Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics pairs the idea that pro-reform Democrats are facing electoral doom with a potent literary analogy:
I don’t think they’re close to finding their Grail. I think the better analogy is probably that they’re close to their Moby Dick. And we all know what happens to Captain Ahab once he finally harpoons his white whale.
Like Kevin Drum, I don’t really think this electoral analysis is correct.
But the larger issue is that the analogy is inapt. Obviously, liberals and conservatives disagree as to whether creating a universal healthcare system is worthwhile. But any progressive member of congress who’s not willing to risk his or her seat in order to do it doesn’t deserve to be in politics. This isn’t like chasing a whale for the sake of revenge. There are things I honestly would not want an endangered member of congress to risk a seat over. But there are also times when you have to step up. Nothing really important ever happens without people taking some risks. And no legislative majority lasts forever. You need to put one to use when you have it.