A word to the wise -- if any of you Shakers out there intend to run for political office someday, you might as well disavow me right now -- because I'm a lesbian, feminist, female whose progressive values actually drive her to expect that candidates who want my vote are not going to discard the progressive ideals of liberty and justice for all just because it's politically expedient.
In the last week, I've learned a lot about how powerful I am. If I'm to take the frantic comments of some fellow Democrats seriously, it would seem that:
- I am likely to "give Feminism a bad name" by being "too shrill" when candidates use sexist dog-whistles.
- I am likely to "split the party" by being "divisive" when candidates use racist dog-whistles.
- I am likely to be "responsible for four more years of nightmare" if I expect Democratic candidates to stop acting like Republican candidates.
I am Portly. Hear me roar.
Frankly, I'm sick of hearing principled progressive voters accused of being a threat to the certainty of a Democratic win in '08 -- because they have the temerity to expect Dem candidates to actually demonstrate that they value equal rights for people of color and women -- to demonstrate it by refusing to stoop to sexist and racist manipulation tactics in their campaigns.
So, I won't blame the voters -- I will place the blame precisely where it belongs:
On. The. Candidates.
I'm sick of hearing people defend their candidates with "slip of the tongue" and "everyone makes mistakes" arguments.
You know what? I think that if you really believe that "shuck and jive" and "periodically down" could be simple "slips of the tongue", you're probably incredibly politically naive. Candidates spend hours and hours and hours being drilled -- about what to say and what not to say -- on which words to avoid completely and which words to hammer constantly.
Besides -- if you really are a progressive candidate, and you do make a slip of the tongue or utter a thoughtless phrase -- that offends a potential support-base -- then you fucking apologize.
So -- to those who want to blame "picky" progressives for an impending train-wreck in which the Democrats could lose an election that has essentially been fucking handed to them on the silver platter of GWBushco's disastrous 8 years -- I suggest that you direct you attention to -- and place the full burden of responsibility on: The candidates who just can't seem to catch a clue that they are alienating valuable members of their constituency. (Which is, in my humble fucking opinion -- just plain stupid.)
And don't even get me started on LGBTQ issues -- I've been thrown under the bus so many times in that regard that I've swapped out my entire wardrobe for camos in "treadmark" pattern. Makes laundry so much easier.
You may notice that I rarely post directly on political matters -- for some background about why that is, you can read here. (Hint: 30 years of activism, 1000s of dollars, and DADT are prominently featured.)
Standard disclaimer: I have not endorsed, nor am I endorsing, a candidate. If you want to get in the comment thread and go on and on about how "your" candidate isn't being stupid, or tell me how I'm being a danger to democracy and shit, you will have missed the point of this post entirely.