What if the Democratic Party treated the netroots with the same respect and awe the GOP shows the tea party?

In the aftermath of the debt ceiling debacle, I found myself wondering how exactly we came to the point where the Republican Party answered to the “Tea Party” contingent within the GOP, while Democrats largely shunned their progressive base in order to barter a turd of a deal that gave Republican House Speaker John Boehner 98% of what he wanted in the form of spending cuts, while Democrats got absolutely no revenue increases on their end of the “deal.”

Political and digital media consultant Peter Daou imagines how things might have been if Democrats treated their liberal base with the same respect Republicans showed: to the Tea Party.

Imagine a scenario where Democrats, instead of marginalizing the netroots, treated them with the same awe and respect the Tea Party engenders on the GOP side. Imagine an Obama presidency where the health care debate started with a fierce fight for single-payer; where Gitmo had been closed; where gay rights were unequivocally supported; where Bush and Cheney were investigated for sanctioning torture; where climate change was a top priority; where Bush’s civil liberties violations were prosecuted rather than reinforced; where the Bush tax cuts expired; where the stimulus was much bigger; where programs for the poor, for research, jobs, infrastructure, science, education, were enhanced at the expense of war and profits for the wealthy; where the Republican assault on women’s rights was met with furious resistance. I could go on and on.

In short, imagine an America where the Democratic establishment loudly proclaimed that they were unshakable champions of core progressive values and that they would work hand in hand with their base to convince America that their ideas were superior to the right’s.

Of course, that’s a fantasy. The unwillingness of Democratic leaders and strategists to do anything remotely close to that has virtually guaranteed that the triangle isn’t formed on the left. Obama’s supporters are fond of pointing to the GOP House and complaining that his hands are tied because of the 2010 midterms. But it’s precisely the Democratic establishment’s decrepitude that enabled the rise of the Tea Party and the 2010 defeat.


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9 thoughts on “What if the Democratic Party treated the netroots with the same respect and awe the GOP shows the tea party?

  1. Well, actually, the (D)s are pursuing the rational strategy. Almost every aspect of the US political system is designed in such a way as to guide the debate to the center. The (R)s pander to the TP at their own peril; every shift to the right, while emboldening those at the skinniest end of the normal curve, distances a far greater number at the big, fat, juicy hump in the middle, making them ripe for (D) picking. At least in theory. And that’s what I keep reminding myself as I weep gently into my pillow each night.

    But seriously, change in US politics is generally a gradual, slow process, but we may be seeing an exception develop here. Once voters get a whiff of the true aura of the “new” right, we may be seeing a sudden and rapid shift in the nature of US party politics — a shift that strongly benefits the left.

  2. blah blah blah That’s a pile o’ crap.

    The Democrats have CHOSEN to drive it to the “center” (and where we are now is even debatable as a REAL center-point of human political philosophy) because they don’t represent the “left” nor the working class (that does not mean teachers and Public employees that means THE WORKING CLASS, yanno – trailer trash) they don’t represent any of that.
    Their role in America is to smooth over the passage to complete corporate oligarchic control. To make it LOOK like there is an opposition party when clearly there is not. To kinda take the hits and listen to the cries of the masses as they are downgraded to Colony Drones. Kind of like in a sick family structure. The father (Republicans) is an abusive autocrat. The mother (Democrats) , complicit in the structure, pretends to listen to the kids and pretends to try to intercede with the mean Dad. But she has no intention. She pretends to listen, lets the kids blow off steam, and the agenda proceeds as planned.

    There is no opposition party. If that fact were TOOOOOOO obvious the “transition” to the new Culture would meet with more resistance. Hence, the smoothing-over role of the Democrats. People who gain by sucking up to super-wealth.
    Laugh if you wanna, but if we live long enough you’ll have to admit omg that crazy Annie, she was sooooooo right. (there’s probably some big-deal MALE egghead professor who says the same stuff and gets money doing speaking tours, but I doan know him, i sit in me mobile home and draw conclusions and have delusions all by my lonesome. Don’t need a bunch of letters after my name for this. Yay me! but LOL if you don’t have a dick or a diploma…..lol
    btw I tell my kids not to have kids – the future? don’t listen to Barack, we ain’t winnin’ nuthin’. I even hate to think about how the later years of my OWN kids lives will be.
    The Future is gonna SUCK! There will be coprorate schools and private corporate armies etc. I mean there here now but it will be common after the Public sphere is deflated entirely. Pop that balloon, bitchez!
    and the Democrat party left the building some time ago, they ain’t comin back.
    U No It Baby.

    p.s. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask that you all send money to Act Blue, or the Democrat party or your “favorite” PAC, cuz that will facilitate change.
    sure it will suckas! and I had to LOL. The Unions are no longer supporting the Dems financially in some big show of “withholding” LOL now the Dems can just say “fine! we will support you less in return”. Which of course is what they wanted anyways. But now they have the delightful convenience of Blaming the Victim for what they were doing anyways.
    Ah to be young and full of life and a politician in the springtime of the New World.
    p.p.s. I mean c’mon! how hysterical was it when Barack’s response to the BP disaster was to take Michelle down there to show it was safe to vacation in the Gulf. Suck some tarballs for the cause Michelle! We need to lead this herd of brainless plebes back into the water, and to make sure BP suffers to ill to their bottom line. His role as President would have been to make sure that corporate criminals experienced some consequences. Obeyed existing law. Like oh maybe banking criminals should have also suffered some consequences, and obeyed the Law, but Barack protected them too. Nice boy. He’s the smoother-in-chief.
    Barack sucks. He’s no strong advocate for anything but his own ass. Nor is anyone in that entire Party.

  3. The whole problem is the right-leaning Washington Beltway Insider consensus thinks the Tea Party represents Main St America.

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