Oliver Willis

More & Better Democrats

Nancy Pelosi

The Democrats shouldn’t always get what the leadership of the Democrats demands.

On balance, of course I’m going to agree with Democrats more often on most issues, but sometimes, they are wrong. President Obama and Rep. Steny Hoyer, among others, were on the wrong side of the vote on the Omnibus bill on Thursday night. I know that they thought the bill was the least bad option on the table, but it did too much harm to the functioning of our government and it should have been opposed by all Democrats.

But instead we had a fight about it, led by progressives like Leader Pelosi and that was a good thing.

Some view the opposition as some sort of rebuke to the President, but unlike the House GOP suing him for exercising his Constitutionally granted powers, this was simply a dispute over the best tactic for going forward.

The Democratic leadership isn’t always right. Sometimes they aren’t progressive enough. They are often far more inclined to be timid when they should be bold. By opposing them, are we in favor of the right wing? Is a vote against a bad funding bill a vote for the Tea Party wing of the right? No, that’s absurd.

A long time ago – the Bush years – I often argued that all I wanted were Democrats in Congress, any warm body would suffice, their ideology was secondary to the (D) behind their name.

I no longer feel that way. I haven’t felt that way since probably the first year of President Obama’s presidency. A Democrat needs Democrats in Congress to pass his agenda, but in order for us to progress instead of just holding the line, we need progressive Democrats in the House and Senate to assist a Democratic president.

Many of the roadblocks in Obama presidency have been erected from the conservative wing in his own party. It was conservative Democrats who scuttled any fight for a public option, who fought for abortion restrictions in health care reform, who stood in the way of closing Gitmo and other progressive goals.

The Republican party doesn’t need help to make America more right wing. Democrats shouldn’t be doing the bidding of big coal and Wall Street. Those guys have enough fighters on the Republican team. THEY DON’T NEED THE HELP.

We need more Democrats, but for the long term health of the country we need better Democrats.