I've sensed there are bigger stakes than even health care reform for the White House and the Democratic leadership in Congress.
Much bigger stakes.
Power. Much more. Oh, not the Beckist fever dream kind... the usual kind.
I think we are seeing an attempt to force a paradigm shift in partisan politics. A truly audacious game. It colors everything, even the excruciating course of this summer's Kabuki on health care reform.
The goal is the ending the current Republican party coalition, by polarizing that coalition as far out of the mainstream as possible, as far as the Republicans are willing to run.
And this summer, they've been willing to run a long, long way.
Progressives are more than happy to help this objective along. We'd certainly love to help, if this is what the establishment Dems are after.
We'd just like to see one little thing done to secure the 100% we want to contribute to the cause.
I think you know what we want.
Clue to the middle - a lot more Americans want public option and liberalism than they want Beck/Limbaugh-ism.
Far, far more.
Again - We're happy to help roll back Republicans. We've done it on behalf of all Americans all along. We did it for years even when Broder style bipartisanship was fashionable.
But we are a bit too numerous, too seasoned, too well organized and too determined to write off - yet again - as a bunch of crazy hippies just so the Democratic leadership can play to independents and soft Republicans.
The Republicans tried from overwhelming strength for years to do this - and ultimately fell, fell hard and they are still falling. We are used to a sustained high-intensity persecution from the right .. and we thrived because of it. We've had our Valley Forge. We are why the left wins elections now.
And the Republicans are vulnerable now. Most GOPers do not want civil war. A sizeable fraction do not think science is Satan, do not want want women rolled back into servile status, do not want their children given a laughing-stock level of education. They want health, life, prosperity, safety and the ability to hold their heads up proudly, too.
And their party and their radio and television leaders are embarrassing to many of their number - not the majority, but enough to make certain divide and rule political strategies credible.
And the schism between patriotic and secessionist Republicans will end them as a national party and even in many Red states will end them there as well.
We get this. We get the same news feeds as everyone else.
So perhaps the Republicans are primed for a killing blow in 2010. We might think that's overly optimistic, but we get this is a scenario.
Another scenario may be more likely - not end the GOP but assume its positioning as the party of business, leaving the fundamentalist fringe to do its Taliban thing in angry impotence on the side.
Just in case you are contemplating a similar treatment of your liberal friends, fair warning - We faced much worse for many years under the Republicans. We've had our Valley Forge. We will not be shown our hat then shown the door. We are not going away.
And we on the left are not asking unreasonable things of reality. We are asking only essential things - like health, peace, and good clean earth - that make reality worth living in.
As we see it, our dear centrist friends, we made our compromise and it's called the public option.
If you are saying the deal's off, that's going to cost you a lot of votes, a lot of contributions and a lot of good press. And perhaps most of all - it's going to cost you our trust. All of it.
So what's it going to be, our dear centrist friends? Because all we have to do is go quiet with our support, our contributions, our conversation and our votes and you lose. We don't have to do a single thing but go dark.. and you will have election year difficulties the likes of which you have yet to imagine.
Or, you can treat us with the respect we are owed, for all of our hard work to keep the Democratic Party alive, and we can deliver a rout.
It's your call. Choose your friends. For we chose you already. We just want what you promised us.