Now what? The worst compromise since the one Xerxes offered the Spartans is on its way to becoming law. There were no 300 at an American Thermopylae turning back the tides of an oppressor. So there is no heroic last stand and not a lot for those of us on the Left to be in any way happy with.
We did avoid a default, though we have validated using the debt ceiling as a Sword of Damocles (which is completely the fault of the Democrats, since it was Sen. Kent Conrad that first used it as leverage to get the Cat Food Commission appointed by the president) hanging over the economy for as long as we are dumb enough to have a debt ceiling.
All this might leave one a little dispirited. This is understandable, but not acceptable. It is not acceptable for anyone that wants to call themselves an activist. It is the hard fact of this political life that as an activist one is going to get a lot of kicks in the teeth, especially when you are on the Left.
There is just so much money and institutional inertia in the system that the deck is stacked against us. Even those who we should be able to reliably count as Liberal or Progressive are caught by the need to raise money and to have the support of their political party to run and win. It distorts their ability to make votes on principal.
Still this is the time to review why it is we do what we do. I can’t speak for anyone else but I do this out of wholly selfish reasons. It’s true. The return on time, sweat and tears invested is huge, well, huge in the sense of personal satisfaction. I like the idea of an United States where people are treated equally regardless of their color or gender or sexuality or economic class. I’ve never see the full thing, but the vision of it keeps me going.
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