Contempt and disgust for the Dems and their daily blood and bullshit rain often twists my mind. I get petty, nasty, rude, and the more I get that way, the more I fuel my darker self. But this is no healthy, constructive path to better political understanding, much less an effective means to persuade. At its worst, it's self-indulgence, a walled-off playpen littered with broken toys. Meanwhile, deceit and murder from above rage on, canceling out my screams.
One of the downsides to blogging, apart from having to sit down and type, is the personality trap: becoming obsessed with how others perceive the madness. I am as guilty on this front as anyone you can mention. It saps my energy and distracts me from deeper, better work ("Like my upcoming book!" he said, staring at the roses in the sink). Lately, I've been on a personality-bashing spree of sorts, chiefly against Digby and Glenn Greenwald, and my direct exposure to the Kossacks further honed my irritation. But last night, a tiny light flashed in my brain and told me to pull back a bit. Reassess. Recharge. Redirect. And if you know anything about lights in the brain, you understand that they must be obeyed.
Then I came across this passage at Digby's, and it enhanced what my brain's light told me. Referring to attacks on her pro-Dem position, and her confusion about her party loyalty in the wake of the FISA vote, Digby wrote:
"Arthur [Silber] and some others have recently called me out for being a ridiculous and useful idiot for the Democrats and it's hard to argue with them. It's certainly not that I cheerlead them for these police state votes, but it is true that I continue to support Democrats generally. I honestly don't know what else to do."
Well. I've had my problems with libs like Digby, but I can't remember one as prominent as her simply admitting the awful truth: "I honestly don't know what else to do." No spin. No excuses. No apologia. Just a direct admission that the whole game is fixed, and that we are truly fucked.
As Jon Schwarz recently told me, reality will make a radical out of Digby yet. Let's hope so, anyway.
Still, Digby tries to hang on to the crumbling lib Dem ledge:
"I am not by philosophy or temperament a 'bring down the state' kind of person and that tends to make me look for reason in unreasonable actions and try to affect change through the political channels that currently exist. Persuasion, education, discussion, blah, blah, blah. And I'm not a naïf. I know craven politicians are craven and suspect them of selling out to any number of interests for any number of reasons. So, I'll tend to try to find ways to change their political calculations under the assumption that they have no real substance to begin with."
Noble, if confused and hopelessly romantic. Yet, this is progress. Whether her position evolves and toughens into something more effective than trying to light candles in a windstorm remains to be seen. Digby has a large, loyal readership. If she can turn the political corner and convince her readers to do the same, that would be a good thing. We must change minds and perceptions before we can even begin to change our dismal political reality.
So, with that in mind, I hereby pledge to lay off Digby and others like her, and will try to persuade libloggers like them to further explore these emerging instincts and growing levels of awareness. As for Greenwald, well, that's a tougher sell. Unlike Digby, Greenwald doesn't appear very introspective, especially now that he's a major liblog celeb. Why change when countless fans tell you that you're great? On the other hand, Digby receives the same kind of adulation across the 'sphere, and she's still able to search her mind and heart and admit her powerlessness. And once you admit your powerlessness under this system, a genuine power can then take root, power that requires care and nurturing to grow into something tangible, power that can then be flexed. We all have this within us. Call it class awareness or a spiritual awakening or personal deprogramming. Or call it nothing. It doesn't need a name; it simply needs our mutual commitment.