And I'd praise Matthew Yglesias for his justifiably skeptical response, except that what he wrote about upcoming elections is farce, too, arguing that "if you give up on the Dems, wouldn't that mean more Republicans? Wouldn't that be worse"?
Matt, you don't get it. All politicians cave. All politicians fear for their jobs. And all politicians will walk all over the people that they take for granted. If people walk away from the Dems in 2010 or 2012, that may mean more Republicans in Congress. But as we've seen, it doesn't make a difference to progressives' goals. At least terrible Republican policy help discredit conservatism. Terrible Democratic policy does nothing good at all.
If they need to lose, if they need to realize that primaries aren't a formality but something to be sweated over as well, if they need to realize that they have to temper their race into the arms of conservative voters with the knowledge that they must retain progressive/liberal ones, then the solution is clear: primary them and, if necessary, give your general-election vote to a third party.
I know "Democratic" Villagers like you, Matt, won't like that. You have friends you see every day in the party. You know people who will lose their jobs. And, to be brutally honest, YOUR power as a progressive commentator and writer will be severely diminished if the Dems take a serious hit.
But, and I'm sorry for saying this, progressives and liberals have no real option left. They can no longer be mocked, denigrated and then ignored by your Washington coworkers and colleagues. They can no longer endure the Republicans and conservatives getting a place of prominence at the President and Congress' table, while they look in from the cold. They sure as hell won't put up with idiot sheep bleating about how the Democrats need 60 votes for a bill, where the Republicans only needed 50, because people like Lieberman were propped up by Washington on the sole grounds that they're part of the Village "family".
You may be getting comfortable as a new member of that family. Good for you. But that doesn't mean progressives will keep propping it up.
Edit: Hey, Matt. Look. This absolute nonsense? This is what I'm talking about.
If this bill passes, it will not be because Lieberman was pacified. It will be because senators such as Rockefeller, Wyden, Schumer, Harkin, Brown and Dodd swallowed their pride and their passion and allowed him to be pacified. They are the heroes here, and beneath it all, their quiet determination made them the key players.Let me make it perfect clear for Matt, Ezra et al: ENABLING MASSIVE WEALTH TRANSFERS TO HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES IS NOT HEROISM. The only reason their determination is "quiet" is because they all know this bill is absolute crap. They campaigned against it, their constituents hate it, and it will backfire in truly amazing ways.
They're being quiet because they're hoping they won't get blamed when it goes south. And they aren't being credited because, yes, they are being taken for granted.
(At least try to keep up.)
Oh, and if you're wondering what Democrats enabling Republicans and an insider mentality has to do with Ben Bernanke, then you probably need a nap or something. You ain't thinking straight.
Re-Edit: Then again, one of the most disappointing things about, say, Ezra Klein or Kevin Drum on this is the sheer volume of strawmen involved. They don't engage the actual arguments against the bill or the reasons why, thanks to the mandates, it might well end up being worse than the status quo.
That's why I'm starting to think that people like Matt, Ezra and Kevin don't think any better of this nonsense than Dean or the obviously disgusted Brown et al. They can't respond to the specific criticism. So they don't.