Face it - the Democrats in Congress are not the people we were waiting for. To save what remains of the progressive agenda it's time to throw them out of office, out of power, out of Congress. If we value representative government we need to do this. It is the best way to reassert belief in and dedication to progressive policies, the very same policies put forward by the Democratic Party as recently as two years ago. You see, elections do indeed mean something. Elections come with expectations. Elections have consequences intended and otherwise.
The American electorate representing the American people, insofar as such a representation is possible, overwhelmingly elected the Democratic Party and Barack Obama in 2008. For the first time since 1964 one party had dominant control of Congress and the Presidency as well. President Obama took office with a mandate many compared to FDR in 1936. "Change We Can Believe In" was really possible. Does anyone still believe that today in 2010?
And what have been the consequences of the 2008 elections? It's fair to say that no progressives and few traditional Democrats could have predicted the failures of this administration and the Democratic Congress. In terms of actual policy this administration, with no objection from this Congress, has been an almost mirror reflection of the eight years which preceded it. Is it really necessary to go through a list of:
1. Accomplishments Not Accomplished
2. Promises Not Kept
3. Bush/Cheney Policies Unexpectedly Extended
Is it necessary to cite those things favored by a majority of the American voters - and therefore the American people - that never even got the chance to come to a meaningful vote in a heavily Democratic Congress?
Elections have consequences, but party politics do not. They are a sham perpetrated upon the American voter. How could a dynamic, new President be swept into office with massive majorities in both houses of Congress and fail so miserably so quickly? The President and his crew of advisors (when not belittling the voters who put them in office) are quick to cast blame on Republicans. But the voters did their job, and there simply aren't enough Republicans to block a true Democratic agenda. So, does the President look to his own shortcomings? Does he look to his own party for the cause of his failure? Does he demand party discipline where now there is only chaos? Does Barack Obama mobilize his 70 million votes and landslide margin over John McCain and marshal his political strength to push recalcitrant Democrats into line?
No, he doesn't. No, he didn't. And no, he still isn't. Instead he's showing those few Democrats - those given cover for their disloyalty by Senate rules - that party means nothing. This Democratic President has rejected a specific request for election help and a personal endorsement by the Democrat running for Governor of Rhode Island. That seems like a perfectly normal thing for a Democrat running for Governor to ask for, doesn't it? Why would a Democratic President refuse? Because President Obama has fond memories of serving in the Senate with a now lapsed Republican, sans portfolio, who is running an independent campaign to become Rhode Island's Governor. Obama is proving that a personal agenda - this time his - trumps party.
How can the leader of the Democratic Party do this and then remind the likes of Ben Nelson of Nebraska or Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas that they are Democrats too and ought to vote accordingly? Obviously, he can't. And obviously again, he doesn't want to. This Democratic President respects party affiliation and party loyalty only when he's making a speech to Democratic voters. Maybe we should have paid more attention when we were warned to beware of someone who gives a good speech but may lack other more essential political skills.
The Democratic Party took powerful control of Congress in 2008. We voted them in. They've failed to live up to the demonstration of our votes. The only way to show our dissatisfaction is not to reelect them. The only way to show the winners that they are expected to deliver is to turn them out of office when they fail. Ask yourself: What is the point of having a Democratic Congress if they won't even vote on the vital issues of our time? And don't give me the Lesser Of Two Evils argument. A life of principle cannot be based on a foundation of fear.
The Democrats in Congress are not the people we were waiting for. Why keep them? Throw them out and the next time they ask for our vote maybe - just maybe - they will understand that our vote comes with expectations and also with consequences.