“That’s why pragmatism is such a central ingredient of an effective presidency. If you’re not pragmatic, not responsive to changing realities, then you don’t succeed.” ~Robert Dallek
This is the reason I can’t stand unhinged ideological twerps like Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald, John Aravosis, Melissa McEwan, and others.
Well, excuse me for saying this, progressives, these days, are starting to sound an awful lot like their counterparts on the Right: unyielding, unbending, lost in their own narrative, and completely oblivious to the stakes at hand. Last December when progressives recoiled at the agreement Obama reached during the lame-duck to keep the government running, I asked every progressive I knew one simple question: What was your plan B? In lieu of a government shutdown and the specter of a new Congress that was days away from being sworn in, what would you have done differently from Obama that actually would’ve succeeded? The key word here is succeed. The silence was deafening.
Of course they would have allowed the Bush tax cuts to expire, and, of course, they would’ve extended unemployment benefits, and, naturally they would’ve ended “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and passed the 9/11 rescue workers bill. And then of course they would’ve passed a continuing resolution to keep the government running. Of course they would’ve. In their dreams! The simple truth was that Obama, and not them, got most of that through, and for that, he gave in to a two-year extension on the Bush tax cuts. A bitter pill to swallow, sure, but a necessary one in order to achieve the greater good. Once more any sense of pragmatism was missing from the progressive caucus; once more they missed the forest for the trees.
If progressive “purity” means losing the White House and the Senate because progressives think Obama has somehow betrayed them and don’t turn out to vote, then screw progressive purity. No matter how much the four idjits above screech about “Bush III,” the fact remains that if the Repugs win the White House in 2012, the country is down for the count. The resulting slashing-and-burning will make those people long for the Barackian good old days.
The above is from The Pragmatic Progressive, one of my favorite sites. (I love their tagline: “Because there is a time to shout and stomp your feet. But that time is not all the time.”) Please do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.