a leader is one who leads, not one who cowers

to continue on my favorite topic of late, i hear through the internet that the white house is shocked (shocked!) that liberals are bitching* about their bungling of the whole heath care thing (via gawker, who suggest that either the WH or the WP are justing fucking with us on this point; i however, believe the WH might just be that idiotic).

on the other side of the spectrum, apparently some people on the left are appalled at taibbi’s comments about the bungling of the heath care thing (specifically, the portion that i quoted the other day). and today, a better summation about why both of these items are stupid than i could come up with (i’m not very good at being pithy and concise, i’m sure you’ve noticed):

And now that the tables are turned and the other side has near-complete control of the White House and the Hill, what do we get?

We get spineless waffling, pathetic half-measures, a supposed push for bipartisanship in deference to a group that giddily trampled its political opponents underfoot for nearly a decade and have no compunction about continuing to, despite the fact that it’s in no position whatsoever to exert such force — not anymore.

And that’s what Taibbi’s getting at. His comments pose an interesting question: Is it better to be able to say that you were completely “fair,” or that you got things done? This becomes especially thorny when you consider that, despite all your attempts at being obliging and conciliatory, the other side isn’t really interested in bipartisanship. The Republicans are only pretending to give a shit about fairness; the reality is that they’ll never bend to the will of the Democrats — they’ll block Obama at every turn and by any means necessary. Try to appease them all you want, it’ll get you nowhere. 

By now, the Democrats should’ve realized this and should be rolling over the GOP obfuscation, misdirection and conspiracy machine with a tank. They have the power and the numbers, and yet they continue to behave as if the other side would show them the same courtesy were the roles reversed — as if the last eight years never happened. 

It’s time to lay down the gauntlet and not fight back — since the Democrats should in no way be on the defensive right now — but fight

This is what Taibbi’s getting at, and he’s 100% right.

Being able to say that at least you played fair will be little consolation four years from now when nothing’s been accomplished and a Republican president is back in office.

precisely. i’m all for bipartisanship, but only when it’s legitimate. if the republicans aren’t willing to actually act like adults and try to do what’s best for the people they represent instead of petulantly obstructing every move the dems make in an attempt to discredit obama, then stop working with them. someone needs to kick the dems in their collective asses and remind them that they are in charge, so stop acting like a bunch of pussies. being a strong leader doesn’t mean engaging in bush-style dirty politics or angling for an expansion of the imperial presidency; it means actually using the power you have to accomplish the things you promised. stop waffling, stop trying to appease people who can’t be appeased, and stop letting the republicans frame the debate. in short, LEAD, motherfuckers.

or else don’t be surprised when the people who voted you in because you promised change and strong leadership get pissed off at you.

*just an example, i was feeling rather link-happy.

  1. fauxpopuli said:

    Fuckin eh. The only part I have issue with is the “last decade” bit. They’ve been playing dirty a helluva lot longer than that- we had Lee Atwater and the Willie Horton ads in the 90’s, Reagan negotiating w/ Iran to keep hostages tied up in the 80’s, the Southern Strategy, on and on and on. That’s the part that’s so infuriating to me: continually being asked to accept the premise that the Dems don’t realize what’s going on. I have a growing suspicion that spinelessness is just convenient cover for their own corporate whoring. We might be pissed at them for being pussies but that still leaves us more sympathetic to them than assuming they’re just shills.

  2. fauxpopuli said:

    ‘ “I don’t understand why the left of the left has decided that this is their Waterloo,” said a senior White House adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We’ve gotten to this point where health care on the left is determined by the breadth of the public option. I don’t understand how that has become the measure of whether what we achieve is health-care reform.”

    “It’s a mystifying thing,” he added. “We’re forgetting why we are in this.” ‘

    Yeah I dunno. I mean, without a strong public option we’re left with “co-ops” that’re gonna get their lunch eaten by big insurers (assuming the GOP doesn’t manage to scare people away from co-ops too. they’ve already started to attack them as “government healthcare”) and once that happens health care reform basically becomes a bonanza for the HMOs with 40+ million guaranteed new customers. Oh and whatever does happen starts in 2013 anyway.

    I have no idea why people would be upset.

    • slimlove said:

      yeah, and maybe it’s in how i’m reading it, but there’s a real snarky undertone there, like they can’t believe that the people who treated obama as the second coming are daring to question him. it’s like they think they can just go on their merry way, accomplishing nothing, because hey, they’re not Bush, so we won’t actually expect anything of them.

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