Welcome to the Circular Firing Squad

Bob Herbert provides us with what he calls the, “Road Map to Defeat,” which seems to accurately describe whatever governing document everyone appears to be cribbing off of during this Democratic primary. Of course, many of us know this by a different name.

John Cole, I believe, has one of the best bits on this truly amazing phenomenon:

As someone new to the party, I have to say the awesomeness of the Democratic circular firing squad really can not be explained to outsiders. You can try to explain it, but it just doesn’t sink in until you are actually a part of it. The Bush administration and Republican rule has been an unmitigated disaster for this country, and the Clinton camp seems dead set on making sure we get four more years of it. Bush’s poll number are worse than syphillis, and yet the Clinton campaign and their supporters keep making me yearn for the decency and the integrity of the say-anything Romney crowd.

This primary has truly been full of win for me, and a real eye-opener. While the GOPis turning lemons into lemonade with McCain, the Democrats are showing the world they know how to turn filet mignon into a shit sandwich. Impressive work.

I think I am going to start drinking again.

Yes, at this point in the Democratic primary season, shiny new alcoholism is actually starting to sound pretty good. On the one hand, your liver erodes away, but at least you can spend the McCain administration in a vomit-scented haze that goes by in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Of course, this is all to be expected, and Herbert does have a point in the shudderingly too close to home kind of way. When we look to a president who was impeached and lost both houses of congress after decades of party control as a bright spot in our party’s history, one can easily understand how we Democrats have developed a deeply masochistic culture.

But as anyone who has been reading me lately should be able to tell you, what has been bothering me more than the pols in the party circling up the wagons and aiming inward is the current state of the blogosphere.

I mean, let’s face it, we’re in all out civil war here, and we couldn’t have picked a worse time to go all brother against brother, sister against sister. This because, as Herbert also points out, we decided that as a party we were going to either nominate a woman or a black guy; we need to be as unified as we can get.

As they used to say back in the days when I was young enough to be cool, not that I ever was cool, but, you know, if I so inclined, I could have been cool back then; ain’t no half-steppin’ up in here. But no, we’re half-steppin’, trippin, and, well, just beatin’ the ever livin’ piss out of each other.

And what’s really aggravating me these days is the frothy helpings of schadenfreude that are getting served up by the minute. It’s ridiculous; the economy is in the tank to the point where people are going to discount grocers so they can get a box of cereal under two bucks even though the expiration date is long since gone, but forget all that, it doesn’t matter. What really matters is that fucker, Obama, really got what he had coming during that debate, huh?

It’s interesting, I started political blogging three and a half years ago, and one of the reasons why I did that was because I really wanted to be a blogger. I wanted to be in the know. I wanted to be one of those guys that not only knew what was going on, but made that knowledge friggin’ cool. I admired the structure of the whole thing, and that familial sense that said, “We may beat on each other, but you cross one of us, we’re bringing the rain and the thunder down on you.”

That was something to be proud to be a part of. That was exciting. And that was what it really was, something to be a part of, a community. One where we shared both ideas and ideals, and we challenged each other, and made each other better and built each other up.

Now I just find myself depressed more often than not. My membership in the liberal blogosphere is something that I approach with tentative shame as opposed to complete pride. It’s turned into an ugly and disgraceful place.

And the funny thing is, I’m not leaving. I’m not quitting. I put too much of my own time and effort into this thing to do so. I’m not going to get into what and how much I sacrifice for this endeavor for fear of being branded a whiner, but I do give a lot and sacrifice a lot because the netroots, the blogosphere, is something I believe in.

So maybe that’s why I take it real personal when I see people in the Advertising Liberally blogroll off to the side shitting all over what I bust my ass to be a part of, contribute to, and hopefully make stronger and better. It’s an insult.

That’s not to say that I demand all agree with me; anything but that, please. If enough people disagree with me on a point where I’m actually wrong, I might get it through my thick head one of these days and I don’t want to turn my back on that. But is a little respect really that hard? Is it really that hard to say, okay, I really don’t like your candidate, but damn it all, I’d rather have your candidate than the Republican who’s going to be a carbon copy of Bush?

Jebus, I can’t stand Hillary Clinton, but I’ll bite my tongue and write in support of her if it means not having to liveblog John McCain’s swearing in ceremony. is it really too much to ask the same of the Hill-bloggers?

It’s funny. I really didn’t know where this missive was going to go when I first sat down to write it. It’s ten of five in the morning and I’m waiting out these last dragging minutes before I get to go home and squeeze in a scant few hours of sleep before I get up and try and spend a couple hours with my kids, but I see I find myself repeating the same thing I’ve been repeating for the past few weeks.

Cut the shit.

Quit acting like kids.

Remember there’s a Republican president who continues to crap all over this nation, and a Republican candidate who is promising to keep that fine tradition going.

It’s sad and ugly and tiresome, and I truly want to understand where some of these people are going, and this goes for some of the blogs on both sides. Do you really enjoy this? Do you really like shitting on fellow Democrats/progressives/liberals/your own credibility?

I don’t. It frankly makes me kind of ill.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Most folks seem to be fairly certain that Obama will be our nominee, and I’m growing increasingly certain that with the way everyone’s behaving right now, it doesn’t matter who wins the nomination, we’re going to lose.

I don’t know that we’ll win, and if we do, or if we don’t, I don’t know what’s going to happen after that.

What I do know is that it feels like we’ve gone beyond the circular firing squad, and have leapt with both feet straight into a civil war. Civil wars change things, cultures are altered, and allegiances shift. I don’t even know what the outcome of this civil war will be, who will win, and how much reconciliation will occur.

But I do know that out of the ashes of what we are burning to the ground now something new will arise to take its place, and I’m dead certain I’ll probably be a part of it, just as I’m pretty certain who won’t be a part of it, not without a little introspection anyway…

…introspection and a damn lot of apologies.

Edited by Kathy

2 Responses to “Welcome to the Circular Firing Squad”

  1. Chief says:

    In this Democrat primary, I do not HATE or LOVE anyone. And I do not understand those that are so adamant that the candidate they support MUST win. I will vote for the Dem candidate in November. I would prefer an Obama presidency than a Clinton presidency. But either would be far preferable to a McCain presidency.

    C’mon folks, lighten up. We’re all trying to accomplish the same thing, which is to run the Neo-cons out of town. I happen to believe that Obama has longer coat-tails with the result being more Dems in Congress than if Clinton were the nominee. But, that is my belief. I’m certainly not going to fight anyone over that.

    Pah-leese.

  2. DrGail says:

    Amen. I’ve often said that this primary race seems to be a proxy for old politics versus new, DLCers versus progressives, and so on. That probably adds some heat and vehemence to the whole thing. And Obama’s campaign emphasizes the old versus new, both in its message and in its style/strategy.

    Obviously, I’m not blaming Obama or his campaign for exacerbating the issue. Rather, I think that his campaign message and style have brought this dynamic to the forefront, much as he has brought issues of race and one’s responsibility for one’s associates and a whole host of other issues into clear view.

    But I too am distressed by the pugnacity, and wish we could focus more on substance than on style. You have my commitment to do just that.

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