My short response is ''Thank you."
The reasons why she quit will be familiar to progressive Democrats: continuing the Bush wars, the bailout that favored the Wall Street sociopaths instead of their victims, the erosion of our civil rights, and the final straw is the health care reform bill that also rewards the criminal insurance companies by delivering us as their coerced customers.
She anticipated the response of the apologists for the Democratic Party and gave her response to each:
- Elect more Democrats and progressives - there are 82 members in the Congress Progressive Caucus and only 52 conservative "blue dogs" but which side constantly prevails? The problem isn't in the numbers.
- The bill will be improved later - Like Nafta? Or the Patriot Act? Will that happen when we have control over the Congress and Presidency? Oh wait...
- The other side is worse - Yes, the Democrats are better than the party of rabid conservatives the GOP has become, but not enough to matter, not enough to make the changes this country so desperately needs.
- There is no other choice - I agree there is no viable third party but almost all of the important achievements the Left has won for the people of this country have come from people working outside of the political system - see the Abolitionists, the Labor activists, the Suffragettes and the Civil Rights movements. Apparently, the existing political system is too invested in the status quo to change without enormous outside pressure.
In a two dominant party system like ours, the two parties don't exist forever. When one party no longer serves a sufficient constituency, it can disappear in a flash like the Whigs did. In the case of the Whigs, they failed to deal forcefully with slavery and left the wound to fester into gangrene.
We are at a very unusual place where that is about to happen to both parties. While the right wing constituency doesn't seem to realize the problem, the left does all too well--our economy and political system is rigged to benefit a very, very few even when it harms or even kills (in the case of our wars and health care system) the vast majority of working and middle class Americans.
The Bush administration pulled the mask off this system, making even the slightly milder corruption of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress intolerable to those of us who really believe our government should try to form a more perfect union and support the general welfare.
The problem is not individual politicians or even one party, but a system that makes profound corruption and amorality the norm. While there have been some campaign finance and ethics reform, the fact that politicians can leave office and go to work as lobbyists, CEOs, and board members for companies that have business before Congress and still be respected by their colleagues and even run for office again instead of being thrown in prison makes us look like a Third World kleptocracy.