We previously discussed the disconnect between Democratic leaders and liberal voters in the increasing complaints of leaders like Vice President Biden over Democratic “lethargy.” Democrats in Washington once again seemed shocked that voters are not eager to fight for their retention. Now, Biden has added the helpful advice to Democratic voters to “stop whining” about things that they did not get in Washington and to “buck up.”
The “buck up” comment was meant as an improvement over the “whining” comment. It turned out that “whining” was not greeted by voters as an improvement over “lethargy.”
Here is the latest statement:
“And so those who don’t get — didn’t get everything they wanted, it’s time to just buck up here, understand that we can make things better, continue to move forward and — but not yield the playing field to those folks who are against everything that we stand for in terms of the initiatives we put forward.”
By “everything [we] wanted,” I assume Biden is including the fulfillment of our treaty obligations to investigate and prosecute war crimes such as torture — which the Administration blocked.
I assume it includes removing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which the Administration is trying to preserve by asking a court not to impose a national injunction freezing the policy.
I assume it includes allowing dozens of privacy lawsuits to go forward against companies, which the Administration blocked despite evidence of unlawful surveillance by the Bush Administration.
I assume it includes allowing torture victims to seek review in federal court, which the Administration has successfully blocked.
I assume it includes protecting pristine areas along the East Coast from drilling, which the Administration has fought to open up for development even after the BP accident.
I assume it includes reducing the faith-based programs of the Bush Administration which raised concerns over the separation of church and state, which Obama expanded.
Well, it includes a lot of things that democratic and independent voters wanted. What they got was a Democratic majority saw power as the end to itself rather than the means to fight for principle. For civil libertarians, “those folks who are against everything that we stand” include the Obama Administration which has been a perfect nightmare in the adoption and expansion of Bush policies.
Yet, Biden wants civil libertarians, environmentalists, and liberals to stop whining and buck up. The Administration made a cynical calculation that liberals and civil libertarians and environmentalists have no where to go and that they have to support the Democrats regardless of these obnoxious policies. Now, they are simply shocked that voters are not enthusiastic about their continuing in power.
The Democratic leadership has conveyed that the only principle that they are committed to is their retention of power. All other principles — torture, the environment, privacy, free speech — are immaterial to that one overriding goal. They just do not understand why everyone does not see it that way.
Well, I am one of those whining, lethargic voters and I cannot get myself to buck up to support leaders who turned their back on such core values. Perhaps if enough Democrats are replaced, the party may rediscover the benefit of being principled and standing for something other than their own insular interests. They need to actually represent something other than “we are not as bad as those guys.” The problem for voters is that, by retaining these leaders, we reaffirm that they cynical calculation by the White House was correct. There is no reason why Democrats should fulfill their commitments in these areas if voters do not hold them accountable. I know some on this blog may disagree, but I personally think I will stick with the whining for now.
Source: Real Clear Politics