I self-identify as to the left of President Obama on most issues, but the difference between me and Rep. Kevin Haggerty is that I’m not an idiot.
I know that if I want more progressive legislative outcomes than we’ve been getting out of Washington, I need to support left primary challenges to House and Senate Democrats who are voting more conservative than is necessary to beat Republicans in their districts or states.
I know that if I want more progressive legislative outcomes than we’ve been getting out of Washington, I’ve got to support the political actors who are pushing for more progressive legislative outcomes, and correctly identify the people who are standing in the way of the course of action I prefer.
On the economy, the biggest obstacle to a faster recovery is House Republicans, followed by Senate Republicans abusing the filibuster, followed by conservative House and Senate Democrats who support austerity.
Rip President Obama all you want on his failure to propose a big enough stimulus, for being slow to appoint monetary stimulus proponents to the FOMC at the Federal Reserve, for abandoning cram-down, and for botching the foreclosure crisis response with the disastrous HAMP program. The administration deserves some lumps from progressives on all those mistakes. But the fact remains that he is out there proposing jobs bill after jobs bill, and the reason those bills don’t get passed is because House Republicans won’t bring them up for a vote.
Because I’m not an idiot, the one thing I wouldn’t do is write a big long rant on my Facebook page about how much President Obama Sux, and I especially wouldn’t write a crazy rant that’s so devoid of substance that people who are inclined to agree with my policy views can’t even tell I’m disagreeing with the President from the left.
The reason you would be an idiot to do something like that is that 1. the actual issue disagreement you have doesn’t get any play and 2. your political enemies can use a rant that sounds identical to a rightwing rant to troll your team, and use your words against the very causes you support. “Even Democrats like Kevin Haggerty say President Obama’s policies are bad for the economy. Vote Republican.” This quote will get far more mileage in the service of the policies Kevin Haggerty hates than the ones he supports.
That is why it doesn’t matter whether Kevin Haggerty is an emo-prog or a conservative Democrat. His political skills suck, he’s hurting the party, and he deserves to lose the primary in the 112th District.