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Monday, September 30, 2013

California, the nation, and the Democratic party

In the post below, we saw Bill Maher's ode to Jerry Brown's California, the liberal-run "socialist fagtopia" where a staggering deficit became a surplus. This magic trick was accomplished the only way it could have been accomplished -- through higher taxes and budget cuts.

There's no way to avoid higher taxes, if you are serious about getting rid of a deficit.

Here is what I wrote previously:
There are still plenty of scarlet red counties in "blue" CA. Those places traditionally send lots of far-right obstructionist legislators to Sacramento, and they were the ones who prevented any and all solutions. How did California solve that problem?
A friend to this blog sent me a private message explaining how my home state did it:
How did Cali do it? Get over the problem of ruby red districts? Well, they did it by electing an experienced former Democratic governor who knew shit from shinola, and they especially did it by electing a 2/3 majority of Dems in both the House AND the Senate, thereby making the Repugs totally irrelevant---as in who gives a shit what they think?

SO, they can raise taxes at will---which they did, in spite of the retarded supermajority tax laws there, and they can pretty much do any damn thing they feel like doing--which is glorious.

And the result? That humungous deficit has been wiped out, and a state that (thanks to dumbass Ahnuld) looked like a complete basket case just three years ago, is now roaring on all 12 cylinders (so to speak). Now all we need is for the same thing to happen in Washington.
And that got me to thinking. Could the same thing happen in Washington?

So many of my readers have become so thoroughly disenchanted with Obama -- and with some of his cronies in Congress -- that they would never concede the possibility of improvement. I can imagine how those readers will respond to this post. (Frankly, that otiose cynicism getting predictable.)

But the example of California offers a strong argument: Change is possible.

Democrats, if given the freedom to act, are indeed capable of behaving responsibly.

True, Dems are not immune from corruption. (Hardly!) True, Dems will not institute Utopia. True, they need to be watched like hawks at all times. True, they will disappoint us -- often.

But I really do think that the Democrats do not want the economy to stay mired in mud. And I think that they understand the simple fact that a debt-ridden nation must raise revenue. They understand that the working class cannot pay taxes without well-paying jobs. They understand that only regulation can keep us from becoming a nation in which all wages devolve into unlivability. A slave economy is the final stage of unregulated capitalism.

Republicans do not understand these basic facts. Republicans remain entranced by the Laffer curve and similar hallucinations.

The most hallucinatory denizens of the right -- the Tea Partiers and the Randroids -- have gained some power, and they refuse to relinquish it. Consider these words:
“I fully understand where the Tea Party and like-minded people are coming from, that Obamacare is a tragically flawed law and it’s not good for the country, but I would also have to add that shutting down the government is not a good for the country,” said Fred Malek, a Republican fundraiser.
What's frightening here is that name: Fred Malek. This is the guy who, when he worked for Nixon, warned that the Bureau of Labor Statistics had come under the malign influence of a "Jewish cabal." This is a man whom many have long considered representative of the GOP's right flank. Perhaps even its far-right flank.

If Fred freakin' Malek is warning America that extremists have taken over his party...well. What can I add?

And thus I remain -- grudgingly, and under protest -- a man with a party.

But I'm still pissed off at Barack Obama.
Of course it could happen. That was why it was so critical that we got a Dem in the White House in 2008 to preside over Dem majorities in both the house and Senate. It didn't happen because Obama is not a Dem.

Some of us remember.

I also remember the spineless Dems privately grumbling they had to go along with Obama because of his immense popularity during the Hopium high induced by the corporate media. They were not happy campers.

Obama was put in place precisely in order to ruin the Dem brand.

It will be interesting to see the fallout next election. There was an article on Rand Paul's popularity with some on the left. I didn't have the heart to read it yet...
"Republicans do not understand these basic facts." The rubes may not, but the money behind the Republicans absolutely understand those basic facts. They not only don't care, but actually prefer an oligarchy. A healthy economy requires a delicate balance between labor and capital. Reasonable Republicans want the economy favor capital, but understand that labor is also important. We don't have reasonable Republicans any more.
Rand Paul will never be POTUS. Like his father his devotion to Ayn Rand, his namesake, will circumvent his effort to present the face of moderation required for the General Election. He has a backstory and it will be told.

The right is in ruins with it's alliance to the tea party. It's crumbling will be exacerbated during what appears to be an unavoidable government shutdown.
They've screwed themselves so badly with these hate-filled wing-nuts who despise Obama so desperately they'd cut off their noses to spite their face. They're so far out on the plank they'll likely never find moderation again. From my perspective they've have made Obama, even in his weakness, tolerable and at times admirable.

All I can say about Obama is THANK GODDESS we don't have Mitt Romney as POTUS right now. If we did we'd be looking at the total unraveling and undoing of the safety nets. Remember this is the GOP that just defunded food stamps to the tune of $40 billion dollars.

As for Hillary, if she runs she will get the opportunity to become a truly historic President as she clears the decks of all of the riff-raff. Hillary 2016

Bill Clinton said just recently that what we need is to encourage the number of voters to come out during the off season elections as they do for presidential runs to restore a majority. But then, I agree with prowlerzee, we need a Dem in WH who is an actual Democrat. Shove the Grand Bargain/Betrayal that is lurking in the shadows right where the sun don't shine. Or this Trans Pacific Trade agreement that is so secret even Congress doesn't know the details. And then there's all this nonsense from Republicans over Obamacare, a health reform system based on Republican ideas. How did that happen? Drone warfare, assassination of American citizens . . . the list goes on and on.

Is POTUS better than a McCain or Romney WH? Yes. We'd be engaged in another neocon war for sure.

Change can happen. But it won't happen with Republican-lites posing as Dems.

And Rand Paul?? I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole.

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