The politics of immaturity

The politics of immaturity

: Oliver Willis goes beyond his one-line posts and tries to explain why he resorts to calling me and others “stupid” if we dare to disagree with him.

But what he really does is reveal the thinking of his camp — the Koses, Altermans, Olivers, and Deaniacs who think they have taken over the Democratic Party.

They operate on schoolyard rules:

: ‘If I don’t like your game, I’ll take my ball and go home.’ (See ‘one-man circle jerk.’ Clever product placement here.)

Or to promote them a few years, they operate on junior-high clique rules:

: ‘If you talk to them then you can’t be my friend.’

It’s all about trying to create an exclusive club. It’s all about exclusion.

They measure people on whether they (a) agree totally with them and (b) attack the other side with the same vitriol as they do and (c) dare to ever think of criticizing our side.

This is the politics of immaturity.

This is when Oliver most reveals himself:

“Jeff believes that there’s room for the two parties to work together. On what planet?”

On this planet, Oliver. If you don’t try to work with the other party, you won’t ever get any legislation passed: simple rule of civics class, simple lesson of life, basic lesson of the Clinton years (he co-opted their issues to become the master of his domain: no, not that domain, I mean the center).

And if you demonize the other party and, more important, anybody who ever agrees with any stance they have, then you will never — never — win an election. Oh, you’ll have a tight little clique — until it’s so tight it’s just one person in a room in a… well, I won’t say what that one person is doing.

Finally, if you keep thinking that the other party is the enemy, you lose sight of the real enemy, an enemy I have seen first-hand. We have met the enemy, Oliver, and it’s not us.

You see, Oliver, when I grew up in politics, we did fight our own party to make it better. Hell, we rioted in the streets of Chicago against our own party. I didn’t do that (couldn’t skip high school, you know), but I did demonstrate at a precocious age against the party’s president, Lyndon Johnson, and we knocked him out. The Democratic party has a proud history of struggle within to improve itself. If you give that up, then you act not like a politician but a propagandist, selling only the party line that comes from above. What did your precious Howard Dean do in the election but criticize the party and try to make it over and take it over (and, indeed, he took it over)? He can criticize the party and I can’t? Where’s the logic there, Oliver? Where’s the fairness? Where’s the democracy in the Democratic Party, then?

Here are some other Oliver moments: “This would be an ideal situation, if the goal of the Republican party wasn’t the elimination of the Democratic party.”

What, and it’s not your goal to eliminate the Republican Party? Besides, the way the Democrats are going right now, they’re doing a fine job of destroying themselves by losing elections — and I don’t just mean the White House — and alienating fellow Democrats like me and fence-sitting Republicans with your kind of venemous orthodoxy and insult.

And: “The reason Jeff raises such ire on the left is that he’s a reliable source for the right in getting a Democrat to bash Democrats. A similar dynamic exists with Mickey Kaus, The New Republic, and Joe Lieberman.”

Thanks, Oliver. I’d say that’s good company. I disagree with them on many issues, but I do respect them because they have a mature and sensible view of politics and responsibility and the nation.

And: “I will always believe that the legacy of the George W. Bush years is one in which he and his party decided to simply defecate on half of the populace.”

And what are you doing, Oliver? You’re not only pissing on Republicans, you’re pissing on Democrats you don’t like. You’re pissing on more than half of the country. In your game, you win. (But in the game that matters, you lose.)

And: “It is actually in large part the folks within the Democratic Party who think like Jeff who lost the last election for us.”

Uh, well, Dean couldn’t even win Iowa; he certainly couldn’t have won the presidency.

And: “Jarvis says he likes and would vote for Hillary Clinton. Does he know how much his new buddies hate her?”

Your point? These Republicans aren’t my “buddies,” Oliver. But they’re not my enemies just because we disagree. Neither are you, Oliver. You’re the one drawing that line.

Go ahead and read the whole thing yourself, for obviously, I’m just picking out the bits that amuse me. But there you see the thinking of the people who call anyone who disagrees with them “right-wing.” It’s quite revealing.

: MORE: Dan Weinberger says in reply: “And the bottom line is, your post would have resonated with many more Dems had you given similar advice to the Republicans.” And I reply: I’m not a Republican, so I’m not trying to give them advice and help them win. I already know I disagree with the Republicans. That’s why I’m a Democrat. That’s why I want to see the Democrats do better and actually win an election….