. . .and re-evaluate their strategy, tactics and temperament.
By John V. Moore
First of all you might be asking yourself "what is an Emo Progressive?"
Well as Motor City Liberal puts it "They're the whining, gloom and doom, 'Obama didn't give us everything we wanted in the first 15 minutes of his Presidency like he promised he would so now we're never gonna vote again' crybabies who are responsible for the mess we're in today. Spend five minutes on Daily Kos. You'll see what I'm talking about."
I'd go on to say that Emo Progressives (EPs) are not necessarily more liberal/progressive than others on the left, including President Obama, who just happen to be more pragmatic. While EPs often expect progressive purity from their political allies, this is not about ideology its about temperament.
A good example of this is Firedog Lake's Jane Hamsher who loves to run around telling folks Obama is not progressive enough and calling his ardent supporters "the dumbest motherf$%kers in the world," while records show an organization she controls actually works for Republicans. If she held herself to the standard that she holds Obama to, she'd be a huge sellout. But just like Republicans, EPs often specialize in hypocrisy.
From a ideological perspective I have a lot in common with those that I identify as EPs, but in politics, ideology is only as good as the strategy and tactics employed to meet these objectives.
Celebrated EP grifter Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee inserted himself into LOCAL Chicago politics by circulating a petition for Illinois voters to pledge not to vote for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in this year's Mayoral race. Not sure how many folks signed the petition, especially those from Chicago, but Rahm, is now Mayor Emanuel and Green is trying to raise money by bashing Obama over the debt ceiling issue.
Maybe if EPs stopped treating other Democrats and/or progressives as the enemy they might be more effective.
EPs run the risk of marginalizing themselves because they think the world revolves around what they believe and what they want. They don't understand the President's willingness to compromise, because they don't really know what it takes to govern. They are quick to turn potential progressive allies into enemies.
They ignore or belittle the President's impressive list of accomplishments when they claim he hasn't accomplished anything. When you list the accomplishments they tell you why those are nothing to brag about (trust me when I post this on one of my favorite progressive websites I will be asked to list his accomplishments and if I take the bait I will be told why they don't count, it happens all the damned time).
If the EPs and the pragmatic, a.k.a. Obama, progressives can get on the same page the Democratic tickets will be unbeatable in 2012. The debt ceiling debate is exposing some serious cracks on the right, a unified left can exploit the hell out of this. . .that is if we want to take back the House, protect the Senate and re-elect the most progressive and effective President we have seen in recent history.
Each week I keep hearing how they will not support the President, but then I see his poll numbers among Democrats remain strong.
Some EPs threatened to not donate to the President the same week it is revealed the President raised over $80 million for his re-election campaign and the Democratic Party.
Now EP favorite Cenk Uygur is leaving MSNBC because the network is reportedly giving his time slot to Rev. Al Sharpton. EPs are furious, threatening not watch, even though it appears that Sharpton's ratings were stronger than Uygur's. While I have not seen raw numbers I find myself watching Sharpton nightly, I couldn't bring myself to watch more than 15 minutes of Uygur.
Threats not to support or contribute to Obama ring hollow when his polling and donations from Democrats remain high. Boycotting MSNBC because they gave Sharpton Uygur's slot seems silly considering Sharpton is a progressive, who actually stands to have better ratings than Uygaur.
The Democratic Party, the White House, Obama progressives, like myself, and even MSNBC would be foolish to ignore EPs, however, if the they want to remain relevant they need to re-evaluate their strategy, tactics and temperament so that they are not left out in 2012.
If they don't change I encourage the larger Democratic/progressive community to move on without them. The time spent banging our heads against the wall trying to get them to come around will be better used to recruit new folks to the movement.
At some point the poutrage temper tantrums EPs throw will grow old and their effectiveness will fade, if it hasn't already.