Friday, February 2, 2024

Left-wingers will not be ignored

     There is a terrible inevitability to tragedy. The characters are locked in their roles in a way that, afterward, seems foreordained. Willy Loman goes out on the road, trying to sell his unnamed product. Mary Tyrone slips upstairs for more medicine. “Another shot in the arm!” her son shouts. Oedipus takes a wife.
     And while each struggles against the tightening bonds of fate, it’s as if they’ve been seized at the elbows by the marshals of implacable destiny and are being firmly escorted toward a grim appointment.
     Hard not to feel that way since New Hampshire anointed Donald Trump, while Republican VP hopefuls strain forward like a classroom of eager 2nd graders, arms waving, straining in their sockets — “Me me me!” — the tone of the mainstream media sags, like a newspaper left out in the rain, already damp with defeat.
     Meanwhile, Democrats assemble into their traditional circular firing squad. When I read an article by Audrey Hettleman in Wednesday’s Sun-Times about a group called Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws: Coalition for Reproductive Justice and LGBTQ+ Liberation planning a protest the day before the start of the Democratic National Convention in August, my first thought was: Why? Protest to whom?
     Aren’t the Democrats the good guys regarding reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights? Did I miss something? Maybe the BOUL:CRJ&LGBTQ+L would prefer to go to Milwaukee to bring their message to the Republican convention, but lack carfare. It seems a shoestring operation.
     ”For years the Democrats have taken us for granted, thereby enabling the far right’s attacks on us,” their press release stated.
     What’s that line from “Fatal Attraction”? “I’m not going to be ignored!”
     It can’t be mere wounded pride. Can it? I tried to follow their logic. So if only the Democrats had ... what? Taken them more seriously ... then those Republicans would ... I couldn’t quite make sense of it.
     Maybe they could offer insight. I caught organizer Andy Thayer getting into an Uber.
     ”We’ve had 50 years of the anti-abortion Hyde amendment,” he began. “Plenty of years when the Democrats had both houses of Congress and the presidency and could have repealed that.”
     The Hyde Amendment, for those just joining us, is a 1976 law restricting the federal government from funding abortion. Rather than repeal it, Congress has approved it, year after year. Then again, most Americans, while supporting choice for themselves, are against the government paying for other people’s abortions.
     Thayer argued that by assuming those on the left will fall in line, Democrats shift right, drawn by the gravitational pull of Republicans.
     ”Over the last half century, the Democrats have played a game of stealing the Republicans’ thunder,” he said. “The classic example of when President Obama took Romneycare, getting the Republicans to go even further right, denouncing their previous plan.”

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  1. In fighting between democrats , progressives and liberals will likely doom us to another 4 years of trump

    1. Bite your tongue!!!! I don't like horror movies.

    2. Are you sure it would not be longer than 4 years?

  2. “Democrats will never shift to more appropriate policies until we make them"

    So undermining the Democrats and giving Trump the victory will make more "appropriate" policies spring from the ether? That's like saying I won't win the beauty pageant unless I hit myself in the head with a hammer a few more times.

    Useful idiots for MAGA world.

  3. The "woke" contingent of the Democrats, not to be confused with traditional old school liberals, could very well disgust enough voters to tip the balance and solidify our accelerated rejection of democracy. Don't even get me started on the disgusting and ill- considered "Team Hamas" thing in play now. These aggrieved social justice warriors are a gift from the heavens for the Republicans.

    1. In 2016, that's exactly what's happened to my son. In 2016, he supported Bernie Sanders in the primary and now he leans Republican because he's so fed up with the "woke" faction in the Democratic Party and what he sees as the Democratic Party's inability or unwillingness to stand up to them.

  4. In 1968, as a teenager living on the West Side, I watched the debacle in Grant Park help Nixon win the election. (And there is a through-line all the way to Trump there in Roger Stone.)

    In 2000, Naderites gave us Bush The Younger.

    In 2016, Bernie Sanders, and, far more, his followers, led to Trump.

    Winning elections seems to matter less to some.

    This pragmatic liberal, on the other hand, recognizes the utility in that.

    1. Bingo. The far-left fringe gave us Dubya in 2000 and Orange Julius in 2016. If they go for the trifecta and swing enough votes to nobodies in third and fourth parties, or to 45/47...America is toast.

      Do they not even realize what the stakes are this time? This is not Gush vs. Bore, or the rejection of The Shrill. It's Democracy vs. Fascism...the main event. The future of this country hangs in the balance. It's gonna be a squeaker, and they may tip the scales. Yet again.

      I'm a third-generation pinko--and it was I whom you saw in Grant Park in '68. I've been a Democrat all my life, and I was in SDS for a little while, and I have leaned to the left since Vietnam, but these goofballs really piss me off. If they swing another election to the Rethugs, for the third time in the last quarter-century, we are screwed, blewed, and tattooed. You can't even talk sense to these folks. Hey, it's our future, stupid.

  5. Left-wingers can be just as doggedly stupid as Right-wingers. They demand a "perfect world," and as the saying goes, "The perfect can be the enemy of the good." Could they doom us to a Trump Presidency? Yes, but they'll never admit that they did anything wrong. In that respect, they're remarkably similar to Donald Trump.

  6. It's never republicans faults.

    I'm not sure why everyone is always blaming Democrats for every problem. It is always "Kyrsten Sinema kills democrats bill" or "Joe Manchin says he's unlikely to support key bill." The truth is, there are 49 other individuals who are also against legislation that is supported by 70% of the nation.

    We fail ourselves by not holding everyone accountable on top of the individuals we expect to act correctly. Democrats have proven time and time again that they care more about the country and keeping the government running because of the good even a mortally wounded government can do for people. Republicans have proven they care only about themselves. Not even their constituents, just themselves. Not their fellow republicans, not democracy, not truth, not even their staffs. They care about themselves. They care about their own money (and by extension their biggest donors who line the pockets of republican law makers at every level of government).

    People who feel the Democrats aren't doing enough are right to protest at the DNC in Chicago this August because they will be recognized. The major news organizations will acknowledge their message and give them air time. If they show up in Milwaukee they won't. Let's not forget, has delivered millions of signatures to Mitch McConnell's office, i'm not sure he (or any other republican cares about them.

    Frankly, I'm not sure republicans even care.

  7. As Will Roger so brilliantly remarked just over 100 years ago "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a democrat!"

  8. I agree that many on the far left have yet to figure out that elections are not popularity contests, but transfers of power. (Though I believe Bernie Sanders has.) That is why Biden's age only bothers me some, but not enough to make me reject him. He AND HIS PEOPLE have done a pretty damn good job with the hand dealt them, and I believe they will continue to do so. Trump, in the other hand, has no interest in governing, and surrounds himself with sycophants and toadies who are also boxes of rocks. Nikki Haley is no better as she also represents those who think the State Department, Interior and Defense are just toys for them to play with. I am so tired of types like Andy Thayer on the left, and the dillweeds of the GOP who don't get it. (I was shocked, shocked!, that a senator from Oklahoma! got it, but of course he was shot down.)

  9. Neil, there are some people that just aren’t happy at all, and never will be. The issue will change, but unhappy people are here to stay , unfortunately. If one is happy, then they are truly blessed.

  10. Thanks for writing's a belief I've held for a long time. As you indicated, it's a circular firing squad, with predictable results.

  11. Not radical enough. How dare you.

  12. While no longer the case, I used to find comfort in the knowledge that Supreme Court justices tended to become more liberal, the longer they were on the bench. Now comes the view that, during those same years, Republicans were pulling Dems to the right. Perception is a funny, often unreliable, thing. It will be cold comfort years from now when, after the carnage is complete and the cult leader is dead, few will even remember their role as a Trump-enabler.

  13. How can we get Gaza to vote for a ceasefire in Chicago now?

  14. Food for thought indeed, with this column.

    And yes, the super woke left is turning off some moderate Dems. Some mod. Repubs also say that the MAGA gang is ruining them.


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