Like fictional character Bruno Gianelli, I am tired of cowering in a corner. For those not familiar with this 20 year old speech here’s how it goes:
Because I’m tired of working for candidates who make me think that I should be embarrassed to believe what I believe, Sam! I’m tired of getting them elected! We all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said, “‘Liberal’ means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we’re gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn’t have to go to work if they don’t want to!” And instead of saying, “Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave It To Beaver trip back to the Fifties…!”, we cowered in the corner, and said, “Please. Don’t. Hurt. Me.” No more. I really don’t care who’s right, who’s wrong. We’re both right. We’re both wrong. Let’s have two parties, huh? What do you say?
The sad thing is, it’s still true. President Obama rode a landslide into office with a 60 seat Senate supermajority and talked about working with the Republicans to balance the budget and lower the deficit. He fatally kept the stimulus too low, immigration reform on the back burner, and bragged about passing Mitt Romney’s health care plan as his signature achievement. Yes, I get that there were a lot of factors standing in his way including a much more conservative Democratic Congress, but still. Whenever he could have fought, he always choose compromise. Maybe worried he’d be portrayed as an angry black man, maybe worried he’d be impeached by a rabid right wing if we he went too far. The point is, this history always repeats itself.
In my lifetime the Democrats have always rolled over and played dead. All of Clinton’s Republican Lite polices, voting for Bush’s idiotic and never ending wars and surveillance states, championing corporate interests over workers. Staying home when right wing governors passed right to work. “Getting tough on” teachers unions instead of working with them to secure better funding and training.
Too often our leaders raise up their hands before they fight. No point in impeachment, the GOP has the Senate. No point in stopping ICE, GOP has the Senate. Hoping Trump self impeaches and spending more time concern trolling their own base than attacking the base racism and hatred emanating from the other side. Waiving their hands that Charlie Baker is too popular to oppose.
Maybe we wouldn’t have a GOP Senate if we forced swing stage Senators to take tough vote after tough vote. Maybe, Trumps ratings would be going down instead of up if we had actual investigations and oversight into his crimes. Maybe even putting impeachment on the table. They impeached Bill Clinton over blow jobs but actual sex predators and their enablers roam the White House today and Democrats say nothing. They destroyed Hillary over email servers and a terrorist attack that wasn’t her fault, but Trumps crimes and those of his offspring and cronies get a free pass. We’ll wait for him to self impeach first.
I’m 30. I wasn’t around when Democrats did big things and won landslide victories. I’m beginning to wonder if the people that were who are still in office forget those days and forget the spirit that led to almost 40 years of uninterrupted liberal governance. Days when the GOP had to nominate Democrat Lite candidates instead of the other way around.
We are having a contested primary. I think it’s important we nominate a fighter who won’t yield their ground to compromise with a party that won’t recognize science, the autonomy of women, the civil rights of immigrants and racial minorities, the human rights of the LGBTQ community, or the dignity of working people. A party that openly disparages the poor and destroys the planet. A party that colludes with foreign powers and corporate interest to rig elections and gerrymander themselves into power they do not democratically earn.
These are the stakes. I want DeLeo to use his supermajority to override Baker and Spilka at every term and make him a two term Governor. I want them to stop his conservative assault on our unions, our healthcare, our transit system, and our ecosystem. If they can’t do it, step aside for someone who will.
I want the House majority I donated money to secure to hold this President accountable. Whether it’s politically popular or not it’s actually their job according to the Constitution. If Mitch McConnell can ruin President Obama’s agenda with a six year minority and four vote majority his last term, surely our 32 seat House Majority can do some damage to this lawless Presidency. Or at least stop it from killing migrant children.
Trump didn’t move to the middle. He didn’t listen to the polls. He caters to his base and he follows his gut. Our leaders should do the same, since our base is bigger than theirs and our issues actually poll better than theirs. But the candidate who relishes fights with his opponents and welcomes their hatred wins. Whether it’s FDR or Donald Trump. The candidate who cowers in the corner and plays it safe loses, and not only do they lose, but they make it harder for the next winner to govern as a progressive.
It’s time to fight. Civility is for losers.