We, I mean those who label themselves as Liberals, Independents and Progressives are obviously a bunch of children! When we don't get everything we want, we cry and say that we are taking our toys home. Since when do we live in a land where our wishes our granted by our government with the speed and totality that we hope for? How long did it take to turn our economy around after the depression hit? I would argue that we didn't completely get out of the depression until WWII started. That means 1929-1941 spent digging out from financial ruin. Did the country dismiss FDR because he hadn't put everyone back to work by the end of his first year in office? How long did it take to get a civil rights bill? Did that mean that LBJ didn't deserve to be voted into office because he hadn't managed to pass a bill in the year that he had as President? Truman talked of universal health care during his time in office and LBJ got medicare passed on his watch. Is that universal health care? No, but at least those over 65 have health care coverage guaranteed by the government. Does the current health care reform guarantee coverage to everyone? No, but it's a step in that direction. Since when is incremental change no longer good enough? Ted Kennedy, until the day he died, regretted that he didn't take the deal that would have guaranteed that all employees would have health insurance. He held out for every thing and got nothing. He decided that he'd rather take his toys home instead of making a compromise. That is the state of left today. If we aren't going to get everything we want, then we will take our toys home and pout. That'll show 'em.
I don't really have a point here. I understand that people are frustrated. I understand that people are disappointed. But are those on the left any more mature than those on the right? Those on the left are quick to label the tea baggers as nuts, bigots, idiots, radicals, etc., but you have to at least admire their passion. On the left, we got excited about the possibilities of an Obama presidency. Everything was supposed to change. Well, inauguration day came and went and we still had the same problems we had the day before and suddenly everyone on the left started to wonder if they had wasted their time. What do you mean we still have unemployment? Why don't I have health care coverage? Why are we still at war? Why can't gays get married? Why is Gitmo still open? Why don't we have a green economy? Why are there still bad people in the world? And because those problems still exist, we have those on the left who are ready to abandon this administration. They are willing to take their toys home and just let the chips fall where they may.
When did those on the left lose their ability to understand reality? Have they not watched the Republicans oppose everything that this administration had tried to do? Have they not watched the "Blue Dogs" thwart the Senate from putting together a strong health care reform bill? Have they not watched this most partisan of political seasons? Has the President done everything that I wanted? Of course not. I have written angrily many times on this blog about things that I have not agreed with. Do I bitch and moan about the pace of progress? Of course. But am I ready to take my toys home? Absolutely not. The alternatives are to vote for the Republicans or not vote at all. Are those choices that those on the left are willing to make? I wonder when I here of people who are questioning their vote for this President. Are they now wishing that they had voted for John McCain? Perhaps those who are most disillusioned were initially Hillary Clinton supporters who voted for Obama because of party loyalty. Perhaps deep in their hearts they think that Hillary would be doing a better job. Frankly I don't know and it's pointless to think about it, because it didn't happen.
This is reality, not "what if" land". Barack Obama is the President and he is going to remain that way until he loses the next election or until his second term is up. If you regret voting for him because he hasn't addressed the issues that he thought he would or addressed it to your satisfaction, then you can do something about it. You can vote Republican, You can stay home, you can bitch and moan, but what you cannot do is take your vote back. If you feel that the Republicans would be doing a better job, then you are a Republican and that's fine. However don't pretend that you are a disillusioned lefty who is now realizing that President Obama is leading us down the road to socialism. I long for those days when the Senator Obama would give a soaring speech and we would all feel like everything was going to be okay. President Obama is a different animal. He doesn't just speak to his supporters, he speaks to the entire country. I would love to wake up tomorrow to an ultra progressive President, but that's not going to happen and that would not help get policy passed. In this political climate, small steps are about all we can hope for. That is the reality that we live with. If that doesn't work for you then there's always fantasy island.
I don't think that those on the left should ever stop pushing, hoping and dreaming for something better. The greatest social policies of the last hundred years have come because of those who dreamed of something better. The women's suffragette movement didn't give up when they faced their first defeat. Martin Luther King didn't give up after the first time he was arrested (or after the 5th or the 10th). Are we on the left so immature that we cannot continue to fight even though the fight doesn't immediately lead to results? Is there anyone on the left who believes that their agenda would have fared better under a Republican administration? Is there? Anyone? I am willing to hear the argument. So for those who say they are not committed to voting for Obama for a second term, I am waiting to hear your argument as to why you think the progressive or liberal agenda would fare better under a Republican President. Perhaps you'd rather just take your toys home and pout.