The past couple of months, my posting has been infrequent at best. The simple fact is that blog fatigue, political fatigue, and plain ol’ “life” fatigue have left me with little time and/or little interest.
I’ve been writing about the same topics, the same outrages for two and a half years. Almost nothing has changed in that time except a few generals and the leadership of Congress. (And wow, did we get suckered on that last one! Forgive me if I can’t get worked up about “change!” and “hope!” when our Democratic Party-controlled Congress has failed to provide any of the changes we worked for, hoped for, and expected after the 2006 election.) The war – and war profiteering – continues, the illegal spying on the communications of Americans continues, Big Business continues to prosper while the poor and (diminishing) middle-class struggle to put food on the table and keep roofs over their heads. All with the complicity of the Democrats.
Also, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for our candidate. Heck, even tepid enthusiasm would be an improvement on my feelings of “Oh yay. Another idiot, only this one thinks Republicans are the “party of ideas” and made political hay during the primary by lumping the only two-term Democratic president since FDR into the same category as Bushes I & II. And the DNC wants me to vote for him?!”
I’d love to say “I’ll absolutely push the “D” button come November” with the same enthusiasm I did during the last election cycle, but the truth is, I’m on the fence. And Senator Obama, the Democratic “leadership,” and most of the Congressional Democrats – along with Senator Obama’s more fanatical supporters – have got to stop giving me reasons to only vote down-ticket.
No, I will never vote for McCain, or for any Republican. One might as well write in “Satan” or “Dick Cheney” [redundancy?] as far as evil, greed, and continued corruption are concerned. But, I cannot and will not support a candidate who cannot and will not stand up for what used to be core Democratic principles. Especially one I worry may not be all that different from the Republicans when it comes to policy-making.
Are there topics that need to be written about? Absolutely. Torture, illegal spying, global warming, the economy, the war in Iraq, stifling of government scientists – to name just a few.
The problem is, I am so disheartened by the failures of our Democratically-controlled Congress — to take its place as a co-equal branch of government, to stand up for the Constitution and the freedoms and responsibilities enshrined therein, to fight when it comes to the social justice issues that were the bedrock of the party, to bring about meaningful changes that benefit all Americans, not just the rich and powerful — that I honestly don’t even know what to say.
Back in February of 2006, when I first started blogging, I felt that my voice combined with all those in the lefty blogosphere would be heard. Throughout 2006, especially after the November elections, I believed we were having an impact, and we were – literally – going to change the face of activism and even politics.
That naivete is gone, as is the belief that all progressives were the same. Last year, Nancy took impeachment off the table, and the Democrats in Congress failed to do much besides hold hearings that hold no one accountable. Legislative fights that should be no-brainers for Democrats have instead become kabuki productions where “bipartisan” means doing what the President wants.
Over the past six months, I’ve watched as supposedly-progressive allies showed themselves to be misogynistic, judgmental excuse-makers whose “ideas” were more important than actual justice and social reform. I’ve watched others show racist tendencies I would have never suspected during our mutual fights against the war and FISA and for S-CHIP.
I’ve been lumped in with everyone from rednecks to the Nazis for having the temerity to ask for substance and detail instead of style and rhetoric. I’ve been told that where I live, the candidate I support, and the income I make “proves” I’m a “low-information” voter, a racist, and a closet Republican. Funny how no one thought I was “low-information” in the days when we were following the live-blogging of the Plame trial, or working for the Lamont campaign, or delivering rubber stamps to Congress, in addition to calling Congress on a continual basis — to the point that one of Senator Specter’s aides and I are on a first-name basis.
I’ve been told that the party doesn’t need voters like me anymore, and that symbolism is more important than policy. I’ve been told I’m an “idiot” and “moron” for feeling saddened that the first viable, and truly competitive, female Presidential candidate has suspended her campaign, despite winning a slim majority of the popular vote and nearly every battleground state. I’m told to “get over it.”
I’ve seen the fights against war, torture and rendition, and destruction of the Constitution take a backseat to demonizing candidates and calling out allies.
I’ve been screamed at for questioning the abilities of the presumptive nominee because “SCOTUS boogah boogah your uterus.” At what point did being a Democrat mean being a blind follower? Wasn’t that one of our criticisms against Republicans? And, as I’ve said elsewhere, when did the President become the only person in the US able to kill or save Roe v. Wade? You see, there is a big building in DC where there are these people called Democratic Senators who are supposed to prevent SCOTUS from being overrun by fundamentalist judges. [Great job on Alito and Roberts, Democratic Congress! I’m supposed to trust your judgments on who the Democratic nominee should be … why?]
Quite honestly, I’m demoralized by it all. What was the point if we can be splintered into factions as easily as we have been? Do I think we’re “emboldening” the Republicans? No, not really. Their arguments haven’t changed in the past almost-30 years. What’s emboldening the Republicans is the simple fact that the Democrats still can’t effectively fight back against them. They refuse to even try.
The short version is, I’m not sure where to go right now. Maybe the path — and the words — will become clear soon, or maybe I’ll hang up my “political blogger” tag and start a daily recipe or parenting advice blog. I’m actually thinking that last one might be interesting. It seems that managing to get two kids through their teens and another halfway there without anyone being arrested, put in rehab, or being killed by you indicates to other parents that you might know something about child-raising. Also because I’ve reached that stage (also known as grandbabyitis} where you comfort terrified young moms in the supermarket whose infants won’t stop crying.
I never thought it possible, but parenting is starting to look a whole lot easier than being an involved, activist voter.