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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/16/10

Why are Progressives mad at themselves and not rightly at the Republicans?

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Let's not for one minute underestimate the serious enthusiasm gap that Democrats and progressives have right now when compared to the right-wing of the Republican party. Our sniping and whining as progressives for the past year has been partly to blame for that. The Republicans have very cleverly and strategically encouraged us to do this. I am just as much at fault for this. Just look at the articles posted here at OpEdNews over the past year. The VAST majority have been negatively aimed at Obama and Democrats. We have blamed him for everything including the deficit, faltering economy, and the BP oil spill, things that should have been solely linked to the 8 yrs of Bush deregulation, two Bush wars, and interagency incompetence that the GOP has facilitated. But nevertheless we let Obama have it with everything we could throw at him because he couldn't wave a magic wand and instantly fix decade of damage. Why only at Democrats? Sure I wish we could have gotten more progressive causes done since Obama took office and yes I am disappointed with the speed of change. BUT it has come DESPITE 100% opposition from the Republicans. They deserve at LEAST more than 50% of the anger. But they have gotten almost a free pass to obstruct, protect the rich, and help Wall Street, the Oil Companies and the Health Insurance companies water down tougher measures proposed by Democrats ... and been praised as heroes in the media for it.

Have we really forgotten that it is Congress and not the President that gets the legislation passed? And unfortunately most significant legislation requires at a minimum 60% approval. But for some reason we have focused all our anger at a few people in the administration, a few Blue Dog democrats. What about the ENTIRE Republican Party? Where's our anger at them? Are we afraid they might call us bad names? Is it the Stockholm syndrome where we have become so spineless that we have actually started to sympathize with our torturers?

Come on progressives, do we really need to blow off our heads to spite our face? Sixty to seventy percent of the American public has been convinced by Republican Dick Armey and Freedomworks that repealing Obama's healthcare bill and going back to being denied coverage by Health Insurance companies is a good thing! We have let this happen. Wouldn't a more positive approach be praising the good things that Democrats have done and encouraging the obvious Blue Dog Democrats to stop pretending like they are Democrats. We could do all this while focusing our real anger on the real source of the obstruction to meaningful change, which has been due overwhelmingly to the Republican Party.

I helped a good friend with a local campaign on the east coast last year. A guy who had for years done good things for his town and community and was beloved. But an irrational anger and an unrelenting negative propaganda machine swept through his community, drummed up by the earliest strain of the then fledgling tea party and they took us by surprise. He lost because the tea party types were energized and my friend's base stayed home. Only 70% of his base from previous elections came out to vote last November. Not long after the Massachusetts surprise of Scott Brown took place. I learned a valuable lesson and I hope the Nation does not learn this in November.

We have done more to hurt our cause over the past year and far less to help it in my opinion. Ed Schultz is right; we need to stop punching ourselves in the head and start punching our opposition. We don't have much time.
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Eric Nelson is freelance writer, an editor at OpEdNews, and a spiritual progressive from Minnesota who has become more politically active. The reasons for this should be obvious to most; rising poverty, a broken health care system, and a growing (more...)
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