Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Time To Put Your Shoulder Into It

The wait for spring to truly arrive has seemed especially long this year in many corners of the nation, so to many Americans, the crushingly slow move towards seasonably warm Spring weather feels like the whole nation is taking on a Sisyphean task, pushing a massive boulder uphill.

For those of us focused on moving our nation forward politically, this painfully slow feeling is one we've been used to for at least a dozen years now. That frustration is often quite obvious in the way President Obama continues to push for progress against the obstructionists in the GOP.

For some time now, though - especially since the successful 2012 election - we've been hearing more complaining and grousing coming from the liberal left towards President Obama and towards certain Democratic politicians. We're more than willing to admit - we've got our own issues with President Obama's Adminstration, and with certain other Democratic politicians, chief among them the ineffectual Harry Reid.

That said, we've got news for progressive-minded Americans, and indeed any sensible American, regardless of their political leanings who wants to sit on their backsides and blame all our nation's problems on either President Obama or Republicans in Congress: Get off your behind, step up, and get to pushing. It's time to put your shoulder into it - "it" being the things we need to do to move America into the future.

A perfect example of this is in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare."

As Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly notes, this week marks the third anniversary of the final House vote that gave us the ACA. The ignorant idiots of the far right, like right-winger Ben Domenech, continue to trash the ACA, insisting that someday they'll repeal and replace Obamacare.

Anyone with half a brain has to laugh at that attitude, as Republicans in Congress have been promising "repeal and replace" for nearly three years now, and have NEVER presented so much as a whisper of a hint of a notion of a realistic replacement plan for the ACA. In a similar way, Republicans have been promising to strike down Roe vs. Wade for forty years, and while they have pushed through some draconian attacks on the rights of American women, they still haven't been successful completely curtailing the rights of women and individuals after forty years of failed attempts. That doesn't mean defeating the habitual right-wing liars will be easy, as Julie Burkhart and the Trust Women Foundation are finding out in Kansas right now.

The fact is, securing further progress in America is going to be hard.

Whether it's on the issue of gun safety, where most Americans - 91% - agree, or it's on the issue of immigration reform, on the availability of honest, ethical, and diverse media, or fighting for sensible, effective, progressive economic policies that work, there are no more battles against the small-minded that will be easy to win any more.

Extremist conservatives understand: their very existence is threatened by things like hard work, performed by good people of all sides working towards common goals on issues like the budget, immigration, gun safety, health care, the environment, and more. Listening to one another, and remembering that most Americans really do want the best for other Americans - even many of those they disagree with - isn't easy. Passing what appears to be sane sensible political solutions over the billions of dollars at the disposal of corporate politics is even more difficult.

The only way to lose, however, is to give up, to stop pushing to make things better for all, to stop pushing forward.

When President Obama campaigned, he never said, "Elect me, and I'll do it all for you." He said, "Yes WE Can."

If WE want anything done, WE - all of us - must put our proverbial shoulders into it, together.