Friday, October 5, 2007

Progressives vs. Partisans

A very good essay by David Sirota that sums up that sinking feeling that many progressives have felt in recent times.
"Some of my friends may be angry at me for writing all this - but it ain't personal, and more importantly if we progressives don't engage in some self-reflection when our side has so clearly driven into a ditch, then we won't become the movement we need to become to improve this country. I am a progressive before I am a partisan - and I reject Partisan War Syndrome that says we must all just applaud every single tactic and decision, no matter how unproductive to the cause."

By the way, its not that long, so just read the whole thing if you have the time - I promise it'll be worth it.

I especially like him bringing up the difference between a partisan and movement progressive. The partisan way of thinking was everywhere at college, from the college dems to people who don't follow facts or issues, and would just boo anything Republican and cheer anything Democratic. It's an easy time to be a partisan these days, Bush is horribly unpopular, Larry Craig is hilarious and there is scandal after scandal making republicans(rightfully so, I'd say) as the butt of most jokes. But here's the difference: None of those punchlines or too-funny-to-be-true scandals you'll hear people gloating and joking about will accomplish anything. True, it hurts the right at the moment, and that's always good, but it's what you do with this pile of rubble that the republicans left us... that's what matters. And so far, its been hugely disappointing on too many topics to name. But that's because like the rest of the country, the congress, interest groups and think tanks are also divided between the movement progressives and the partisans. And until that power shifts, its going to be tough. Now, it's not hopeless by any means... in fact, in the last decade (especially since 2004) there has been a lot of positive change.
It's just gonna be a long fight, that's all.

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