It is hard to be hopeful in the context of continuing injustice and what looks like a maniacal embrace of death. Israel is still invading and trashing parts of Lebanon with the U.S. egging it on. The U.S. has completely trashed Iraq, creating a failed state at war with itself. And our rulers want to attack Iran. But I do want to highlight a couple of hopeful U.S. developments found in odd corners of the blogosphere.
Matt Stoller of the practical-electoral-politics-for -liberals site My DD has explained how the Israel Lobby trys to undermine a progressive Democratic resurgence.
Stoller isn't spinning conspiracy theories. He is naming political realities that a new generation of Democratic Party activists need to understand, quickly.
This set of activists has won its spurs by knocking off Joe Lieberman. They've made a great start; they tested and mastered the real world electoral skills that several previous generations of progressives scorned. But from here on it gets harder: unless they can reliably develop new sources of political funding, they are going to have a hard time delivering their simple and sensible message for changed priorities.
As a Californian, I have to think about the odious Dianne Feinstein. We're a true blue, wildly diverse, anti-Bush state. How'd we get a prissy, "mama knows best," pro-war hawk for a Senator -- without even giving her a challenge for another six year term? Nobody of any stature was going to take her on because of the costs of such a campaign. And so we'll get more of the same.
Or another one: there's Tom Lantos who represents the district just south of San Francisco. He trumpets his membership in the Congressional Progressive Caucus -- and he did sign on recently to the Democrat party letter asking for a phased withdrawal from Iraq. But he also was the guy who introduced to Congress the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. as a witness to faked scenes of Iraqi atrocities in 1991. Protest challengers have taken a shot at him in several primaries, but so far without serious organizational capacity. As the House International Relations Committee's ranking Democrat, this slippery character we keep re-electing will be the chairman when the Dems take the House. Not a good sign. As Matt S. says, one more intractable political obstacle.
Most of the Democratic incumbents are just as much creatures of old thinking, and, yes, the Israel Lobby, as Joementum. They are just slightly less self-centered, slightly slicker at keeping their constituents out of the loop. Just as the rise of the blogs has provided an opportunity for a new generation of somewhat progressive political operatives to assert themselves within the Democratic Party, so, as well, we need a new generation of Democratic candidates. Can we find candidates that are worth the trouble of electing them?
Meanwhile, at The Next Hurrah, a commenter named Casey reminds us of something it is easy to forget.
To which "freepatriot" reminded us of Hemingway's line:
Worth working for.