For decades now, the Republican party has talked about social issues to get votes from an economically depressed middle class and used the power of office thus obtained mainly to depress the middle class further. Thomas Frank famously asked, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” in 2005. I hope he won’t write a second book in 2014, “What’s the Matter with Greenwich Village?”
As much as I support the principle of gay marriage and the news that the DOJ position has evolved to the point that DOMA has now been determined to be unconstitutional, I can’t help but think that the Democratic Party isn’t simply flattering the Republicans with imitation. Are we really supposed to forgive the total sellout of liberal principles by Barack Obama just because he may now be recognizing the most important and obvious modern-day civil rights issue in America? Obama’s White House has mainstreamed torture and the rest of the Bush security state; is raining down hell on civilians in Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and presumably elsewhere with drones; has pivoted to debt reduction in the middle of a grueling recession; listens to Tim Geithner; and is considering bring Jamie Dimon into his administration. If you want to have a few minutes with this president, it’ll cost you a bit less than one year’s median annual American salary to have dinner with him. He has allowed the Republicans to define liberalism as bad by identifying himself with the left but making bipartisanship (with terrorists, authoritarians and anarchists) the metric of success instead of anything remotely utilitarian.
Yes, the car is in the ditch, but just because I may someday have the legal right to marry another man, I’m supposed to vote for a president who is poisoning the reputation of liberalism, perhaps for decades? I’m supposed to walk precincts for this man? Make phone calls?
Unfortunately for the country, the DLC triangulators forgot that liberal voters tend to be a bit wiser to the ways of the world than people who send money in to the 700 Club. Liberals have a broader world view. Sure, I appreciate a little evolution on social issues, but I’m pretty sure 2012 will look a lot like 2010. People like me will not turn out to help Obama protect war criminals and tax cuts for the wealthy while he shreds this country’s safety net and engages in as much war-mongering as Bush/Cheney. Not gonna’ happen.