When I decided to get behind Barack Obama it wasn't because I thought he could win. It was because I thought he could govern.
Now that it is looking increasingly clear that we will have a Democratic president with solid majorities in Congress, it is time to remember why we do this. Why we spend hours calling voters, knocking on doors, contributing our hard-earned money and investing our emotional well-being in a person or a party.
I have been actively involved in Michigan politics for close to ten years, including running for office and helping to run the local Democratic Party. We have been very successful in winning races, both local and state-wide. We have shown that we know how to organize and win. But for the most part, we have failed to take the next step and convert electoral victories to progressive legislation that achieves the real goal of better government.
We work our buts off to elect Democrats and they proceed to crumble in the face of the relentless conservative opposition. They take office, get comfortable, and fail to achieve the goals we elected them for.
As anyone who reads my blog knows, I consider Jennifer Granholm to be a tremendous disappointment. She looks like a governor and talks like a governor but has failed to move the progressive agenda forward in Michigan. She had a tough situation to deal with, but she knew that going in - and failed to impose her will on the legislature. She has not delivered, period. Granted this is better than going backwards (as we would have under Dick DeVos) but that is a cold cup of coffee.
For President Obama to achieve the progressive agenda, he is going to have to impose his will on the Blue Dog Democrats as well as the conservative minority. He will have to use his impressive personal skills to create an unstoppable national consensus that the conservative governing philosophy that we have suffered under since Regan is a wretched failure that has ruined our economy and destroyed our standing in the global community.
God willing we win this thing, we have to take the next step and make sure the winners deliver what they have promised: universal health care, an economy centered on the well being of workers, not corporations, and the restoration of the American dream both here and abroad.