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Please understand when I say "we" and "us" I mean people who think like me, not necessarily every person who read this

Dear Democratic party "leaders,"

In 1992 you asked us to turn out and work for a man who promised a new direction for America after 12 years of Reagan/Bush hell....and we did.  What we got was "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" and an epic failure at health care reform that makes the current debacle look positively competent.

In 1996 you asked us to get past those and other failings and help stop a dangerous crazy old man from becoming President...and we did.  What we got was DOMA, laws permitting the calamitous consolidation of telecommunications and media companies and the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

In 1998 you asked us to turn out and throw out a motley crew of panty-sniffing witch-hunting religious fanatics out of Congress....and we did.  You got that one gratis; it was a labor of love.

In 2000 you asked us to ignore Gore’s refusal to fully distinguish himself from Bush (remember how much they agreed during their debates?) and his selection of Joe f-ing Lieberman as his running mate in order to stop a dangerous man-child from becoming President...and we did.

When the Supreme Court handed Bush the election and not one member of Congress—not even Paul Wellstone—would sign on to the attempt to challenge the result the Congressional Black Caucus tried to mount, we were told that unity and moving forward was more important than any other scruples...and we swallowed our pride and did nothing.

In 2001 when it became clear Bush was going to use 9/11 to force a radical right-wing agenda on the country, we were pressured to not raise too much of a ruckus because we were at war.

In late summer/early fall 2002, just as a coherent anti-war opposition was beginning to form amongst Democrats, we were all stabbed in the back by Dick Gephardt and his little party with Bush in the Rose Garden.  And yet we still turned out a month later to try to stem the Republican tide.

In 2004, after watching the carcass of Howard Dean’s campaign get left to rot by establishment Democrats and picked clean by media vultures, we were told to fall into line and support a man a lot of us thought was an utter douchebag...and we did.*

Later that year, we were told to shut our fucking pieholes and work harder when some people tried to point out that Kerry was fumbling the election away...and we did.**

In 2006, after years of being told "It’s the Supreme Court, stupid" we watched helpless as an effort to stop the most dangerously radical Supreme Court nominee since Robert Bork was torpedoed by the Democratic establishment.  Still keeping that powder dry for fights presumably more important.

As the wheels began to finally come off the Bush wagon, we were told to get out and vote, dammit!  A Democratic majority in Congress could do wonders to stop or reverse his damage to the country...and boy did we ever!

Then we found out that, no, a simple majority wouldn’t do.  Despite Republicans never needing more than 50 Senators, we were told that the Democrats needed a filibuster proof 60 seat supermajority to get anything done!  Oh and we need a Democratic president too!  Get out, vote, donate, volunteer, phonebank!  We did all that...and made it happen.

In return for our services, we were given markers for pledges like withdrawal from Iraq, the closing of Guantanamo, accountability, a changed tone in Washington with the grip of lobbyists broken, and a more open, transparent government. After the inauguration, when we came to turn those markers in, we were told that, gee, gosh, there were all these things standing in the way.  But keep fighting, please...and we did.

When Obama proposed his stimulus package, those of us who got pissed as it was slowly whittled away while Democrats did nothing to stop it were told that it was important a bipartisan bill be passed and that this was just the first bite of an apple anyway....and we suppressed our misgivings.

Then finally came the time for healthcare.  After literally decades of waiting and watching essential reform being postponed and defeated, we were told that at long last This Was It.  Lucy was not gonna pull the football away this time, no sirree bob.  

Well guess what?  We’re running up to the ball and drawing our leg back to kick.  What will be the result?  Will we once again end up flat on our back staring up at the sky and moaning "Good grief!"

You have been given everything you asked for and often more.  We've given you our all.  So many of us have pushed aside out doubts, swallowed our principles and worked our asses off despite defeat, disappointment, broken promises, inept campaigning, worse messaging, and a continual shifting of the goalposts of just what it is we’re all trying to accomplish here.

So...what about us?  What do we get?  Surely you of all people must understand reciprocal back scratching...I understand it's how the sausages get made.  Well, we have been scratching yours pretty damn well for a long time now.  But us?  We have a seventeen-year-itch going on.

I bet some nice healthcare could clear it right up.

*-This one is a little more personal, I admit.

**-I was one of the SYFPH people.  I was wrong.

Originally posted to Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:49 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (18+ / 0-)

    "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

    by Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:49:23 PM PDT

  •  Those who don't know history... (9+ / 0-)

    etc., etc., etc.

    Good summation of some bad history.

  •  Ouch (4+ / 0-)

    you brought the pain back.

    Yes, I am addicted to mojitos and ideals, but not in equal measures ;-)

    by LaFeminista on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:54:07 PM PDT

    •  Believe me... (4+ / 0-) hurt recalling and writing it as much as it did you reading it!

      "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

      by Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:57:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My first vote was in 1996 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Raybin, Mnemosyne, Nightprowlkitty

        However I remember the hope in the family in 92.

        Yes, I am addicted to mojitos and ideals, but not in equal measures ;-)

        by LaFeminista on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 12:59:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "It" completely reaffirmed my sense of immeadiate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Raybin, Mnemosyne

        and all pervading apathy, as well as any "hope" for the possibility of "change" toward a bright future for humankind.  And still, I find myself pinning all my hopes on Obama.  I mean, where else is there to pin them?  Right?

        As much as the above may seem a negation of your work, it most certainly is not.  Your non-rusty work clearly defines what I've been seeing all along, glaring like sunlight reflected off of a polished blade.  

        I do think the sequence of relative events goes further back than what you describe--much further--before any of us were born.  Maybe before this country was born.  I know I can't paste it all together as good as you have.  And I don't have the attention span required.  So I will save myself another piddling attempt at a diary, with more or less 13 corrections of my facts, spelling and grammer for responses.  I just won't try.  But it is not hard to see by just thinking about it.  I do not think it is just about easily duped dumb Democrats taken advantage of by rascal reptilian Republicans.  

        If there is a victim, I think it is all of Mankind.

        The question is: who, or what, is the Perp?  Which leaves me feeling like I'm standing over a abyss, with nothing under my feet.  That, I think, says more than most care to think about dealing with, let alone clearly identifying.  

        Will we get health care?  Doesn't that question sound like a beggars question?  In any case, we will see, whether it is soon enough, or not.

        I imagine Obama as a man whose aspirations were motivated by his ideals that were carried forward by his integrity and energy.  I think his efforts were and are sincere.  I also think that when he landed in Washington as POTUS he found himself a stranger in a strange land inhabited by alien beings with alien ways.  I think his statement of being willing to be content with one term is indicative of that.  You know, get some kind of health care through the political human shreding machine, and escape, before he himself turns an alien shade of green and starts speaking and ideating, like the rest around him there, in terms and with concepts that are not good for humans or the Earth.  

        Your clairity, integrity, and attention span are inspiring.  Your heart exposed by that warms me.  Thank you.



        Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

        by Riddlebaugh on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:49:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your compliments are too kind... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...and I thank you for them!

          As for what to do?  Dig in, grit your teeth, draw your family and friends close and don't go down without a fight.

          "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

          by Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 02:16:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, those were not exactly compliments. (0+ / 0-)

            They were more just descriptions of the view from where I sit.  But do with them as you will.  That is the whole of the law, after all.

            Yes, dig in, grit teeth, and maintain a functional community with family and friends.  Aka survival mode.

            Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

            by Riddlebaugh on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 02:22:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The three Rs (0+ / 0-)

          rascal reptilian Republicans

          I like it!

          It occurs to me, somewhat belatedly, that Obama is in something of the same position Jimmy Carter was in when he went to Washington--an outsider who proclaimed he would change "the system." And the system closed ranks against him lest a reformer take away its perqs and toys.

          Obama has more DC experience than Carter had, and he's a better speaker, and has some other things in his favor, but I think you're seeing essentially the same thing.

          Well-behaved women seldom make history--Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

          by Mnemosyne on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 03:22:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree about Obama and Carter. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I hope Obama can retain his humanity, like Carter did, and does not turn green.  

            I had a dream once where I was standing behind a podium, speaking to an auditorium full of people.  As I was speaking, people in the audience were turning into little green people right in front of my eyes.  I turned to the people behind me to mention it, to see if they saw it as well, and saw they, too, were turning green.  A really bad dream.  I woke up at that point and right away shrunk it to zero.  No need feeding that future, right?

            I really feel for our black brothers and sisters, who, after hundreds of years of, to call it lightly, disenfranchisment, got their hopes up once Obama got elected, came out of their normal patterns of not so visivle movement, and became more visible.  They seemed to be testing the waters, only to find they were still treated as invisible.  It brought back for me all of the rage of the riots in the 60s.  

            One brother, behind me in an otherwise normally silent post office line, was talking about some issue that was obviously getting swept under the national political rug.  He was the only black in the line.  His words and perspective were very intellectually constructed.  I could hear his heart talking through his clear mind, and I liked it.  All the other people in line were looking at the wall, their shoes, the signs on the walls, or just at the air a couple of inches in front of their noses.  But not at him, nor interacting with him at all.  Anything BUT him.  It had him almost talking to the walls, using the acoustics to be sure everyone heard what he had to say, a sort of Paul Revere.  Sad situation.  Finally I told him I felt vindicated by Obama getting elected.  The other people in line kept their eyes averted.  I explained to him about my choice to refuse to fight those afore mentioned riots (I was in the Army back then), and how that bit of maintained integrity got me thankfully thrown out of the Army with an undesireable discharge.  He flinched on that info.  I think, for all his disenfranchisment, he was more bit into society's game than I am.  I've spent years feeling pretty alienated.  I know I'm out of the game.  Jimmy Carter's amnesty got that discharge raised to an honorable, which made me elegible for benefits that now keep me from sleeping in the woods somewhere.  Anyway, what I said to that guy was a very White thing to say, and he went quiet, not my intention at all.  We nod in passing these days, but that's it.  I'd like to get to know him, but I don't think I'm up to his intellegence and would likely bore him, and maybe would inadvertantly piss him off with some very White faux pas.  

            We are all phantomized.

            Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

            by Riddlebaugh on Sat Sep 05, 2009 at 12:02:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Send this to the DNC! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raybin, Nightprowlkitty

    And to every elected Democrat in the country.

  •  I'm surprised how depressed this make me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raybin, Nightprowlkitty, Bernie68

    17 years.... it really doesn't seem  like it was that long ago... but ... I was there for everything you laid out  ... and all the crap you probably could have but didn't.

    ......... hmmmm

    •  I'm only 27 myself (3+ / 0-)

      But I'm a student of history and I'm sure there were people back then who thought like I do now.  Didn't feel too bad speaking for them. :-)

      "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

      by Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:01:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm 54 ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Raybin, Mnemosyne, Bernie68

        ... and I'm happy to have you speak for me.

        I remember shouting out the window in Manhattan when Clinton won.  I was so happy after 12 years of the insanity of Reagan/Bush.

        I remember voting for Carter in '80 and watching in horror as friends of mine voted for Reagan -- I told them they'd end up without jobs but they all fell for his "morning in America" schtick -- and sure enough along came the "downsizing."

        I've learned a lot since then ...

  •  *stands up* (5+ / 0-)


    Thank you, Raybin.

    Thank you for coming back from the darkness and saying this. You may have a difficult time finding people who identify with this diary and agree with you, but I'm one of them. It started with the misdirection broken promises outright lies on LGBT issues. It started with Robert Gibbs sitting in front of a camera and telling me to my face that DADT would be overturned, then being told for the last seven months that it's being "kicked down the road," "the support isn't there," "it's Congress's fault," "it's the President's fault," and on and on and on. And yet I was asked to stand with the President, told that LGBT issues could wait just long enough until we passed this health care thing, that we needed to keep our powder dry for health care, that when health care passed the Dems would be on Easy Street.

    I'm sitting here watching this health care debacle from the sidelines and I'm absolutely demoralized by this administration. I never thought I'd have to use the word "clusterfuck" again to describe a president's administration, but this absolute bungling of the health care debate, the complete selling out of the American people to Humana and United Health Care and CIGNA has me at the end of my rope.

    In any event, you have a gift, brother. Thank you for sharing it with us again.

    •  Good to see you Stormy! (4+ / 0-)

      And thank you.  I agree with your comment, btw.

      I'm sure the scolds will be coming soon enough.  I notice the usual pattern is supporters first, haters later.

      "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

      by Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:06:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Demoralized IS the rational response, no? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm right there with you on that.  Comiseration is such a wonderful thing.  Snark.  But I don't think it has anything to do with any "Adminsitration" per se, or even "the system".  It has to do with the people, if they are people, as in human people, which more and more I doubt, who are highly placed regulars in it.  The front men of the beast are the Congresscritters.  The source of our dis-ease has yet to make his/her/itself visible and known.

      Some people go to Spirit to rise above the depression that demoralization brings.  But that brings one to, or leaves one with, depending on how you experince it, an anal alien freak with a fetish for numbers (an ET CPA?) -- Mammon?  Whether money is evil, or the root of all evil, or just a medium of exchange (it would be that if no profit was involved), or not, money is the root of all this--numbers tallied in such a manner as to portray gain, profit.  The Church is a perfect example of it, or The Church would live in poverty, owning no land, wielding no power at all in Ceasar's realm, presuming neither position in any heirarchy, nor as any kind of intermediary.  If money were not the focus of The Church, there would be no donation plate.

      I think the human race is at the end of its rope, as is life as we know it on Earth.


      Efectus nihil profundus sub pensus est

      by Riddlebaugh on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 02:12:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well-done and depressing as hell, Raybin. (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks! ;)

    POTUS, you campaigned on Public Option, No Mandates. You won an overwhelming victory with one of your main agenda items being healthcare reform, which you repeatedly said for two years requires no mandates, but a public option. I don't know why the village and the Rs are so surprised about the the public option, as if it came from nowhere. Please don't let us down. Do not renounce the P.O. Do not trust the insurance companies--all the trigger can do is trigger them to B.S. and futz around with the data some more.

  •  I've missed your history lessons (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raybin, Pluto, Nightprowlkitty, Bernie68

    This one is more a reminder - a doleful memory of rubble, stiff upper lips and elbow grease.

    Sigh.. thanks Raybin. Maybe it'll be different, or just a little better this time.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:10:12 PM PDT

  •  I am mailing this in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to all the listservs I was on along with the unsubscribe notice.

  •  Tipped and RECOMMENDED! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raybin, Nightprowlkitty

    It should be added to the FAQ.

    Inadvertently, you described a well-run political system achieving victory after victory. You just have to look in the other end of the telescope to and get rid of any assumptions it bring reality into sharp focus.

    Also tipped for my favorite new term -- "Panty-sniffing Republicans."

  •  Hey Ray, miss you over to the 'Wing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Raybin, Nightprowlkitty

    tipped and reced though I disagree slightly...

    When I think back on Bubba I think of what Lillian Hellman said:

    "Why offend in style what you can offend in substance?"

    And he did raise taxes on the fuckers, brought the deficit under control. And I know I wouldn't have a 401K now if not for him. Christ, the fucks impeached him. Fuckers - drug his name through the mud and fucked him in the ass...and the fucks in the media enabled 'em.

    I haven't given up on Barack, and that says a lot cause I know what's arrayed against him. And there's the fuckin' media again, mud on both hands.

    We don't get a great president often, and sometimes we do and no one has his back.

    As long as I'm above ground, and as long as there's doubt, I'll have Barack's...

    ...just in case.

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:42:03 PM PDT

    •  I will give him that much (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nightprowlkitty, durrati

      He did raise taxes, however slightly, on the fuckers.

      It shows really what an extremely modest tax increase on the wealthiest 3% can accomplish.  What would happen if we bumped that up to "moderate"? Good lord.  

      I haven't given up Obama either, nor am I willing to abandon any fight.  

      I just wanted to point out that a viable, affordable, real, not-watered-down public option would got a long way toward making up for all the other shit we've been forced to swallow.

      "Raybin is not a lying maniac. I've found this person to be an extremely clever and devious lying conartist, but never a maniac."--RElland on Daily Kos

      by Raybin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 01:46:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very well done. (0+ / 0-)

    How long does the "powder stay dry" until it starts sweating nitro and becomes unstable?

    If I may mix some explosive metaphors.

    Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
    The Way of Cats

    by WereBear on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 02:29:02 PM PDT

  •  Oh, shucks (0+ / 0-)

    You have my compassion and solidarity. A good history of betrayal. Read (if you haven't) Walter Karp's  INSPENSIBLE ENEMIES for a gloomy look. Tho I don't think he's the final word.
     Hope is in damn short supply. All we can do is shamble forward.

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