One of my hopes when Obama won the presidency in 2008, along with “Please let him fix the economy and not be a craven weakling,” was that the left would be less… situational with its values than the right was when Dubya was president. We justly mocked them as insincere apologists, but I always worried that some of our brethren might end up doing the same thing.
Progressives who stand against Republican torture, war and corporatism should not be making excuses or looking the other way when Democrats follow the same bloody path. If we do that, we’re no better than mindless partisan operatives whose only belief is that our team must win at all costs.
Sadly, whether or not their hearts were in the right place, an alarming number of liberal organizations chose exactly that route when they joined the Veal Pen after the election, selling their souls for money and access. They abdicated their roles as progressive advocates to pave the way for Obama’s Blue Dog agenda, embracing policies they would have opposed just a few years before. It was – and is – a discouraging and embarrassing spectacle.
Which brings me to what I like most about FDL: We’re the Anti-Veal Pen. Because we are member-funded and don’t care about insider access or cocktail parties, we are free to be truly, fiercely independent. We may be wrong on occasion, you may disagree with us sometimes, but everything we say, we say it because we believe it, not because some corporate sponsor or Democratic big shot told us to. And the same goes for everything we don’t say.
I’m proud that FDL bends the knee for no one. We are not accountable to Obama, we are not accountable to the Democratic Party, and we sure as hell are not accountable to the US Chamber of Commerce. We are accountable to you. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.