This Is Not A Time

By Jesse Taylor
Monday, December 8, 2008 12:49 EDT
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imageFinals will be eating my brains from now until the 19th, so it’s basically going to be quick hits from now until then.

Steve Hildebrand, Obama’s deputy national campaign director, writes a message to the “left wing” of the Democratic Party telling us about the fierce urgency of later.

This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making. Some believe the appointments generally aren’t progressive enough. Having worked with former Senator Obama for the last two years, I can tell you, that isn’t the way he thinks and it’s not likely the way he will lead. The problems I mentioned above and the many I didn’t, suggest that our president surround himself with the most qualified people to address these challenges. After all, he was elected to be the president of all the people – not just those on the left.

I get really nervous and itchy whenever someone with access to the people at the top starts telling the rest of us that it’s “not a time” to be thinking about the import of people’s decisions. Don’t demand to be left alone until a brilliant plan that’s apparent to nobody has taken full effect. It wasn’t a time for politics when Bush was screwing up Katrina. We were told that the presidential election in 2000 wasn’t a time for the “procedural delay” of counting votes. We were told that it wasn’t a time for “pessimism and rage” when it came to the state of our country in 2004, because we needed to believe in Bush’s pony power.

The entire promise of Obama’s campaign was giving a voice to the people who were proved right, in Judith Miller’s words, about fucking everything. It doesn’t mean we want a country run by MoveOn.org, it means we want a country where the concerns of all of us who were accused of making everything terrible by pointing out that things were kind of terrible are actually listened to and considered rather than dismissed. This is not a time to dismiss wide swaths of Americans, this is a time to make the case to them that you’re doing the right thing.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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