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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Is there any hope?

I suppose I should say something about Obama's re-election bid, but I haven't the heart. Obviously, he deserves no support. I predicted that he would deliver terrible governance, and he has fulfilled the prophecy.

Yet the Republican alternatives are so vile as to be unthinkable.

Is there any hope?

The folks at Hillary is 44 think so. They believe that this situation offers Hillary Clinton a golden opportunity to step back onto the stage and salvage the production. Sorry. She says she's out, and I think she means it.

Her husband convinced her to run in 2008. Judging from this interview, he now seems pessimistic about the future of the Democratic brand. Of course, Bill also predicted that the public would rally in favor of Obamacare -- because he under-estimated the power of Republican propaganda. If the economy turns around, polls indicate that the public will credit the Republicans in congress, not Obama and not the Democrats.

Most troubling of all is this Gallup polling data, published in the Atlantic. Forget all other poll numbers. It ain't about individuals; it's about the weltanschauung.
America is an increasingly conservative nation, by ideology and by political affiliation, according to polling results from the Gallup Organization...
Conservatism, at least at the state level, appears to be growing stronger. Ironically, this trend is most pronounced in America's least well-off, least educated, most blue collar, most economically hard-hit states. Conservatism, more and more, is the ideology of the economically left behind. The current economic crisis only appears to have deepened conservatism's hold on America's states. This trend stands in sharp contrast to the Great Depression, when America embraced FDR and the New Deal.
How do we change a ludicrously misguided national ideology? How do we convince the turkeys to stop voting for Thanksgiving?

Everywhere you travel around the internet -- unless you stick to a few resolutely Democratic blogs -- you'll see examples of hallucinated history taking hold in the popular imagination: Hitler was a left-winger. Joe McCarthy was a hero. Evolution is just a theory. Global warming is a hoax. Over-regulation of the banks caused the crisis of 2008. Obamacare is socialized medicine. Anything that isn't 100% Ayn Rand approved laissez faire constitutes Bolshevism. I swear, I've actually seen teabagger sites resurrect the old Angletonian line that the Sino-Soviet split was a fraud.

We can't win the future. We can't even win the past.

Let me cite one particularly bizarre example of what I'm talking about. Thousands and thousands of sites have published Cleon Skousen's inane "Communist Goals" from 1958. Skousen, you may recall, was the kook who influenced Glenn Beck. The dolts who have plastered this thing all over the internet believe that it is an actual document written by actual commies. This text must be genuine (they argue) because it was published in the Congressional Record in 1963. As though that settles that -- and never mind the fact that all sorts of hogwash has gotten into the Record.

Not only that. The commentary on those websites indicates that many Americans believe that this plan remains in effect. In their imagination, there still exists a Commie Central somewhere in Russia, where the malefactors rub their hands with glee while muttering: "Ah yes, it all goes according to plan. Comrade Obama has done his task well..."

A staggering number of your fellow citizens actually believe this fantasy.

Is there any hope?

Paul Ryan's budget bill would not only kill Medicare and Medicaid, it would lower the top tax rate to 25%. If the rate were increased to what it was under Ronald Reagan, and if the Pentagon experienced modest cuts, we'd have no deficit problem. But you can't get the American people to understand this.

Is there any hope?

I agree with what Dakinkat said yesterday (though not with her belief in the efficacy of protest):
Huge corporations and rich people gobble up tons of public resources via subsidies, tax breaks, and use of infrastructure. Many governors have literally given away their states treasury and resources courting businesses that cost them more than they bring to that state in jobs or revenues. The big lie is that corporations are overtaxed and receive no benefits from state, local or federal government.
Paul Ryan’s budget Anthem is just the latest in a line of assaults on reason and common sense. It is the very definition of pennywise and pound foolish and it’s insulting. It hypes unnecessary tax cuts and increases in pentagon spending while removing funding for public health, public education, and public information programs. It continues the effort to redistribute the incomes and the resources of the country to the very few at the cost of the very many.
That's the truth. Yet many of your fellow citizens think that the real problem is Karl Marx.

Is there any hope?
Comments:
Is there hope? No. The voters will elect a Republican president and congress in 2012, and we'll see the end of the federation. The wounds of the Civil War never healed, and those who wanted out of the union have been working since the Civil War to destroy the federation by breaking the government in D.C. There's no way to fix the federal government because it's too corrupt. Neither party has the capacity to fix anything.
 
We were screwed the minute the Obama supporters started calling their fellow Democrats racists.
 
Who'd a thunk it?

The perfect storm of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid managed to do the republican's job in two short years.

Bill might not have been wrong about health care reform, the public might have accepted it if Obama had pulled himself away from the buffet table long enough to lead on the issue. But as usual he let others do the heavy lifting, talk about squandered opportunity.

As it is now, the Democratic Party's greatest hurrah was the Clinton presidency no thanks to the rank and file in congress.

Watch these next coming days as Obama capitulates to republican budget cutting demands and calls it bi-partisanship. Democrats, keeping their powder dry since 1999.
 
Is there any hope? NO. What Anonymous said
 
Hope? That was jettisoned the very moment Obama was elected. None whatsoever. Nada, nothing, period. We can go through the motions and waste our time and votes on straw men to make ourselves feel better, but at the end of the day, we are lost. Might was well face it now and prepare for the inevitability of the worst.
 
I don't know if there's any hope.
To a substantial extent, the Democratic Party has been captured by a well-heeled wine and brie set ("shinies" is the term my girlfriend invented for them). Their behavior and arrogance has naturally alienated many in the working class, fueling the drift of the latter toward the right (at least people on the right try to appeal to them, rather than sneering at their obesity, manners, use of cars rather than bikes, etc.). Obama's health care bill was a huge debacle, and we're paying the political cost of that.

But, here in Wisconsin, the opposition to Walker has pulled together a passionate old-school FDR-Democrat demographic (what the Democrats used to stand for). The sheer numbers and the demographics (especially the demographics) are unlike anything I've seen in my lifetime. Can that begin to foster something new? Maybe.
 
God I hope the WI drumbeat is heard by all the restless natives of Greater UnemployedAndScrewedistan.
 
Yes, there is hope. As the other commenters point out, it looks like we had a victory in Wisconsin despite zero help from national Democrats. This could be the start of something big.

Please don't despair. I keep singing Johnny Mercer's lyrics, "you've got to accentuate the positive." Schubert's Trout Quintet is playing on the radio. There is a six-day-old kitten in my household. Heck, it's spring, even here in Chicago (yeah, Obamaville, where we just elected Rahm Emmanuel as mayor). I'd better stop there, before I depress myself again.

catlady
 
Plenty. But it isn't instant Ovaltine. And no, the voters will not elect a Republican president.
 
Wisconsin owes us. They went Obot early on...I saw them as a dupe tipping point in the primary. NH saw the light after they handed the presidency to Bush via Naderites. So let Wisconsin lead the struggle.
 
Dakinikat is right. But why can so few see? Who is this democracy for anyway? The people or the corporations.

I saw a fine post somewhere noting that Karl Rove grew up wanting to be Mark Hanna. It explored some of the similarities between today and the US of McKinley.

The parallels are striking. However, I am afraid that this time round the episode will lead to an American Hitler, not a new FDR.

I was out last night with a bright British friend of mine, but not involved in finance or economics. I realised he has finally understood the environment when he suggested the forgiveness of all mortgages as a solution.

He is right, but I hope not yet. I dont have one right now!

But I think I have time. As far as I can tell this country is run for its banks. The people only count as far as they are a resource for banks to exploit.

Harry
 
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