There’s a new gang of senators who ran their campaigns as unabashed progressives and won.... Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ... [and] Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) join newly reelected Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island to strengthen a once-dwindling group of die-hard liberals....
[T]he question in a divided Senate is whether the new liberals will be hard-liners who refuse to compromise with the tea party types on the other side of the aisle or negotiators, like Kennedy, who made deals with Republicans.
I was, until recently, of the negotiating Kennedy camp, which of course rendered me persona non grata in the progressive blogosphere. This suited me just fine, especially when I discovered, during the "public option" debacle, that many if not most online progressives were as impervious to reason as their right-wing counterparts. I remain ostracized, which makes me even happier, in that it confirms my earlier diagnosis of rampaging authoritarian personality--on both sides.
I no longer subscribe, however, to negotiation--not with this current bunch of anarchic, nihilistic and, in my opinion, downright unAmerican tea partiers. They are a blight, a plague, a wasteland unto themselves. Merely defeating them is insufficient. As the pestilential pathogens they are, they must be isolated and then neutralized and finally swept from all legislative landscapes of human decency.
I've never been an extremist--I am, after all, a democratic socialist who contentedly navigates a mostly centrist country--but in this instance I find that playing the absolutist is an inescapable prerequisite to progress. Tea party fanaticism must be reduced and returned to its underground Bircher status--and that means no compromise with it, none at all.