March 13, 2006

This is not a surprise (a little Foucaultean political analysis)

The Democratic leadership doesn't want to work with grassroots partisans:

Many - if not most - national Democrats really are afraid of working with actual citizens, and are particularly afraid of having any involvement at all with the blogosphere. It’s as though they think they need to remain above and separated from the poorly behaved, embarrassing masses. They actually have been scared away from working with the very people who they are supposedly representing and who are on their side.

The author wants to think of this as a new phenomenon -- that movement conservatives have made some kind of pre-emptive strike against (progressive) bloggers as vital allies of progressive politicians.

But this assumes there are progressive politicians. Not politicians who toss off some progressive rhetoric around election time. Politicians who actually have progressive values, and fight for progressive causes. The people at the top of the Democratic party right now are not progressives. They've carved out their own little niche in the social power structure, and this position is critically dependent on being a 'Washington insider'. The grassroots progressives aren't allies of the Democratic leadership; they're objects of power and pawns to be pushed around. The only power the Democratic party leadership has right now is making progressives vote for them as 'the lesser of two evils'.

The Republican party leadership actually works in exactly the same way. Every single policy they pursue is designed to make conservatives vote for them; it's just that the Republican party's current means of expressing this power over the conservative grassroots is the state, rather than rhetoric. They can thus actually punish women for daring to have sex lives, instead of just talking about punishing women for daring to have sex lives.

The leadership of both parties aren't frightened. They're precisely where they want to be, and they're going to do everything they can to maintain the status quo, at least insofar as they stay where they are.

Pam comes close to realizing this herself:

Nothing seems to hurt these impotent folks more than having to take a stand on anything remotely progressive, heaven knows they get tagged as “outside of the mainstream” by the lazy, bought-off MSM and even worse, the GOP — why let that morally bankrupt party drive this train?

But she can't quite seem to let go of the idea that `deep down', the Democratic party `is' the progressive party. It's not, and that's why it needs to be completely rebuilt as such, or an alternative needs to supplant it entirely.

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