Don't ever fall in love with a politician...

This isn't advice from Elizabeth Edwards, but a more practical commentary applicable to all Americans.

Progressives are right now trying to process their feelings about President Obama's going back on his campaign promise to not cut taxes on billionaires.

Last year we were trying to deal with the discovery that he'd not only gone back on his campaign promise - or implied promise - of a public option, but that he'd given it away even before the Senate began negotiating the bill.

And ditto for Medicare negotiating drug prices.

The five stages of ending a relationship are pretty much identical to the famous five stages of death and dying identified by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

They go from denial to anger to bargaining to depression to acceptance.

The majority of American voters don't consider themselves strong liberals or conservatives, and thus don't "fall in love" with the politicians they vote for.

They just figure they're voting for a politician - what the heck - and probably the lesser of two evils.

But conservatives fell in love with George W. Bush, and liberals fell in love with Barack Obama.

Today it's hard to find a conservative who'll defend Bush's illegal wars or doubling of the national debt.

And increasingly it's getting hard to find liberals who aren't in some stage of grieving shock as Obama participates in compromise - what some would call sellout - after compromise.

What we all need to realize is that Obama - like Bush - is just a politican.

He doesn't walk on water, and while he has a political compass, he's more driven by pragmatism than ideology.
He's not our progressive saviour.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't support him or work for his election.
If nothing else, the Supreme Court - the most powerful branch of government - is on the line.

But more important, instead of being elated and then depressed every time a new issue is put on Obama's plate - progressives will see better results investing their physical and emotional energy in movement politics - working with grass roots groups like Tim Carpenter's Progressive Democrats of America, or Howard and Jim Dean's Democracy For America.

Movement politics have been the bedrock of political change in this country since its founding, and continue to be.
Politicians come and go, but movements last.

Don't fall in love, and don't get angry if you feel spurned by your candidate.

Instead, get active.

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