Weird Arguments Against People Doing What You Want Them To

I’m not sure it’s going to have enough steam to go anywhere, but it’s nice to see that a contingent of Senate Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, are making a push to get a reconcilliation vote on the public option. The people who have done a lot of organizing and pushing on this deserve a lot of credit, even if nothing comes of it. Apparently Digby doesn’t share the sentiment though:

But I would warn them that if they think that building up the base’s hopes on this again only to fail to even get 50 out of 58 Democrats it isn’t going to work. If they are serious about rallying the base they need to deliver, period. No excuses. They have a majority. If they hold a vote that only requires 51, they need to win it.

But if they are running the same game they ran before I can’t imagine how much worse they are making it for themselves. They need to be very, very serious about passing it. This Charlie Brown with the football routine is what’s killing them with the base. They just can’t afford to do it again.

This is, to put it mildly, really, really bizarre. On the one hand, you’d think progressive activists would be happy with getting a vote on their top priority just for the sake of getting a vote. Even if you don’t win it, it’s better than not even getting that far. And it lets you get Democratic Senators on the record as either for or against it. On the other hand, the fact that Michael Bennett and Kristen Gillibrand, two appointed Senators running in special elections looking for progressive support, feel it’s worthwhile to reach out to progressive activists through the issues they care about as we head into election season should embolden said activists, even if they can’t get 40 other Senators on board with them. But if we’re to believe Digby, the progressive base apparently needs to be treated like a 6 year old; don’t broach the possibility of doing something fun with them unless you’re absolutely certain you’re going to be able to do it, because they’re not developed enough to understand that circumstances change, and they’ll be upset if you’re unable to follow through. Most adults are developed enough that when someone says they “might” do something or that they’ll “try” to do something, it’s not the same thing as actually promising to do it. And you would think that if 40 or so Democrats go on record supporting the public option, but can’t hold 50 Democrats in line, progressives would be thankful for the Senators who went to bat on their issue. Indeed, if Digby is right, the people who are going to be hurt most by this will be the progressive activists; if politicians come to conclude there’s no benefit to taking up their causes because the activists won’t support them if they can’t get majority support in either Congress, then they’ll quickly run out of allies in Congress. If you want influence in the insider’s game, then when someone goes to bat for you, you have to go to bat for them.