A piece of something that isn’t the thing that I bought.

The consensus of the blogosphere in the aftermath of Capitulation: Round 1 seems to be as follows:

Expanding the death penalty to include non-murderers and treating the fourth amendment as a mere suggestion may be betrayals of the progressive ideals that Barack Obama ran on in the primary, but now that we’re in the high stakes of the general election, we must stand unwavering as our beloved candidate throws the very ideals that caused many of us to support him aside to pursue the oh-so necessary winning strategy that proves a surefire loser for the Democrats every time.

I was 8 years old when Michael Dukakis popped out of a tank looking like a Jack-in-the-Box with a strapped on yarmulke and don’t remember any of it, but when it gets brought up every other day it’s usually in the context of poor theatrics and costume design, and if only they hadn’t put the stupid helmet on him he might’ve had a chance (I’m completely ignoring the fact that he took a principled stand on the death penalty in a tactless manner because it makes my point about Obama making an unprincipled concession on the death penalty sufficiently weaker.) I don’t think the helmet was the problem, though the chinstrap really sucked. Bad.

The problem is that in a quest to impress the three people who drive lifted trucks who might vote Democratic, you’ll inevitably end up look as ridiculous as you should look trying to achieve that end. As long as Obama is racing to make sure we know that he thinks executin’ isn’t just for murderers, warantless wiretapping isn’t that important, and that Wes Clark’s completely accurate statements should be rejected, it’s not a question of if his helmet-in-a-tank moment will come, but when?

Electoral strategy aside, what about that capitulation, strictly as a matter of principle? Should those of us who really do feel let down by all this be speaking up? I have to fall on the side of yes, and that’s why wrote and recorded our song for this week, “It Isn’t the Thing That I Bought”.

Obama’s campaign was a new campaign where he literally asked us to donate and “own a piece of this campaign”. If you are going to do that, you’re going to end up with shareholders, and some of those shareholders are going to say “this isn’t the company we bought stock in. Mr. Chairman, we support you, but c’mon… enough of this nonsense.”

It Isn’t the Thing That I Bought

At the outset I’d like to make it clear
Whether it’s right or wrong, it happens to be a bad idea
They try this every time, and I can’t figure why
’cause the thugs they’re trying to impress
aren’t impressed and neither am I
and how dare anyone suggest
that if you own a paltry stake, you’ve got a right to protest
My check is small, but it isn’t blank
Raising a voice is not breaking rank
So take us straight into ’88 with cameras helmets and tanks

‘Cause I own a piece of something
that isn’t the thing that I bought
And don’t tell me, that it’s nothing
I won’t be convinced that it is, cause it’s not
So the least I’m asking, is fight for the things that you fought
‘Cause I own a piece of something that isn’t the thing that I bought

Because there’s not abandonment implied
In a little bit of criticism from the people on your side
‘Cause there’s a million tiny stumps, working from the bottom up
Concessions in July will bring on more when November comes

‘Cause I own a piece of something
that isn’t the thing that I bought
And don’t tell me, that it’s nothing
I won’t be convinced that it is, cause it’s not
So the least I’m asking, is fight for the things that you fought
‘Cause I own a piece of something that isn’t the thing that I bought


4 Responses

  1. Totally agree. Certainly makes me think twice about giving him any more money.

  2. Bad ass song and hits the man right between the eyes.

    He has pissed me off and I’m working to get Nader elected. At least Nader will do the shit he says he will do.

    No Flip Flops!

  3. Thanks guys. While I don’t think Nader is the answer and I’m still supporting Obama, I do think he has asked his supporters to steer his campaign (and presidency) in the right direction if it falters, and therefore it is our duty as supporters to do so =)

    Nice to see you Buelahman! I wish we were coming to MS on tour!

  4. Ok, I was old enough to toally remember the Dukakis campaign. And your comment about the tactless manner vis a vis the death penalty is sad but illuminating, because its shows how rightwing notions enter the collective memory. Dukakis was screwed by the media on that one…asked a tactless question…it was so historically tactless, I saved the video tape of that debate to this day.

    Anyway, no need to compare Obama to any previous Democratic candidate on the suaveness factor. I don’t think Obama really has demonstrated strong principles other than on whether to attack Iraq, so I don’t think he’s betraying himself on things like FISA. But, hey, Democrats were blinded by his charm, and that’s not so bad a thing considering charm is what one the last two elections. Important thing now is still to get a DEMOCRAT in the white house, who then gets to appoint something like 4000 positions, AND GET A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS, so the national discourse, that slow sludge of blather, to MOVE TO THE LEFT, get the momentum, and keep it moving over the next decade.

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