Partisans have always been apologists to the core, but in the last year Democratic partisans have turned into full-fledged apologists, arguing endlessly that all knowledge and discovery falls within their revelation, even when it doesn't. 2007 was the year in which I witnessed the most extraordinary perseverations that I've ever seen. I saw the most mediocre minds of my generation destroyed, well-fed, faux-rational, bien habillés. 2007 was a monument to conventionality. With death and war on every side, it managed to emerge as a year of miraculous political banality. Not a single Democrat of actual or electronic stature said, "Enough." Not one! After the last, most important election ever in our lifetimes ever™, nothing of substance has been accomplished. The wars have not ended. They've escalated. The various depredations of torture and universal surveillance are now more resolutely regularized, itemized, reified, and legalized than before. The precariousness of our economic situation is difficult to overstate, and yet while our insane, financilized, subsidized, bastardized, bowdlerized economy creaked toward catastrophe, our Democratic congresscritters self-congratulated themselves to their one great legislative accomplishment: increasing the minimum wage, a transparently ridiculous piece of economic populism aimed squarely at the uplift-minded urban constituency of the party, professionals with educations who use phrases like "working class" to describe an out-of-work, post-industrial underclass that wouldn't self-apply such a patently focus-grouped neologism to save the lives of their mangy dogs.
Those who chose not to legitimate the shadow-play are, in the new lexicon, defeatists. But the actual defeatist credo of "unprecedented capitulation" has nothing to do with it. In fact, your Donk partisan means quite the opposite: his defeatism is a failure to capitulate to the Cliffs-Notes, Hegelian necessity of the Democratic party as quite literally the sole, singular means of Progress. Having opened the year in triumphant mood given their party's newly acquired majority, these exhortations started out in a relatively jocular mood, and the odd libertarian or real lefty or Gore Vidalian crank could expect bemused tolerance and even occasional agreement from the responsible Donk mouthpieces. As their party floudered and discontent spread to the ranks, though, a reigning-in was necessary. Discussion quickly turned from ending the wars to enforcing the doxology that only the Democrats could end the wars. But the Democrats aren't ending the wars, we protested. Well, came the sundry replies with the finger-tapping impatience of a provincial priest lecturing a doubting boy, perhaps you're not praying hard enough.
Now, as the Primaries approach and the general elections soon after, orthodoxy has become extravagant self-parody. Witnesseth:
For whatever its worth, I came to some brief conclusions recently about the Democratic Party that’s likely relevant to some readers in these trying times. This first was a realization that a famous political saying of my lifetime made absolutely no sense:The second paragraph is my favorite, for what it calls an abstraction is concrete and what it calls concrete is largely abstract. The language is otherwise strictly Counter-Reformational--even as it offers bromidic strophes to "improvement," it affirms the necessary catholic orthodoxy. It hardly seems to occur to them that their position is essentially totalitarian--that there is nothing outside of the Party; that the Party is uniquely able to respond to the entire panoply of human existence; that one has a "duty" to the Party. A duty! What, I wonder, must it feel like to work the press gang for a navy full of leaky boats? It can't be especially edifying. The language of obligation works better in the presence of miracles. Otherwise it's just long hours at a dull work that no one especially enjoys.
I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Party left me. A political party isn’t an abstract entity like a tent that one enters, it’s an organization made of up by each of its members. If one belongs, one is the Party. The only way to leave is to fundamentally, drastically change. Meandering around saying the Party left me is a rationalization for the abdication of duty, if one doesn’t like parts of the experience the answer is to work on improvement, not abandonment.
You act is if there were no other alternative to progressive and liberal interests than the Democratic Party. That’s right, I sure do. I have looked high and low, near and far, with microscopes and telescopes, I talked to Jesus and the Gypsies, I read history and political science, and there is no other way. Believe you me after this last year if there were another alternative I’d be freaking taking it, yeah.
We are the party, the party is us, it’s our duty to change it, and there is no other alternative.