Sunday, October 17, 2010

Advancing the progressive agenda

Almost two years ago, high on the Democratic sweep of the 08 elections, a whole lot of people pronounced the GOP dead for generations to come. I wasn't one of them. I've been around since Eisenhower was President. I remembered the average voters have very short memories. The pendulum always swings and I was pretty sure Obama wasn't going to be the Messiah of progressive politics and that the Democrats would disappoint us with the same old kabuki.

So now we're only a couple of weeks away from the midterms and sadly, via Rising Hegemon, we're at a place that Rude Pundit describes all too well.
You can't unfuck something that you've fucked. Republicans have paid almost no long-term price for the Caligula-like madness of the Bush administration. There's a chance that, now, two-years later, they're gonna get rewarded for refusing to participate in running the country. It's like setting free an arsonist after you've started to rebuild the house and telling him, "Oh, and here's those matches we took from you. Sorry for the inconvenience."
We can rightly blame the media for uncritically broadcasting completely false GOP narratives. We can blame Congressional Democrats for their ineffectual response to the GOP's relentless obstructionism. We can blame Obama for not using his bully pulpit to push a progressive agenda. But in the end, within the context of the recent Reid/Angle debate, Lance Mannion nails what's driving the GOP resurgence.
But Angle doesn’t have to explain. She doesn’t have to explain anything. All she has to do is show her potential voters she’s as incoherently angry at everything and everybody they hate as they are. This is the year of Republican Revenge and all they want is to bring the temple crashing down around their ears in order to enjoy the sight of their enemies being crushed in the rubble. That anger is what’s bringing them out to vote.
And John Ballard at Newshoggers finds the flaw in the progressives' response.
Innocent viewers who just came from Sunday School, knowing none of the back story about this woman, will have nothing but a positive reaction to what she says. Never mind that along with Beck, Palin and the rest of the crowd she is blowing smoke. Just because the words are as devoid of content as cotton candy it is a mistake to mock and point at those who buy them. There is a market for cotton candy, too, you know.
Far too large a market in this election. The irrationally angry right doesn't care about facts. They won't believe anything that contradicts their world view, even if it came down on graven tablets from heaven. Mocking them may be good sport for the left but it doesn't advance progressive policy. Neither did it stop the tea party types from winning a lot of major primaries.

Look around. How many Congressional primary wins can progressives point to? It comes down to this, if the "teatards" are so stupid, why are they winning?

[Big thanks to DougJ at Balloon Juice for the link.]

[Adding hugethanks to Batocchio at Crooks & Liars, who's sitting in for Mike at the Blog Roundup and to Think Progress for the links.]

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Anonymous Ruth said...

Until the actual results are in, I will not believe voters will be dumb enuff to go back into catastrophic policies and the dimwitted people who cant on about them to the total contradiction of every lesson we learned 2001-2007.

7:15:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Being a believer in synergy of the crowd, I'm visualizing the Democratic party keeping both the House and the Senate majorities too Ruth. I really want the pollsters to be so wrong that it diminishes the whole credibility of incessant polling in general.

But at least a couple of the crazy cons are likely to win in the general. My point is that mocking the tea party voters hasn't really marginalized them. And crazy and misinformed or not, they did successfully primary the establishment pols on their side. Just wondering why we aren't more successful on our side of the fence.

9:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In our own special election last year, over 1/2 a million dollars was brought in from outside as were workers by the busload to support the tea party candidate.
He lost. But the money, technical advice and support he got from outside the state almost got him elected.
Money talks and money is buying these elections.
Until people become outraged that others from outside a state will come in and try and arrange things to their liking, then the system will not change.
And idiots like palin, angle and paul will be nominated and some will win.

9:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can ANYONE be the "Messiah of progressive politics" without getting killed (literally) by the REAL owners of this country? I'm starting to wonder.

TOO MANY things that had OVERWHELMING support were just watered down or given away without a fight. Real financial reform? Record Wall Street bonuses after they brought down the economy and had to be bailed out to keep the whole system from collapsing? Public option scrapped by DEMOCRATS while 70% of the American public supported one.

Things are STILL TOO good for TOO MANY Americans for real change to occur. REAL change won't be PERMITTED to happen until things get truly CATASTROPHIC - when the masses are rioting in the streets and the owners fear for their own lives.

OR until they take SO MUCH from the American middle class that the economy no longer functions and it starts affecting the OWNERS bottom line.

1:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and the REASON the Teabaggers are winning is because they're angry and enegetic, and they're supported and egged on by conservative business interests with deep pockets.

They are essentially supporting the man behind the curtain who wants to hurt them, while biting the hand that would feed them.

And, continuing on from my earlier post, I'd be curious to see if we'd have progressive change if the Democrats had 70 seats in the Senate and no longer had the Republican filibuster excuse.

1:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason they are winning is because they are indoctrinated into believing the talking points that are continually played to them over and over again. Its almost like brain washing. You hear something enough you start to believe it. Its like playing a song over and over again pretty soon you're singing the song. As long as they keep dumbing down our society it will be easy for them to lead the people right off the cliff. As long as they keep putting up distractions people will not look at the real issues. We need to educate people and help them think for themselves!

2:50:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Yes, the outside money is making a difference. There is a certain percentage of what I call slogan voters that will buy the lies because they see them on TV. Especially because the ads are just parroting the same crap that Fox peddles and lot of voters, especially the elderly, don't understand that Fox is allowed to lie without recourse.

Anon2, I'm not down with the bitching about what didn't get accomplished. Yes, none of the advances of the last two years went far enough towards advancing progressive policy, but they did at least take a baby step forward. That's better than we had two years ago. Think some of the younger people on the left don't understand, or won't accept, that progress in DC is made incrementally. Also don't think the owners will ever really suffer as long as they also own the establishment pols and the process. And, until we replace the establishment pols on the Dem side, I don't think a 90% majority would have done better. Not as long as there are Blue Dogs to pimp for the owners.

And yeah, these slogan voters are in effect brainwashed. But that's largely because they're being told what they want to hear. As I said in the post, educating them won't change their mind because their world view is based largely on fear of change.

9:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the end all progressives will do is end this experiment of these United States,and all will be knelling to the Chinese!

2:44:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Why are these unsupported, unsupportable and preposterous proclamations always ungrammatical and misspelled?

Why do people waste their time making them to those who know far more about the situation than the folks with the borrowed opinions, breath reeking of flatulent Foxness?

All my life I've listened to ignorant men with hidden purposes telling me we'd soon be kneeling to the Russians, the Japanese. the Jews, the Catholics, the Blacks or whatever the bogeyman du jour happened to be. The only entities trying to bring us to our knees have been wearing flag pins and insisting George Washington was a Christian fundamentalist and Adam Smith was a Communist in fatuous innocence.

Most can't tell investment from profligate spending, most have no memory and a tendentious view of history and they're oozing mythology, superstition and a panoply of phobias like a cane toad oozes poisonous slime.

And the party that (as it usually does) took a surplus and turned into unprecedented debt, did more to redistribute the wealth of our nation to a handful of corporations than anyone - ever: the party that started the 1929 crash and the subsequent Depression, the party that started the 2007 collapse while proclaiming that the economy was sound? Nah, it's the progressssssives!

No, bud - it's you who have been "knelling" mouth open like an altar boy all along and we know you love it.

2:06:00 PM  

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