Glenn Greenwald has an excellent piece up that serves as a warning to the progressive about what may very well happen again this cycle if we let it, in 6 easy steps:
By all rights, they [liberals - ed.] should expect to be a more powerful force in Washington. But what are they going to get from it? Will they wield more political power? Will their political values and agenda command more respect? Unless the disempowering pattern into which they have voluntarily locked themselves changes, the answer to those questions is almost certainly "no".While we are in high spirits today, the machine of Washington and the establishment have a way of grinding down progressive hopes. We must keep on our Dem politicians to hold the line, lest we let the great success of Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Chris Murphy and others be diverted into the pseudo "bipartisan" territory of Simpson-Bowles.
Follow beyond the jump.
President Obama certainly has a strong position, stronger with the likes of the folks we supported, and stronger still with Joe Lie-berman gone. But true victory, true progress does NOT come at the ballot box; it comes at the negotiating table and on the floor of legislatures and councils and by the pens of presidents, governors, and mayors. Elections tell you what hand you will be playing with.
We've certainly been dealt a good national hand with these elections - now we have to prove wise enough, tough enough, and principled enough to play it well. We have to be willing to push hard with our own side, as well as with our political opponents, call bluffs, and bet hard on our hand.
The question Greenwald ends with remains, whether or not progressives and liberals...
"...emboldened by their success and the obvious movement of the electorate in their direction, ... resolve that this time things will be different, that their willingness to be Good Partisan Soldiers depends upon their core values not being ignored and stomped on"... or not.
The fight for progress begins right now, over the misnamed "Fiscal Cliff", and the outcome of that fight will set the tone for the next 4 years.
Play the hand. Call the bluff. Bet hard.