I knew these questions were coming after the elections last week and I was going to write up a spirited response to them (readers of the election post-mortem roundtable in the upcoming Rolling Stone will see that David Gergen and I nearly came to blows over this question, when Gergen suggested Obama’s problem was that he needed to court CEOs more), but it seems my friend David Sirota beat me to it. I was going to post this last Friday, but for those who missed it, David nailed this whole question I think. A sample:
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.