Sirota on Obey's Outburst
However, the troubling thing out of the spat is not Obey’s behavior: it is the reaction to it by the progressive movement, and what that reaction really says. The idea that Jack Murtha - the guy who voted for the war, the guy who was one of the most outspoken pro-war Democrats, the guy who has never seen a defense bill he didn’t try to increase - is now an antiwar saint beyond reproach, but Dave Obey is some sort of pro-war villain is so fundamentally absurd it suggests that at least some who liken themselves as progressive movement leaders really are "idiot liberals" because they have positively no idea how the hell basic movement building or power works (mind you - I’m not saying Jack Murtha hasn’t been courageous in opposing the war of late- he has, which is why I thought he should have been Majority Leader - but the point is that the basic understanding of "allies" and "enemies" can be wholly misunderstood).
If those working in professional movement politics really want to end the war – and not just be in a perpetual state of unproductive contrarian outrage – they can start by remembering the need to target pressure and the need to apply both the carrot and the stick. Shoving a stick up the rear end of an ally is the behavior of “idiots” – whether liberal or otherwise – because it only puts our goal farther out of reach.