Progressive Poutrage: Where’s My Pony?

I would like to offer a slogan for Chris Hedges and the rest of the “poutrage” crowd: Losers Unite!

People wonder why so many of us in the New Left Blogosphere get so angry about the incessant attacks on President Obama and the Democratic party from those who claim to represent the left. For me, it’s about a future for my granddaughter and all the young people I care about. It is one thing to criticize and try to persuade a president or party to change, but it’s quite another to be a trojan horse, intent on bringing down the party from within. And that is exactly what Chris Hedges of Truthdig admitted recently.

I’m sure you remember Chris Hedges as the author of the Cornel West story that caused so much shit to hit the fan a few months ago. Well here is Hedges telling us his real motivation and hero, from Democrats for Progress (I don’t want to give Hedges any clicks)…

If elections were that effective, as the anti-war activist Phil Berrigan used to say, they would be illegal. We must follow the path Nader forged, attempting to sway enough people with conscience to sever themselves permanently and unequivocally from the mainstream and especially the Democratic Party.

I have no idea what that first sentence is even trying to say. Can anyone help me with that?

And did you catch the “especially the Democratic Party” line? I have to wonder why he thinks the Democratic Party should be the target even more than Republicans. To me, it reveals that the motives of this gang of anarchists isn’t progress or helping people in any way, it is to exact revenge on a political party for failing to bend to their demands. The Democrats are a party that is made up of many voices that speak for all sorts of different groups, children, women, the poor, the sick, GLBT’s, the elderly, college students, teachers, unions and many more. It apparently fails to be doctrinaire and rigid enough to satisfy them. Most of these Democratic politicians go into public service wanting to make a difference in their communities and help people. So let’s attack them and make some money off it. It’s the new American way.

And Chris Hedges really wants to follow Ralph Nader’s path, because I guess that’s worked out so well for Ralph? It’s a perfect metaphor for the movement though, Nader has never really been interested in any kind of grass roots politics, he’s never run for any local offices, the House, Senate or dog catcher for that matter. He wants to jump to the head of the line and be President. Much has been written about Ralph and how he operates from former employees, but that’s the model Chris Hedges wants people to follow?

And he wants people to “sever themselves permanently and unequivocally from the mainstream”, basically, make yourself an outcast, make yourself insignificant, irrelevant and join us on the sidelines where we can lob grenades at people trying to actually do stuff. What’s with hose damn people trying to do stuff, anyway? And really, would people with a “conscience” want to marginalize themselves along the lines of Hedges, Hamsher, Greenwald, and the rest of the band of boneheads?

If Chris and this crowd really think they are going to have any success in bringing down either political party, especially with the childish approach they are taking, they really need to bang their heads against the wall for about 5 minutes and see if that knocks any sense into their brains. I’ve had exchanges with some of these folks where I told them that if they really want to break the two party system, they need to organize at the local level, run candidates, get elected, do good work and rinse and repeat. Shit, they could just use the Tea Party model, who have had way too much success at it lately (minus the good work part). I think it speaks volumes that they aren’t even as smart as the folks in the Tea Party.

I decided long ago that if I really wanted to have an impact on society and do my part to help make our country a better place, that I am much more effective trying to change it from within. Since both political parties have all the money, the platforms and control of the system, to think that any grass roots movement could have a chance against them is just fucking crazy. Even the Tea Party people were smart enough to fold into the Republican establishment and gain traction. There is no reason why we liberals shouldn’t be able to do the same within the Democratic Party. But it takes time and patience. The extreme fundamentalist Christian right has been methodically and systematically infiltrating the GOP from the local level for more than thirty years in order to achieve their current party dominance. But the Poutrage Posse lacks that kind of discipline and focus, preferring instead to fling poo at the President, which, while clearly satisfying to them on some emotional level, is probably the least effective way to attract new supporters who are willing to do any actual on-the-ground organizing for change.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles