There’s No Crying
As a progressive, few things have embarrassed me lately as the undiginified caterwauling from a lot of the left in reaction to Scott Walker’s victory in Wisconsin. The rending of garments, acting as if Walker’s win meant the end of Everything As We Know It, was just ridiculous.
I asked that night on Twitter: “Are you new?”
As if there have never been any setbacks in America’s political fights. As if the left — or the right for that matter — has a permanent lock on wins or losses. Do people on the left think that Martin Luther King simply held one protest and those in power immediately rushed to pass the Civil Rights Act? Do people on the left think that suffragettes held one rally and the next day women received the right to vote?
Come on now.
In America, there is never permanent defeat. Certainly not in the political climate we currently live in. We live in a country that has done the following in the last 15 or so years:
- Re-elect Bill Clinton
- Have a majority vote for Al Gore but live with Bush as president
- Support the war in Iraq
- Re-elect Bush
- Oppose the war in Iraq
- Elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, Harry Reid as Majority Leader
- Elect Barack Obama president
- Elect John Boehner as Speaker
That is not a country in which either side has a permanent majority or any of the crap we heard from Karl Rove in 2004 or James Carville in 2008.
You fight. You win. You lose. You live to fight on another day.
What the left needs to learn is the battle is constant. There is no time out in odd-numbered years. 2009 begat 2010. 2013 will have an effect on 2014.
Unlike the Clinton years, the left has built up its institutional muscle. There are groups like Center for American Progress, and yes, Media Matters, who do what they do no matter if the year is odd or even.
We need to develop that mindset on the left, because the right is already there. They are in battle mode every day. We should be too, so quit whining about a temporary setback. There’s work to be done.