I heartily recommend the Vice President take his own advice to the Democratic base: Stop Whining. I have a lot of respect for Joe Biden. He’s not perfect, but he’s done some good things in his time as a public servant. But on this issue, he needs to refocus his message. He needs to be angry at the Republican Tea Party (love his framing on that, btw) and channel his bases’ anger toward the extremists who would destroy our democracy.
Vice President Biden, President Obama, Rep. Pelosi and Sen. Reid, among others, promised the Democratic base real and substantive change in the 2008 election. I raised my tiny voice at the time pointing out that in the face of Con promises to wreck Obama’s presidency by fighting him for every 1/4″ the President wanted, the President simply couldn’t deliver on what he was saying. Obama was elected and the country largely expected that real and substantive change to start taking effect. We all knew it wouldn’t be done in 3 months, or 6 or 21. But we wanted solid steps on the way toward the change we were told to expect.
What we got instead was largely pre-emptive capitulation by Democrats, behind the lead of President Obama, that led to months and months and months and months of false negotiations between Democrats and the Republican Teabaggers. One party kept their campaign promise: the Republicans. They have abused rules in the Senate to bring work in the people’s government nearly to a halt. What repurcussions have they faced for this abuse? None, they wear their obstructionist credentials like honor badges.
Of all the Democratic leadership, only one segment of government under Democratic control kept their promises: the House. Nancy Pelosi has done a stunning job keeping her diverse members together when it counted most, passing literally hundreds of bills that the cowardly Sen. Reid refuses to take up, because he can’t find 1 or 2 Republican Teabaggers to cross the aisle and pass legislation that enjoys majority support from every American demographic. Unfortunately, it is the more progressive House that will suffer for Reid’s gross mismanagement. The House is liklier to switch control to the Republican Teabaggers than is the Senate. The result of which, I’m afraid, will be no change in how Senate Democrats approach governance in the next session.
What the Democratic base wanted all along, V.P. Biden, is at a minimum votes on bills in the Senate. If elected Democrats had at least shown the base they were trying to pass legislation, but couldn’t because of Con abuse of Senate rules, the Democratic base would by now be extremely motivated to crush the Republican Teabaggers at the polls in November. If President Obama had decided to use his oversized bully pulpit to extoll the virtues of his agenda, the base would be far more motivated than is the case. But as usual, Democratic politicians decided to run away from the Cons on issue after issue, pass a pittance of the change we were told was coming and the President chose to show Americans how much more he wanted a label of “bipartisanship” on his legacy than progressive legislative success. And now we’re being told to “Stop Whining.”
If the Democratic base doesn’t show up this November, I honestly think the unbelievably crappy Democratic “leadership” deserves most of the blame. The base didn’t convince politicians to run away from the issues in the face of extremist tactics and messaging. The current crop of top-level Democratic politicians and advisers aren’t that much different than they were during the Clinton years. Unfortunately for the Democratic base, we’re not getting results that are much different than they were during the Clinton years. You would have thought that these numb-skulls would have learned their lesson after the debacle of the 1994 election. They haven’t, and as such are destined to repeat 1994. Redirect your anger toward your colleagues, V.P. Biden. Get them to do the work they were hired and are being paid to do. If you don’t want to do that, keep your unwanted advice on your D.C. cocktail circuit. You risk frustrating your “base” even further and giving away needed Congressional seats to the Republican Teabaggers you say are extremists.