Greenwald rips Progressives for not playing Hardball.
Why, angry progressives seem to be asking, would Obama ignore the views of his so-called "progressive base" while seeking to please those who are his political adversaries?
But it's perfectly rational for Obama to do exactly that. There's a fundamental distinction between progressives and groups that wield actual power in Washington: namely, the latter are willing (by definition) to use their resources and energies to punish politicians who do not accommodate their views, while the former unconditionally support the Democratic Party and their leaders no matter what they do. The groups which Obama cares about pleasing -- Wall Street, corporate interests, conservative Democrats, the establishment media, independent voters -- all have one thing in common: they will support only those politicians who advance their agenda, but will vigorously oppose those who do not. Similarly, the GOP began caring about the Tea Party only once that movement proved it will bring down GOP incumbents even if it means losing a few elections to Democrats.
That is exactly what progressives will never do. They do the opposite; they proudly announce: we'll probably be angry a lot, and we'll be over here doing a lot complaining, but don't worry: no matter what, when you need us to stay in power (or to acquire it), we're going to be there to give you our full and cheering support.
Given the posture of progressives, why would the White House possibly do anything other than ignore them (except when they're deliberately attacking them in order to appear more centrist)? What motive does the White House have for doing anything other than that? None that I can see.
This is why the Congress is full of Democrats who shamelessly do the bidding of corporate elites, while ignoring their base secure in the knowledge that they won't be made to pay any political price for acting against the public's interests.
Of course there are occasional exceptions to the rule like Ned Lamont and Joe Sestak's primary victories. But much more often Progressives rationalize their voting for corporatist Democrats as a vote for the lesser of two evils.
In 2011 we desperately need a wave of Progressives to step up to the plate and primary the entrenched Corporatist Democrats inh their districts. I know taking on a well financed incumbents is a daunting task, with the odds winning running against Progressive challengers, but if we don't step up to the plate we will continued to be marginalized. If you've ever thought to yourself "I could do a better job than this clown!" you should seriously consider throwing your hat into the ring.
If the last Congress taught us anything with its hefty Democratic majorities, its that we need not only more Democrats, but BETTER DEMOCRATS.
Also see NYCee diary: (w/Greenwald) Where there's progressive smoke there's... just more smoke?