Friday Night at 8: The Invisible Democrat

Well I don’t usually do this, but I’m just going to whine tonight.  I thought I’d warn y’all upfront about that.

I was used to being invisible duriing the Bush years … I mean to the Democratic Party.  They were busy holding their powder and doing other secret things I just couldn’t figure out, and so I got used to never feeling connected, in the human sense, to my Democratic representatives.  It hurt, of course, but I got used to it.  Even after Katrina I got used to it — I was intolerably angry but I no longer expected my party to do much.  And they didn’t.

And I’m not talking legislation here, either.  I’m speaking of morale.  A silly thing, I guess, can’t quantify it, can’t even explain it all that well.  Just that feeling that someone gets it, on a visceral emotional level feels the way I do about what’s important.

And heck, I don’t style myself as the be all and end all of how one should feel.  It’s just that it got lonely, here I was, part of the Democratic base, and I felt so invisible.

Now, oh good lord, now it’s even worse.

(Gilbert O’Sullivan, Video courtesy of YouTuber Namikaze1028)

I guess with the exception of Sheldon Whitehouse, I haven’t felt a connection with any Democratic reps.  Sheldon at least showed some emotion when he talked about torture, he came off as a human being.  Yeah, emotion.  Silly stuff.

With Obama, I feel almost as though I am an embarrassment.  I’m not a community organizer.  I approve of some of his decisions, disapprove of others, but feel no emotional connection coming from him to me and folks like me.  I can’t recall one time our President addressed the Democratic base.  Maybe he did, maybe I missed it.  Or maybe he has redefined who the base is and I’m no longer part of that.  Heck, maybe I’m just too old and out of touch, who knows.

It’s not about values.  It’s not about political philosophy.  It’s that human connection, that I feel I and those like me are acknowledged as citizens, that our opinions have worth, that we are being listened to rather than tolerated.

Perhaps I’m being unfair.  Perhaps I’m just out of touch with the new ways.  But then this is emotion I’m talking about, not political technique or process.

I’m not talking about populism because I’m not a populist.

I know this is a silly essay and I’m not putting this well.  But it’s been bothering me for a while, and yesterday it really put me over the top listening to Obama talk about releasing the torture memos.  It was a great thing to do, a courageous thing in many ways.  And then he had to put in that little dig about retribution, about laying blame.  I wanted so badly to hear just anything along the lines of what Sheldon Whitehouse said, some real emotion about the terrible way we have treated other human beings, some true humility in the face of these unforgiveable actions.  Anything, any kind of emotion.  I needed that.  I needed to hear about the victims.  I needed to hear we were sorry, and that as a nation we had to face what had been done by our government, the hurt we had inflicted on others.

But I may as well have been invisible.  Yeah, it’s silly.  Why should Obama care what one citizen feels?  Especially one of the Democratic base?

I know there have been calls by some of our representatives now for investigations.  I’m glad of that.  I want investigations.

But I also want someone to show some feeling on this.  I don’t know why I need that, but I do.


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  1. … I hope I can get away with a good whine once a year or so.

    whine whine whine

  2. You just care more about the victims and the principles than the politics and excuses.

    welcome back!

    • Robyn on April 18, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Gilbert O’Sullivan???  Yikes.


    • Alma on April 18, 2009 at 2:09 am

    They yowl.  A long lonely lament, trying to connect with other beings, saying hey I’m here come be with me.

    I don’t feel connected to many of our politicians either.  Haven’t in a long time.  It all seems unreal to me that they would let this gang get away with torture.  One standard for others, than their own.  Not fair and not whats needed.

    • Edger on April 18, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Hope you’ll be more visible now? 🙂

  3. Hope you get to feeling better.

    Have some more wine, luv, and here’s some special medicine… too big a pic to embed here 😉

  4. Have a caribou!

  5. I love to read a diary like this that expresses what I didn’t even know I felt, until I read what you wrote.

    It’s not about values.  It’s not about political philosophy.  It’s that human connection, that I feel I and those like me are acknowledged as citizens, that our opinions have worth, that we are being listened to rather than tolerated.

    During the campaign, I naively thought the human connection was finally there for us. Because of that, so many of us worked and donated and grasped the HOPE that was being offered.

    Now, I fear it was a delusion. I can’t find the hope I had just a few months ago. And I cannot find any excuse for allowing the perpetrators of torture to get away with such evil.

    Welcome back, NPK, and thank you for letting me join your “whine.”

  6. like you have reached a point some call reality or maturity. A pol is a pol, as a famous man once said. I wish more Democrats were like you, more citizens were like you. Obama irritates me too because he is so busy ‘uniting’ the country. He proclaimed when he voted for FISA if that’s a deal breaker, then screw you, I paraphrase but that’s what he said. I learned partly from you not to put my trust in electoral politics and it has helped me not to follow leaders and watch the parking meters. Obamfandom is a vast and powerful force, but fans tend to be blind and fanatic. You are political your just disconnected emotionally from the stage craft involved.            

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