Today in the comments and on twitter I have learned that my beloved Rosario Dawson is public enemy #1 for insufficient fealty to Obama and I think maybe Clinton, and both forums have erupted into what I think Anne Laurie coined as a “squid cloud of butthurt.” It’s kind of amazing watching the self described pragmatics* go apeshit over people on the progressive left.
First things first- pragmatic Democrat seems to have morphed into a new meaning the last eight years. Pragmatic meant in 2008 trying to advance the ball but being realistic about what could be accomplished- for example, pushing for health care coverage for all but agreeing that there were never the votes for single-payer, and realizing that ACA was still pretty fucking good for the country. That was my understanding of it- shoot for the stars, but accept you are going to probably fall short but still be able to realize you did some good. Now, the people I see describing themselves as “pragmatic” basically mean “Hillary is better than Trump and Cruz so shut the fuck up, yo.”
At any rate, in 2008, both Obama and Clinton were center left candidates, and now in 2016, we have a center left candidate and a left-wing candidate running. Obama was never a true lefty candidate, despite the fact that so many people misidentified his nature and approach (and many continue to do so to this day), but now we have a real live lefty who is pushing issues to the left, and instead of appreciating it, a lot of Dems are freaking the fuck out.
I think it’s because so many people are so used to the Overton Window only working in one direction, to the right, that they don’t understand how this shit works. When right wing candidates used to push issues to the right before they became so fucking crazy recently that there is no such thing as a right wing but instead an amorphous blob of fucking stupid, no one on the right criticized them, they just let them do their thing as they understood it was providing them room to maneuver. But when we push issues on the left, Democrats freak the fuck out and we learn that Rosario Dawson is a witch.
It’s stupid. Let them do it. They aren’t doing any damage to Clinton (I’d argue they are solidifying her base and helping set the stage for her as a moderate in the general), they’re giving her room to maneuver in the future. If we have a million people out screaming for free college, that’s a good thing. President Clinton can then do a whole helluva lot more to help fund education while still falling short of that goal. When we have people screaming about the banks, that’s a good thing. Let the left be the left. It’s a good thing.
Least that is how I view it.