Friday, May 28, 2010

An Obey for All Seasons

Ray McGovern has an outstanding open letter to Rep. Obey out on the internet. Very good read, and not too long. You really should click that link and take the minute or two to read it.

There is a bigger picture here. Every time I hear of Mr. Obey, I hear of his progressive past. I hear of the causes he used to fight for. From the Democrat propagandists, this is a part of their image creation. The modern Democratic leader apparently needs a faux-progressive image. But even the more lefty writers always refer to it. Unfortunately, its completely irrelevant.

At some point in my youth, I saw the film of "A Man for All Seasons". Its the story of Thomas More, who was Henry the Eighth's drinking buddy. Henry was having his constant problems with the church, so when an opportunity presented itself, he made his drinking buddy the Archbishop of Canterbury. Problem solved, right? Not quite. Because when More takes up the office, he realizes that he takes up its role in the system. He opposes the King, only to be assassinated.

This is a story of someone taking on a more heroic role by taking on an office. Of a man who does something noble when he probably would not have done so had he stayed merely the King's drinking buddy. With today's Democrats, you see just the opposite. Not only Mr. Obey, but other top leaders in today's Democrat Congress used to be very progressive liberals. Heck, Speaker Pelosi herself used to be a liberal back-bencher, and still represents one of the most left-wing districts in the country in the heart of San Francisco.

But, these people have taken on their offices and they serve the role of that office in today's affairs. Who they used to be is rather irrelevant. Just as the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury used to be Henry the Eighth's drinking buddy ended up being irrelevant to their relations.

The leadership of the Democratic party serves big money. Period. That's it. Nothing else matters. The key thing to realize is that if they didn't, they would not hold that office. To get the office, they had to swear off their earlier lefty views. I don't know if they hold some secret skull-and-bones-like ceremony where the candidates are forced kneel in their underwear and forswear their lefty past. I kinda doubt it. But the image is a good symbolism of what must occur.

If Chairman Obey did not at some point let it be known that he would be a perfect servant of big money, he would not be in his position of chairing the most powerful committee in the Congress. If Speaker Pelosi did not at some point let it be known that she would be a perfect servant of big money, then she would not be the Speaker of the House.

What they used to say, even if they used to believe it, does not matter today. We have to see them as the people that they are today, executing the offices that they hold today.

Sir Thomas More: I think that when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.

The really sad thing is that both Obey and Pelosi represent very progressive left wing districts. These are the districts that should be sending our fighters to the Congress. These are the districts that should be the bastions of fire-brand lefties who put forth our views and fight the fights that must be fought. Instead, two total sell-outs to war and corporate profits hold these two seats.

These two districts are important to our cause. These are strategically important districts because they should give us relatively safe lefty seats. They should give us safe seats which can embolden politicians to speak out on lefty issues, knowing that the people of their districts support them. These representatives from these districts should be our warriors and our champions, they should be our spokespeople and our leaders. They should be the loudest voices putting forth what we believe and what we care about. That the representatives of these districts are instead the very people shepherding war funding through the Congress is our major blow to our cause. Not only because the wars continue, but because of the the silence that results from the progressive voters in these districts not being represented in this Congress.

If the left has any strategic sense at all, it has to try to win these two seats back. Strong independent campaigns in these two districts, with massive grassroots support, should be in there trying to win those seats. Not campaigns for show or for public education. Real, serious, play-to-win campaigns. And if the left in this country can only muster a few thousand volunteers to go door to door, then these are the two seats that should be the targets of whatever puny efforts we can muster politically these days.

We need these seats for our voices to be heard. A very pleasant side effect is that a lefty political rebellion that took out either the Speaker of the House or the Chair of the Ways and Means committee would be a shot heard round the world for lefty politics.

Cromwell: I have evidence that Sir Thomas, while he was a judge, accepted bribes.
The Duke of Norfolk: What? Goddammit, he was the only judge since Cato who didn't accept bribes! When was there last a Chancellor whose possessions after three years in office totaled one hundred pounds and a gold chain?

When was the last time we had a Speaker who wasn't rich?

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