Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column was headlined “Democrats need to stand up to tea party.” I couldn’t agree more, but his semi-apologetic tone left me wondering what Pitts meant by “stand up.”
He started by praising Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for having the “spine” to say, “I’m not afraid of anybody… And as far as I’m concerned, the ‘tea party’ can go straight to hell.”
But then he qualified his praise by stating that his intention wasn’t “blanket lionization” of Waters, “who is the object of a protracted ethics probe.” In fact, Waters’ remark was “about as uncivil as it gets” and Pitts wouldn’t applaud it “in ordinary times.” But these aren’t ordinary times, the nation’s “civic dialogue” has been undermined by a “loud, incoherent minority” incapable of compromise.
Finally, Waters’ “intemperate remark” will do nothing to bring back our “ability” to compromise, but it does …
… acknowledge a reality President Obama refuses to accept: Compromise requires a partner. When the other party’s bottom line is that you fail, when that is the opponent’s prime directive, the most important item on their agenda, then you lack both that partner and any basis for negotiation… To put that another way: after you have reasoned with the bully, bargained with the bully, tried to appease the bully, sometimes the only remaining option is to punch the bully in the nose. That’s what Maxine Waters just did. Good for her.
Are you sure, Lenny? Shouldn’t you let the bully leave his footprints on your face first? Isn’t a punch in the nose a bit extreme, even if you’ve already surrendered your lunch money and your sneakers and your little red wagon to him? Don’t you think you should try at least one more time to make him a “partner?”
One more question: Given the fact that most Washington D.C. Dems are scared rabbits or hypocrites, what exactly are you suggesting the rank and file do? Start a third party? Now that would take spine.