"Politically feasible"? Sounds like "weasel"
And that's for a reason. In the course of commending Jim Webb for taking a sane stand against the prison-industrial complex, Glenn Greenwald writes (and also quotes from an interview he did with Jay Rosen):
Webb's actions here underscore a broader point. Our political class has trained so many citizens not only to tolerate, but to endorse, cowardly behavior on the part of their political leaders. When politicians take bad positions, ones that are opposed by large numbers of their supporters, it is not only the politicians, but also huge numbers of their supporters, who step forward to offer excuses and justifications: well, they have to take that position because it's too politically risky not to; they have no choice and it's the smart thing to do....
The political class wants people to see them as helpless captives to immutable political realities so that they have a permanent, all-purpose excuse for whatever they do, so that they are always able to justify their position by appealing to so-called "political realities."
[JAY ROSEN] And I really do think there's a self-victimization that sometimes goes on, but to go back to the beginning of your question, there's something else going on, which is the ability to infect us with notions of what's realistic is one of the most potent powers press and political elites have. Whenever we make that kind of decision -- "well it's pragmatic, let's be realistic" -- what we're really doing is we're speculating about other Americans, our fellow citizens, and what they're likely to accept or what works on them or what stimuli they respond to. And that way of seeing other Americans, fellow citizens, is in fact something the media has taught us; that is one of the deepest lessons we've learned from the media even if we are skeptics of the MSM.
And one of the things I see on the left that really bothers me is the ease with which people skeptical of the media will talk about what the masses believe and how the masses will be led and moved in this way that shows me that the mass media tutors them on how to see their fellow citizens. ...
We've been trained how we talk about our political leaders primarily by a media that worships political cynicism and can only understand the world through political game-playing. Thus, so many Americans have been taught to believe not only that politicians shouldn't have the obligation of leadership imposed on them -- i.e., to persuade the public of what is right -- but that it's actually smart and wise of them to avoid positions they believe in when doing so is politically risky.
People love now to assume the role of super-sophisticated political consultant rather than a citizen demanding actions from their representatives.
11-dimensional chess, anyone? And Exhibit A?
The Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos during the primaries.
I can't tell you how infuriated it makes me to see people talking themselves out of what they know is the best policy for the country because they start thinking like the insiders they will never in a million years be.
And obviously, the process of self-victimization that Greenwald describes happens all the time with single payer. Why are we negotiating with ourselves?
NOTE As Greenwald points out, Cole misses the point. Certainly, we never thought that Obama, as a good calculating centrist, ran on a platform of legalizing marijuana. But there's a perfectly good case for it, and he didn't have to snicker and demean those who trusted the putatively open town hall process he set up, and made the effort to get the question asked. Especially when many of those advocates are likely to be in his base. That is the point.