republicans.

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