Closing thoughts on Netroots Nation

David Dayan ponders the role of progressives trying to work for change and the Netroots Nation goal of electing more of them within a Democratic Party establishment that doesn’t much care for them. He sees some hopeful signs among organizers but little from DC.

And yet. On the panel in which I participated on the foreclosure crisis, I took up a theme about the pathetic Obama/Treasury foreclosure mitigation program being a failure of liberalism, a confirmation of Ronald Reagan’s infamous statement that the most dangerous words in America are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” HAMP is not a liberal program, but it’s coming from a government seen as liberal, and the consequences are dire for millions of people as well as most everything we care about. And without resetting the housing market, we’re not going to fix the economy ever. The Administration seems far too content to ride this out and rely on cycles of economics, still wedded to a belief that the health of the banks means more than the security of the people. This would ring a death rattle for the middle class and basically consign them to no future.

While I admire the determination and zeal of Netroots Nation, they seem befuddled by the continuing and never-ending support the Obama Administration gives to big banks. A radical might say, well, that’s the job he was hired to do, not that Obama has any qualms about it. He’s a corporatist. So, given the corporate dominance of the political system, is the slow Netroots Nation approach of electing progressives going to produce change? I don’t think it can, at least not in the time frame needed.

Also, please consider Peter Camejo’s The Avocado Declaration, wherein he explains how a primary historical role of the Democratic Party has been to co-opt genuine dissent and render it meaningless.