The Third Estate
What Is The Third Estate?
What Has It Been Until Now In The Political Order?
What Does It Want To Be?

To Clarify

Friday, June 19, 2009
I want to expand a bit on what I wrote yesterday in response to Rebecca's comment. I certainly place most of the blame for our generation-long failure to do anything real about our problems on our leadership class - in both parties. But ultimately we elected these people. The point I'm trying to make is that it's not enough for a republic to get all fired up and put people who say all the right things into office. You also have to hold them accountable for what they do once they're in there. The American people should have risen up and demanded Congress investigate George Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes, but we didn't, because too many of us were either too ready to believe that they "kept us safe" or didn't like the spectacle it would create. We should be burying the Congress in phone calls and letters demanding real health care and financial regulations with teeth. But we don't because we can't be bothered.

The fact is that Obama and the Democrats in Congress are about to punt on health care, climate change, labor law, financial reforms - you know, everything we elected them to fix - and do you know what's going to happen? Nothing. Either they'll get re-elected anyway, in which they "get away with it," or the Republicans get in office and make everything worse. And the lesson for politicians won't be "fix these problems or else." It'll be "don't try to do major reforms." And the country will continue to circle the drain.

I'm beginning to agree with Martin Luther King - the real obstacle to reform isn't the right, it's the moderates.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 7:36 AM
  • Sorry, replied to the response before I saw the new post. Short version is, money. We can withhold our donations and make sure they know why, until some new progressives come along. Then start overthrowing a few old incumbents during primaries, and it won't take more than 2 or 3 before the point gets taken.

    Like Kos keeps saying, we've reached our goal for more Dems. Now we have to focus on getting better ones. We need to use our dollars, and our votes, wisely.

    By Blogger Rebecca, at 9:26 AM  
  • That King quote has always made me chuckle...because in many ways he is the quote. Yes, you have a slow turn to more radical but for the bulk of his career that shoe fits.

    By Blogger Weezy, at 10:53 AM  
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