Democrats would be well advised to keep this in mind these days. I knew there would be some finger-pointing and blaming going around after the loss in Massachusetts, and that's what I saw today. Some blogger actually blamed Obama. There was the usual sniping that Obama isn't liberal enough, he's alienated his base, etc., from the "progressive" camp, vs. the "liberals don't know how to compromise" argument from the "moderate" camp.
Not only is this tired and cliched, it's stupid and counterproductive. Taking yourself too seriously is an occupational hazard of being a political junkie. I know this, because I have this tendency myself. Taking yourself too seriously is also an occupational hazard of being a philosophy major, and I was one of those, too. One of my antidotes to taking myself too seriously is the motto of this blog (it's right under the masthead).
Democrats lost a seat they had every reason to believe was an easy victory. That was stupid. But Democrats still have large majorities in the House and the Senate. Plus they have the presidency.
Exactly one year ago today, a young African American with a weird name achieved what most thot was impossible, and was inaugurated President of the United States of America.
Guess what, Democrats - he's still President.
I have said this many times before, and I'm sure I will say it many times again: I refuse to be afraid of my political opponents. Unless someone has a gun to my head, I'm not afraid of them.
I am particularly not afraid of my political opponents when my party controls the levers of power.
Apart from the question of just making the decision not to be afraid, I have solid evidence why I shouldn't be afraid of my political opponents: my side is winning. Not just with today's majorities, but over the course of history. We have won decisive victories in terms of feminism, civil rights, and the environment. We are slowly winning the battle for gay rights. I could go on.
Anyone who is angry at or disillusioned with Barack Obama has not been listening to Barack Obama, because a central part of his message has always been this: This is going to be hard.
There are no meaningful victories without setbacks. I keep thinking about Mark Sanchez, the quarterback for the Jets. Last year, he was the quarterback for USC. He had a year of eligibility left, but he went pro. Some questioned his move - his coach, Pete Carroll, was famously upset - but this year, Mark Sanchez is one victory away from playing in the Super Bowl. And he's the quarterback of the Jets!
Never let 'em see you sweat. Never let yourself be afraid of your political opponents. But never underestimate them, either. And never, ever forget that you are an American, and that the arc of history bends towards justice.
Suck it up, Democrats.