I just read a few very good rebuttals to Chris Hayes’ claim that DC elites in both parties are so ensconced in their comfortable world of low local unemployment and newly opened sushi bars that they don’t care about jobs for the middle-class. Booman:
[T]he reason that Washington DC doesn’t care about jobs is that the Republicans have too much power.
The Democrats aren’t blameless, but they don’t like to waste time. After a few days, it gets really boring trying to reason with Republicans. Then you just figure out what you can muscle through and you go for that. The Democrats know that they can’t close the unemployment rate because anything expensive enough to work is just going to get voted down in the House or filibustered in the Senate. So, they move on. They focus on other things that they can make progress on rather than sitting around moping and feeling impotent.
That’s it. That’s the whole explanation. The unemployment rate could by 90% in Northern Virginia and it wouldn’t change the basic dynamics.
The difference now is simply that one party has gotten so tied up in its own rhetoric and ideology that it’s managed to convince just enough people that government is the sole problem, and any major attempt it makes to create jobs or improve conditions will fail. This wasn’t the case in the early ‘80s recession. Washington, despite being better off than the rest of the country then too, was scared shitless about 10% unemployment every waking morning and its electoral repercussions for both parties.[….]
It’s a shame. I felt so sorry for the lifetime health care policy researchers, those who moved here to work on this as a career, who finally got their chance after decades to implement their life’s work, but watched as meaningful provision after meaningful provision was stripped out over a retarded Sarah Palin facebook shart about “death panels.” I met the person who wrote that language for end-of-life counseling reimbursements in the bill, and it’s hard to explain how frustrating it was for her, and the experts who worked with her staff for years, to see it taken out over this kind of temporal cable news bullshit.
I think there are unquestionably certain ways in which DC Democrats have failed to stand up for the middle-class. But I sometimes also wonder if “both sides screw the middle-class” (and I write this as someone who says that a lot) is just Broderism for hippies.
Good points — especially now that we’re getting primed for another round of “Obama sold us out, he can’t negotiate for shit” about the budget compromise.
Booman spins harder than a child’s little red top.
I eagerly look forward to hearing you clap louder at whatever “compromise” is reached.
Yeah, sorta like ‘both sides are racist.’ Because, you know, my white skin is, sometimes, not an advantage. Which is, obviously, racism.
Obama’s not doing the fuckn negotiating, Biden, Chicago Thug Daley, & Sperling are doing it…….so squeal about them.
NO! is all the rethugs know how to say to the prez.
For those who maintain Democrats are just as bad as Republicans, I invite them to come to Madison and make that claim.
@Corner Stone: There’s the hand you’re dealt and how you play it. Democrats have a shitty hand. Perhaps they could play it better, but a lot of the criticism of the Obama administration’s negotiation that I see takes the shittiness of the hand for granted.
“Broderism for hippies” = win.
But truthfully, it is a being a Naderite nihilist without the controversy of invoking Nader.
My attitude – frequent disappointment and frustration with Democrats, ceaseless horror at the increasingly open venality of the Republicans, is more or less summed up in Hunter S. Thompson’s comparison of McGovern and Nixon, mutatis mutandis (except that I would take Nixon in an instant over most of the current Republican leadership):
“McGovern made some stupid mistakes, but in context they seem almost frivolous compared to the things Richard Nixon does every day of his life, on purpose, as a matter of policy and a perfect expression of everything he stands for.”
@Corner Stone: The fact that you used the phrase “clap louder” confirms Doug’s point. But next time, don’t forget to include the phrases “hippy punching”; “thrown under the bus”; and “Lucy pulling the football away”.
If anyone can look at what Republicans are doing across the US and still make the claim Dems and Reps are the same, they are either intentionally dishonest or brain-damaged.
With the excellent jobs report this morning, the republican/pro left recovery is at full tilt.
The ONLY reason this works is because we have a large number of functionally retarded “conservative” geriatrics sucking on the Medicare tit.
Does anyone honestly believe that “death panels” would be a usable scare tactic if we were not already covering the medicare costs for the elderly? F*ck, no, they’d be too worried about dying of pneumonia under a bridge.
As much as I dislike Broder, he’s right when he says everyone has to feel the pinch. When you take money away from workers, and give that money to the elderly, you free up time for them to worry about complete bullshit like death panels and gay marriage.
I’m not saying we should eliminate Medicare/Medicaid, just pointing out that it’s easy to turn people against each other, and easy to distract people over nonsense, when you have a class of people who don’t need to vote in their own interest, because they know they have the political clout to destroy anyone who crosses their interest.
why can’t it be both? Some Dems are too insulated from the problem and some too frustrated by the Repukes’ refusal to do anything but cut spending to the poor.
Yeah, I don’t know. One can offer up all sorts of excuses of why it’s not a priority for Democrats to worry about the unemployment rate, but the fact that it’s not a priority remains a real problem.
And it also seems like Republicans work a lot harder at removing obstacles to their goals than Democrats. Somehow conservatives get further tax cuts even with their smallest minority in Congress in years, for example.
“Sarah Palin Facebook shart” made my day.
The criticism of liberals–and this comes from all sides, from the fascists to the communists and every political variation inbetween, since the 19th century, is that they’re weak and will sell you out.
They believe in reason, negotiation, Broderite values of that sort. They are Broderites.
The ultimate problem with liberals is that they are not class conscious. Republicans are; their reason d’etre is to defend their Galtian heroes. Libs–no. They will sell you out, because while they empathize with the working class, they do not see themselves primarily as agents of that class.
I’ve heard it said that you can’t fight stupid. If the entire GOP stands up and decides to do the wrong thing, strictly based on easily disprovable hypotheses, there’s very little the Democrats can do to stop them.
Part of that is a failure to stand up for the middle-class (ESPECIALLY IN THE SENATE). Part of that is an ongoing route the Democrats have been suffering in the national media.
These health care experts might be the savviest and bestest minds on the face of the earth. But if the GOP can paint them as America-hating egg heads – or better yet, dismiss them entirely and paint a picture of Shari-law communist welfare queens in their place – then their research will forever be for naught.
We’ve entered a point in history where the academic can no longer sit idly by. Doing your research, filing your report, and peer reviewing your fellows is no longer enough to advance the curve. We need more public professional advocates.
Just what the fuck is going on in this country? Does Wisky really want this shit to go viral? Hoooooooooly shit.
Maybe, but this explanation has always pissed me off, and I’ll tell you exactly why …
If the above are true (and let’s face it, they are, Republicans refuse to reason or even be remotely sane) than it’s also the job of the Dems elected to HAMMER that point home, consistently and with great force of fact.
It’s their job to fight for truth and justice. That’s it. In a nutshell. And make that their identity.
I don’t see that, I really don’t (case in point, the recent opportunity to completely change filibuster rules in Senate, the Dems had a change to make the Senate work, and they punt with a few cosmetic changes) … instead, I see people with ideals do a few things and let the rest go because they’re too much work.
Rather, instead they say I respectfully fully disagree with the honorable Senator from Arizona and laugh and have cocktails.
Rather they should state, constantly, John McCain is a liar and a hypocrite and here’s why (instead facts) and I honestly DON’T understand why he’s on TV every Sunday.
For me, that’s a fail. We put Dems in majority in 06 and 08 with clear purpose … and while I agree that they accomplished things, I disagree with those who say that they did everything they could. No. Not even close.
They should have at least tried to impeach Bush in 06, they should have made Medicare for all the key argument in 08, and in 10 their basic platform was (and still is) well, I know you don’t like what’s going on, but think how bad it would be under Republicans?
Fail. That’s why they lost so many seats. They didn’t make their case for what they would do for us, they listened to tea baggers and neo-cons too much, and should be saying, hey, we bailed out Wall Street, it’s making huge profits, we bailed out GM, it’s making profit … now let’s do that for America. We’ll all profit then.
Instead they’re making the conservative case, well, they’re right, we have to tighten our belts (except for rich people) and make cuts, etc.
They don’t convince the people whose support they need to do things, they listen to much to those that hate them.
apologies for the long rant …
Culture of Truth
Yes, some Democrats aren’t doing enough, or don’t have mad negotiation skills, or ‘cave’ or whatever. Liberal bloggers are also not doing enough. None of us are. But we’re all still surrounded by selfish idiots. That’s the real problem.
I had never heard that quote, but it pretty totally sums up my politics (replace “McGovern” with “Democrats” and “Nixon” with “Republicans”).
Booman’s response falls a little short for me: you couldn’t have a filibuster without some Democrats enabling it. And the Republican majority in the house is only two months old.
You can’t claim that it was solely the Republicans who stymied progress in 2009 and 2010. There are certainly very comfortable Democratic politicians (and staffers) who deserve some blame for the lack of results over the last few years.
I think Hayes makes a minor mistake by focusing on “the past few months” in the second sentence of the article. The stalemate in DC is much older than that, even with relentless talk about jobs in the election season. Sure, the difference between campaign platforms and policy focus now that the campaign is won is notable, but mostly in a hoocoodanode way.
But for me the larger factor in the Hayes article is the second part: that Congress satisfies the policy wishes of the affluent first (or solely).
@David W.: Seconded. The Dems are, at worst, in the words of Moe Szyzlak “well wisher[s] in that [they] don’t wish [us] any specific harm.” The Republicans, on the other hand, not so much.
You know, I was thinking the exact same thing about Climate Change legislation yesterday. The debate over how to cap greenhouse gases has completely evaporated in the last few months. That hasn’t slowed the onset of climate change. But telling the Dems to refocus on the issue is asinine. The Republicans control the House. No bill the Democrats propose will pass.
Dems will continue to hammer the issue rhetorically, but they’re basically dead legislatively. Just keeping Planned Parenthood and PBS in the budget is going to be a challenge.
The Democrats seem to have no communication strategy and no communication apparatus. DC insiders criticized Clinton for being so relentless in delivering his message but the thing is, it is absolutely necessary to boil down your message and repeat, repeat, repeat.
After the Republicans won in 1994, Clinton was out there every day talking about “Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment.” I am very frustrated that Obama is not doing something similar, as if he can’t move the rhetorical field. He’s the president and has the world’s biggest megaphone.
Yes, the Republicans today are nuts. But polls show the public actually supports tax cuts on the wealthy and oil companies not getting breaks and doesn’t want nearly all of the cuts. Why isn’t the White House drawing clear distinctions and fighting for what large majorities want?
Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy
Raenelle: I think that any critique of American politics that focuses on what “the real problem with liberals is” misses the point badly.
It may be true that both sides screw the middle class, but at least the dems use a condom and offer you some butt lube.
I think most of DC elites don’t care about jobs for the middle class no matter whether they are enjoying good times or not. The attitude that ‘I am more worthy of a well-paying job/career with benefits/pensions than those other greedy, lazy freeloaders’ is pervasive inside and everywhere outside the DC bubble.
Yeah, it’s a real shame we can’t get any Democrats elected to office, because the Republicans run everything.
I know Ayn Rand was a fucktard, but honestly, somebody needs to do some premise-checking here.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Then we’re back into the loop of “stupid, scared or corrupt?” and I think number three is the smallest factor, with the exception of Evan Bayh, where (1) = (3) and (2) is neutralized by sheer arrogance. Just look at Claire McCaskill bragging about eliminating some of the most important (IMHO) portions of the stimulus program, then last month standing with Republicans announcing her willingness to undermine Obamacare.
I don’t think older people responded to death panels. They responded to the Karl Rove Crossroads effort that blared “Democrats cut 500 bilion from Medicare!”
The problem on defending on that for Democrats, was that it’s TRUE. Senate Democrats re-allocated 500 billion in health care dollars that were going to the conservative-enacted privatized Medicare Advantage program.
Democrats made a tactical decision NOT to defend on that (although it’s absolutely defensible; the higher payments to Medicare Advantage were bleeding the public program. I don’t know that they made the wrong decision there. With the moronic state of media, were they ever going to be able to make the distinction between the private and public programs? I don’t think so.
So, they left it alone, rather than draw attention to it. Again, even with hindsight, I don’t know that that was a bad call.
booman makes a case, I guess. The game playing and grandstanding on the D side is more realistic, at least. And more honest.
Then there’s Ted Kennedy letting it rip about a minimum wage increase.
“But I sometimes also wonder if “both sides screw the middle-class” (and I write this as someone who says that a lot) is just Broderism for the hippies.”
Exactly right, anyone who throws up their hands like that isn’t paying attention.
Obama is perhaps the most incompetent negotiator I have ever seen. If he worked at my law firm he would have been fired in his first week. He is just terrible.
I see that poor people are not discussed. Just pointing that out.
I think that there may be a measure of Washington being out of touch; but, that is not any where near the answer.
Most of it comes from the the fact that the GOP is locked into a doctrine that rules out solutions; and, the 40/45% who vote for them are locked into that same doctrine. Any doctrine that precludes solutions is worth next to nothing.
The Democrats mostly want to do something constructive. Welcome to gridlock.
The result? Basically, what the GOP wants : reward their friends; punish their enemies. All the rest is commentary.
What is to be done? kick it up a notch. Do what is being done in Wisconsin in other states and force the GOP to respond. But, this is not the 60s and the issues are not Civil Rights and Vietnam.
I see years of politics with the script written by Jerry Seinfeld: fatuity on steroids.
The Democrats aren’t blameless, but they don’t like to waste time [trying to negotiate with Republicans to help create jobs].
First clause is the understatement of the millenium. The second clause is simply false.
If the Democrats gave two shits about jobs for those in the bottom 90, then we would have had better legislation in the first two years of the Obama presidency. No such legislation was proposed or passed. They did, however, collude with the Republicans in destroying revenue — and thus negatively impacting jobs — by extending Bush’s tax cuts. Nice work.
Anyone who thinks that Democrats do not “waste time” negotiating with Republicans who are determined not to compromise has been asleep for decades.
The Medicare Advantage situation is vastly more complicated than what I wrote. The savings come not from “cuts” but from freezing what I consider overpayments to the private program, over ten years.
My point is, it is impossible to explain in 30 seconds, particularly with some quasi-tough straight-talk express questions from uninformed media debate moderator along the lines of “did you or did you NOT re-allocate funds from Medicare to the uninsured?”
They have to answer “yes”, and that was ALL any old person was going to hear.
So they didn’t defend. I don’t blame them. There was no way to win that one.
Yeah, I recall him spinning for Obama previously; can’t remember the issue.
@Zifnab: YES. And more who consciously work to put what they know into terms an average person can understand, no matter what middle-school-level reader that person is.
There’s also the fact that for a certain kind of Democrat, spending-fear-mongering _is_, in their minds, defending the middle class. It’s getting that greedy gummint offa yer back. It’s letting you keep more of your own hard-earned money.
Or, to put it another way, if you identify “middle class” with “middle management,” it’s not that surprising to see where a lot of Democrats end up. The group they haven’t done well to stand up for is the non-managerial middle class, a/k/a the working class.
@agrippa: The Rs do not want to do anything productive. Within the Ds, there are real disagreements over what the right thing to do is.
@Napoleon: Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it you suggesting that if the Bush Tax Cuts were extended it would be akin to a repeal of The New Deal?
@liberal: You don’t have to pick just one. Booman is the internets most reliably consistent fluffer.
What a joke, even with a supermajority Harry Reid was too ballless and bought to make Dems vote cloture for longterm dem platform planks….and now they don’t have enough votes to help anybody either…funny how that works, the people lose EVERY TIME which means letting the GOP take over will just drop the country into the toilet a couple days earlier.
@Sebastian Dangerfield: Do we have to go through this the same way every time? The long and short of it is this: many elected Democrats are not liberals, and don’t support liberal policies, and in order to get any policy you and I would find good through _the Democrats_ it has to be watered down and generally fucked with. That’s before any Republican has any say on anything. That’s the problem: a Democratic majority isn’t a liberal majority.
@Napoleon: Agree about Obama’s terrible negotiating skills, has he ever really brought the hammer on anyone? Its start out with a compromise, cave and then try to sell everyone that this deal is awesome even though it sucks, rinse, repeat.
@Raenelle: This. I’m not into ultraleft posturing, but one can still draw constructive lessons from the Eduard Bernstein-Rosa Luxmeberg debate.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Chris: You make a good point. But the quote leads me to consider something. who among us would have ever believed that we would long for a republican like Nixon? But compared to the mendacious and clinically crazy fools we have now, I’d welcome someone that smart and sane. As evil as he was, he’d be an improvement. Which is why I won’t be getting any more of this medication any time soon.
(The link is quite safe)
but they certainly won’t let fucking over the poor and middle class get in the way of rewarding corporate scum.
Rest easy, he’s not doing any of the negotiating. He sent Biden, Daley, & Sperling and/or Jack Lew.
You have to account for the institutional histories of the national parties. Democrats started to seek national victories through interregional collaboration, while Republicans sought victories through interregional competition. One strategy does not always produce the superior outcome when it comes to policy, but the strategies do impact the value placed on compromise within each institutional culture. And I would maintain that these strategies have, for the most part, remained unchanged since the respective founding of both parties despite the change in their respective constituencies.
If you’ve got a plan to get bills signed into law without having to go through the House of Representatives, I’d love to hear it.
What’s wrong with this sentence? You don’t try and reason with Republicans. If that’s your premise for doing work in Washington, you’re going to fail. Seems that both Booman’s and Doug’s and a bunch of other people here.
It’s not quite the entire problem with the Dem party but it’s a lot of it.
You try and reason with the voting Americans and you ignore Republicans. This is what Repubs do; ignore the Dems, talk to the public, get the public to get outraged over whatever it is you want them to.
Oh, jeezus christ, the “bad negotiator” stuff all over again. That’s like the Bat Signal. Prepare for incoming heroes. Is there a way to cross the “bad negotiator” stuff with the endless Hamsher/Greenwald arguments so that we can just have it out in one colossal Götterdämmerung, then move on to some other reality?
Obama got an excellent jobs report this month, and the usual jackass firebaggers arrive to be usual firebagging jackasses. You can set your clock by it happening, every single time.
It makes me deliriously happy.
@Observer: Are you trying to make policy, or are you trying to make a statement? If you want any kind of policy, then, yes, you have to “try and reason with Republicans.” If we’re just giving up on even trying policy, we’re just playing Color War.
That’s the problem: a Democratic majority isn’t a liberal majority.
Yep. Once you realize that Evan Bayh isn’t a liberal you start to realize that he likely swallowed pretty hard to vote to pass ACA. Evan Bayh’s preferred health care solution likely wouldn’t work but it definitely wouldn’t include a 400B dollar expansion of Medicaid. There was a lot of hollering in left blogistan that the Conservadems gave nothing up in the negotiations. That simply ignores the bill that was passed and how much of it was just straight up Great Society liberalism.
@General Stuck: I picked the wrong day
to stop sniffing glueto join in the conversation here after a relative hiatus.
Good Memory, I don’t know if I worded it exactly that way but to me it was the type of action that so crippled the ability of the government to live up to New Deal/Great Society promises that it really was effectively throwing in the towel on defending the ND/GS and would lead to the repeal or privatization of SS (I know all about how its funding source is dedicated, but that gets ignored in the public debate), gutting of Medicare and Medicaid. Now if the 2 year extension of the cuts never becomes any more that that, that does hurt the Dems and the resulting deficits will be used to argue that SS and Medicare should be gutted, but it perhaps is manageable, but personally I think the Dems really hurt their position going forward in a big way.
By the way, one of 2 reasons that I really thought that Obama had to make healthcare reform the number one do or die thing he got done is for the same reason. Unless healthcare cost are reigned in at some point they will be used to do away with Medicare or basically gut it to a shadow of itself, and since the Village plays the game that Medicare and SS are the same thing practically I think SS would have had the same fate.
You can’t continually fall back and concede ground and hope to win a war.
Do we have to go through this the same way every time? The long and short of it is this: many elected Democrats are not liberals, and don’t support liberal policies, and in order to get any policy you and I would find good through the Democrats it has to be watered down and generally fucked with.
Yes, apparently we do, as your reading comprehension needs a bit of work. I said that Booman is understating matters by saying that “Democrats aren’t blameless” and further suggest that Democrats give something less than two shits about jobs for the bottom 90%. How it is that your pointing out the rather obvious fact that many elected democrats do not support liberal policies can be considered some kind of retort is rather beyond me. That’s rather the point. If Democratic politicians, in gross, gave two shits about jobs outside of certain privileged and protected sectors, then we would have seen some evidence of that when they were in the majority.
The second point is that Booman is mistaken that Democrats (whom he obviously is suggesting are would-be good-guys, if not for the bad guys) simply aren’t willing to “waste time” even mentioning job creation (a stupid ting to do, just in political terms) in negotiations with Republicans because there are other, more beneficial things that they can be working on. I find that pure partisan spinning. Regardless of whether democratic legislation is pre-suckified by the Democrats’ own caucus, it is demonstrably untrue that they don’t waste time trying to craft futile compromises with Republicans. Again, pointing out that Democrats are not, on the whole, liberal is not so much a riposte as it is a reinforcement of these points.
@Ailuridae: It’s a hella disappointing bill measured against a lot of smart people’s policy preferences. I’m fine with that. Is it pretty close to the left-most edge of what could be accomplished even with a historic Democratic majority, considering that said majority includes corporate-friendly centrists like Bayh and Landrieu and Warner and prickly-pears like Webb? I’d still say yes.
@47 Absolutely on the mark.
Another thought is why would all these millionaire/billionaire Congressman give a [email protected]@ about the middle class?
A bit of a rant considering my husband just got laid off after 20+ years with the company.
Sure, if they were populist liberals, we’d have much better policy. But they’re not. Now what? That’s what we have.
It don’t mean nothin’. Obama is doing ok right now, and idiots on blogs can’t change that. Wingers are self destructing and polls show that, and if the wingnuts close down government, again, they will pay the price, again.
The left wing screeching,- It is hot air into the ethers, and only worthy of a hardy YAWN.
Fox News went on the air in 1996. The media platform that Obama has to work with does not resemble the one Clinton had in any way, shape or form.
@Sebastian Dangerfield: I mean, look, we’re saying two versions of the same thing. My point is that not all Democrats are liberals, and your point is that not all Democrats are liberals. But that leads me to say that, given that, weak and watered-down nonsense is probably the best we can get. What does it lead you to say? It’s bad? Of course it’s bad. What do we do about it, like, soon?
And don’t forget, if only the democrats had a better message and/or if only they were screaming all day long that republicans were evil, then the media would totally report it and the scales would fall from the eye of the American public
I hope so, but the polls I see keep saying the blame will be 50/50.
Realism for hippies
Of course there’s only a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.
But that’s also true for most medical interventions. Once you get past the unrealistic picture you get from TV medicine, in real life most medical interventions are only about a dime less bad than not intervening.
But politics, like medicine, is about life and death issues, and a dime’s worth of difference is plenty worth stooping to pick up.
Sure, recognizing that the parties have only a dime’s worth of difference can be used as an excuse for inaction. But it’s also realism, and a realistic vision is necessary for effective action.
So I put in thousands of man-hours every election cycle canvassing for Dems. But I also await the day when we either get better Dems, or are able to ditch the Dems.
The latter is not an unrealistic expectation, and may be quite close. It’s not going to happen from any leftist insurgency within the Democratic Party, it’s going to happen because the Rs are intent on bringing the whole structure down on both parties’ heads.
Just look at WI. The Rs are so into revolution that they finally are acting on their long-standing anti-union ideology. Good for them. That finally has WI Dems fighting back. The unions could never have gotten the WI Dems to behave like tigers. It took the Rs to do that.
Win, lose, or draw, the WI model is how we’re some day going to get back a politics that has actual adversarial parties.
That was the ultimate problem with liberalism, or at least part of it. Liberalism began as the championing of individualism and the smashing of group identities, because the latter got in the way of political freedom. This was back when liberalism was big on negative liberty, or striving to free the individual from the shackles of other people’s problems.
After the 19th century, liberal theorists figured out that this was bullshit; that individual freedom is, in large part, dependent upon collective security. They didn’t embrace the classless ideals of Marxism or the brutish and coercive identity-building of nationalism, but instead sought policies that promoted positive liberty. It was a movement toward a kind of state-promoted syndicalism.
The liberals who didn’t make this transition are now called conservatives. Some might self-identify as libertarians, but they’re mostly fooling themselves.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Mnemosyne: and the economy is in a lot worse shape than in 1995, and the Republican party, at least in the Senate, still had some sane people back then
Yes… something like this. (Sorry for the long wonkish thing I’m about to write:)
The traditional Republican strategy is to create an ethnically coherent 50% + 1 Majority (in votes if not always in people) and set it at the throats of the other 49%, then let the culture war dominate the political discourse while they and their robber-baron backers quietly rob the country blind.
Originally, that majority was Northern WASPs, while the 49% were rural WASPs in the South (the losers of the Civil War) and urban immigrants (Catholic and Jewish mostly) in the North. Today, it’s just rural whites, especially in the South, versus immigrants, blacks, city folk (especially on the coasts) and other little minorities (like Muslims).
Democrats, OTOH, have only managed to dominate when there’s a nationwide consensus (as there was in the 1932-1980 era, or at least 1932-1968).
During periods of Republican domination, their strategy is basically to be a catch-all for people screwed by the Republicans. Originally, that was Southerners and immigrants: then they started chipping away at the Northern Rural WASP majority with populist issues (beginning with W. J. Bryan in 1896), until eventually, the Great Depression happened, everyone was screwed by the Republicans, and even their Northern WASP base switched parties.
To the extent that today’s Dems think about this kind of thing at all, I think they’re trying to do something like that – keep taking in the people Republicans screw over and wait until those people become a majority. Hardly a foolproof strategy, though, and the “wait and see” game leaves a ton of things in the hands of the enemy.
It might be worse, but it goes way beyond Fox News, at least as far back as the revocation of the Fairness Doctrine, which predates Clinton.
Can’t really happen until after the Democratic Party were to become truly defunct—third parties won’t work because we have a first-past-the-post electoral system.
For example, there’s this line from the WP article on Rush:
Also this: well described. That’s exactly how liberalism worked out.
You forgot about the bull pulpit.
The polls are not as clear cut for GOP blame as they were in 1994/5, so you are correct. But I think Dick Armey is right, that when it happens, the nexus of republicans being against government as a general belief will cause them to ultimately get blamed.
@FlipYrWhig: Gotcha, really no disagreement. I’m just being annoyed by Booman’s spinning, which, in the great scheme of things, is not really the most pressing issue on our collective plate, to be sure. The question is indeed what we do about it. That question leads me to say, perhaps I should spend less time being annoyed by Booman and get back to my day job — working for a union — which is the arena in which I try to do something about it.
It’s not just Fox News. Every city has its station that runs nothing but Limbaugh imitators. The Wall Street Journal’s newsroom has been taken over by Murdoch. The networks have actually said “no” to requests from the White House for time on the air that every other president has gotten.
The media today is not the same media that Clinton had to deal with, so the comparison is foolish.
@Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy: How about the real identity of liberals is that they consider themselves above class rather than as members and defenders of a class? I just don’t see it as controversial that they are more concerned with who has the best argument, rather than deciding which side they’re on.
In fact, you’re probably a liberal; at least, I’d deduce that from your sensitivity to my lack of nuance and my oversimplification (I think that was your point) in a frikking blog post that I dashed off as a counter to the charge of Broderism.
Politicians are motivated, I would assume, on getting elected, and what has worked at getting them elected over the last 30 years. After being somewhat in flux during the years 1974 to 1994, sufficient number of white voters, particularly in the South, but also in traditional white ethnic groups (Irish, Polish, and Italian) in the north that had been traditionally Democrats, moved right and accepted a view of Government as hostile to their values and promoting transfers to groups they thought of as the other: Blacks, hispanics, and foreigners, to create pretty solid majorities for the Republican party. And then in the Republican primaries, especially when a Democrat was/is President, it creates a dynamic where the most extreme and and violent opposition to the percieved policies of the Democratic President. Democrats in purple states and purple districts are going be very sensitive to conservative white independents who they can attract who get turned off by Republican extremism or wars. So Senators like Landreiu and McCaskill and the Nelsons (Nebraska and Florida), or going to tilt pretty conservative for out tastes.
Nevertheless, it also truen that they are mostly millionaires or near millionaires, who socialize with millionaires, and who raise money from millionaires. The interests of millionaires, even liberal, pro-choice, environmentally conscious millionaires are going to carry more weight with an elected representative than the intersests of working men and women who do not closely follow politics and whose lives are just lived with “quiet desperation.”
By the way, read NY. Times article on hydrocarbon fracking and the political pressure on the EPA not to find anything “unsafe” about it. As part of the documents in the package, is one from Senator Tom Coburn, MD, of Oklahoma, deficit hawk extraordinaire (except tax cuts don’t count against the deficit) who is so concern about future children, that he does not seem to mind what happens to current living children exposed to this crap.
This is a word which is painfully missing from our political vocabulary. The substantial majority of folks who self-identify as “middle class” in this country are working class, and it is harder to do anything for them if we don’t have to courage to even speak as if they exist.
The other thing about this issue is that the Democrats are not a monolith. The working class is getting screwed even when Dems have a majority because only a bare majority of the Dem caucus are actually progressive – less so in the Senate and more so in the House.
The GOP voting in lockstep + the oligarchic wing of the Dems voting against the majority opinion within their own party = a working majority most of the time, especially in the Senate. Since the Dems took the House back in 2006 in the WH in 2008 progressive Dems have had a plurality vs the other factions but not a majority. In the small-c conservative US system you just can’t get much done legislatively with that, unlike in a parliamentary system, which is why close observers of the US Congress (e.g. Norm Ornstein) have been so impressed with what Obama and the last Congress managed to pass, despite the paltry results from the point of view of those of us outside the Beltway.
There isn’t much progressive Dems can do about this until they construct a bigger and better megaphone to talk to voters about these issues and the voters wise up. With voter turnout so low in our elections there is plenty of room for this to happen, but lower class voters will have to give up their apathy, cynicism and despair or it is never going get off the ground.
@Sly: What you’re saying hasn’t been true, IMO, since the 60s. The whole baby boom generation–and though I love them, I see their faults–never thought it particularly important to defend unions. Or workers. The environment, anti-war, civil rights–they were there. The unions–not so much. They embraced issues and principles that seemed classless, that seemed to extend universally.
Chris Matthews is a rich liberal. Joe Klein is a rich liberal. Their lack of class consciousness is, IMO, why they get so much wrong so much of the time. Joe Trumpka, James Hoffa–they might be wrong on some of the liberal issues, but they know they’re about defending workers; they have class consciousness. Liberals and workers are two different sets of people–in a Venn diagram, there’s some overlap, sure, enough to think of each other as brothers in a pinch. But they’re do not share identity.
That’s interesting, because a search of WhiteHouse.gov for “Winning the Future” returns 267 items from 2011, including backgrounders on the many many public appearances and addresses Obama has given on the theme since he unveiled it at the SOTU a bit more than a month ago.
The latest entry is for the trip Obama is taking TODAY to Florida to talk about education at a public high school. Appearing with Obama will be Arne Duncan and former governor Jeb Bush. Take that, Rick Scott.
Just because you’re choosing not to pay attention doesn’t mean he isn’t doiing exactly what you insist he must do.
That’s basically the point I was trying to make. You have people like Cantor who are saying that Dems show insufficient commitment to entitlement reform *and complaining about the deficit at the same time*.
This would not work if we did not have Medicare coverage for the elderly. If the choice was between no medical coverage at all, and single-payer, there’s no fucking way we’d be hearing howls of “death panels”, or “socialism”, or “defunding medical care for the elderly”. Instead, the conversation would just be about “defunding medical care for everyone”.
That’s basically the point I was trying to make. You have people like Cantor who are saying that Dems show insufficient commitment to entitlement reform *and complaining about the deficit at the same time*.
This would not work if we did not have Medicare coverage for the elderly. If the choice was between no medical coverage at all, and single-payer, there’s no fucking way we’d be hearing howls of “death panels”, or “social1sm”, or “defunding medical care for the elderly”. Instead, the conversation would just be about “defunding medical care for everyone”.
That, of course, is part of the problem — our class system in the US is primarily race-based. So it was very easy for Republicans to peel off a large number of white union or potential union members by getting them to focus on their class identity being threatened by the Others (blacks, Hispanics, gays, etc.) Republicans managed to successfully get unions identified as “Others” as well, the kind of place that would make you work side by side with black people who would want to marry your daughter.
I think that generation of liberals made the bad assumption that those battles (the stuggle of labor against capital) had been won, so it was time to go on to the next thing.
In some ways this aspect of 1960s-1980s liberalism reminds me of the disastrous ending to the 1939 American K2 climbing expedition led by Fritz Wiessner, in which due to bad communications and conflicting agendas and priorites the middle and lower elevation camps were being dismantled while at the same time the climbers in the highest camp were still focusing on trying to push for the summit, assuming that the chain of logistics below them was still intact.
Broderism for hippies…..why yes, that would be exactly (to name but one example) why not one of the banksters involved in fraudulent activities to the crash has had charges filed against him or her. The dems are secretly concerned about the plight of the middle class, they were just unable to do anything about it from 2009 to 2010…
Broderism for hippies…..why yes, that would be exactly (to name but one example) why not one of the banksters involved in fraudulent activities to the crash has had charges filed against him or her. The dems are secretly concerned about the plight of the middle class, they were just unable to do anything about it from 2009 to 2010…
I think liberal Baby Boomers didn’t make a big deal out of unions, largely because they saw the battle for the working class as having been won already.
With some justification: the welfare state, regulations and strong unions were well-established and recognized by both parties as important parts of the country (remember Eisenhower writing of people who wanted to roll back the New Deal “their numbers are negligible and they are stupid,” Goldwater getting his ass handed to him when he ran on an overtly anti-New Deal platform, and Nixon saying “we are all Keynesians now.”)
So in a lot of cases, I think the logic was simply, okay, the class battles have essentially been won, let’s worry about those battles (women’s rights, civil rights, etc) that haven’t yet. Reagan proved them wrong, but I don’t think they forgot or were indifferent to the working class.
Um, repeating a meaningless SOTU sound-fart like “winning the Future” endlessly is not the kind of messaging that Amy’s talking about. Indeed, this claptrap is reminiscent of nothing so much as Gerald Ford’s brilliant “WIN!” buttons (“Whip Inflation Now!”). We’re not lamenting an absence of empty rhetorical catchphrases, we’re talking about an absence of rhetoric trumpeting the priorities and social programs that have resonance with (dare I say it) working class people.
Oh, and Arne Duncan talking about stripping away the rights of teachers to some degree of job security for their underpaid, unappreciated, and quite difficult jobs does not count.
Or what That Left Turn said. Your choice.
I still think these things let the Dems off light, if only for discounting the influence and enabling that the DLC/Blue Dog folks had a hand in as far as letting the GOP run wild. Yes, the GOP is essentially a monolith dedicated to ‘screw the libs and screw the hippies’, but they’d be nowhere near as successful as they were if not for Dems of the Evan Bayh or Joe Leiberman sort basically using the ‘On one hand, they’re right, on the other hand, my party is a bunch of fucking hippies’ style of evenhandedness.
It’s obvious that both sides don’t share the same amount of blame, but it’s hard to discount the effect of a certain group of Dems who tend to caucus together in enabling and allowing those GOP successes.
@Sebastian Dangerfield: What lessons? I’m interested in your point, but I don’t know what it is. Between the Bernsteinian socialists and the Luxembourgian communists–weren’t they both at least class conscious? Didn’t they have a clear idea of which side they were on? I thought this was a theoretical debate about whether Marx was wrong in his analysis of emiseration of workers in a capitalist society, about whether democracy mooted Marx’s insistence on a dictatorship of the proletariat. I could be wrong, but I thought at least they were both aware of having chosen a side and of the need to defend it.
@ThatLeftTurnInABQ: I see your point. One question, though. Can’t liberals thinking those battles had been won actually be a result of a failure to understand the primacy of class.
I think I’ll take this up with Secretary Of The Treasury Tim Geithner and see what he thinks.
or as we say in my house “Great minds think alike … and then there’s you and me!”
Master of Karate and Friendship
I wonder why Democrats don’t do more to create jobs.
Excellent! Much respect.
Dems get bored easily is a “good rebuttal”? Well, that’s brilliant. Here’s how we’ll fix that, we’ll open a few titty bars around the Capitol and we’ll give them names like Unemployment is Too High and Focus on Jobs. That way they’ll never forget what the real problems are.
I hope this post was another example of stealth sarcasm from Doug and not an attempt at serious analysis.
Suck It Up!
I keep seeing a lot of criticism over messaging yet poll after poll shows that the people mostly agree with Democrats on the issues and Obama’s numbers are high considering the economy. What else does he/they need to do? Public opinion is already on our side. Now if anyone has any suggestions on how to get Republicans in Congress give a shit, let’s see it.
Okay. Agreed. Medicare, generally, is a success though, so I don’t complain about it.
Which brings me to this: if liberals and Democrats made one tactical or rhetorical mistake in the Great Recession, IMO, with the benefit of hindsight, it is this: they didn’t point to liberal safety net successes in the Great Recession.
People weren’t “in the streets” protesting in this depression because they were receiving 1. unemployment, 2. food stamps, 3. Medicaid. Those are liberal safety net programs, and they worked exactly as they were supposed to work. When the market failed, they fed people. That wasn’t true in the Great Depression. There were no safety net programs.
Liberals and Democrats should have been pointing that out. They should have been saying to all the people who were failed by the market: “that program you’re relying on to feed your family while you look for work? That’s a liberal safety net program. If conservatives had been in charge it wouldn’t be there, and you’d be on a bread line, like your great grandparents were the last time the market crashed”.
So, I regret that. That’s a good argument right there for retaining The House That FDR Built. And for whatever reason, we (Democrats and liberals) spent all our time saying there wasn’t enough, instead of pointing out that ALL of these safety net programs exist only because liberals put them there.
I think this is a case of a successfull program undermining the urgency which propelled the political movement that brought it about in the first place. The white male working class in the 50s and 60s had it pretty good, at least by historical standards. No wonder people started looking at race and gender issues.
But the other part is that I think people didn’t realise back then how much of that working class affluence was also a temporary artifact of the unique economic position the US enjoyed after WW2. For a brief period of time we had a 50% share of global manufacturing, courtesy of the massive destruction of both people and plant in other industrialized nations during the war, and in addition scientific and engineering R & D benefited tremendously from the brain drain of highly educated people who had fled to the US from Europe and Asia, a boost to our domestic economy which we received gratis without having to invest our own money in the educational system which taught all of those people. We were able to harvest the investment a previous generation of Europeans had made in their own educational system for free.
So some of our economic nostalgia for the 50s is a mirage. We will never have such an easy time again.
Master of Karate and Friendship
“Good points—especially now that we’re getting primed for another round of “Obama sold us out, he can’t negotiate for shit” about the budget compromise.”
Why is that wrong? He is clearly moving toward the Republican position and getting nothing in return.
I heard about Win The Future on rightie radio. It is upseting the Republicans and that is good.
The bit about rail and wind power makes them unhappy.
If you don’t like Obama, okay, but don’t insult him.
Just want to add one thing – for those who think post-New Deal Democrats forgot about the working class, I would also note that Truman, Johnson, Carter and Clinton all pushed for universal health care in one form or other (to say nothing of Ted Kennedy in the Senate), and that Medicare and Medicaid were pushed through under Johnson at the height of the DFH years.
If health insurance isn’t a class issue, I don’t know what is. So even when civil rights, women’s rights, individual rights and anti-war issues loomed larger than ever, the Democrats were still fighting for the economic rights of the working and middle classes.
Well played, old bean. I’m going to use that one.
you know it’s not an “either or” situation…all the things mentioned by Chris Hayes and the others can be true…
1) elected and other officials in government ARE out of touch with working people.
2) elected and other officials in government ARE influenced by their monied friends, lobbyists.
3) elected and other officials personally identify WITH the wealthy, because they ARE or are very close to becoming wealthy.
4) the DC media concubines have NO interest in the real working class, they are determined to sell their storyline. They are themselves either very wealthy, are wealthy AND are married to someone in government or a lobbyist, or are aspiring for the top position in their organization… they are all looking to curry favor for THE interview “get” which will consist of a bunch of slobbering, ass kissing, and fawning.
But this is the root of (my) objections to giving the dems a pass on this sort of thing. The terrain they are fighting on is a) public opinion, b) the next election, c) funding sources, d) the media, e) actual legislation. Each of these things requires different strategies. Obama and the current dems are basically telling us that in between elections they will only fight for actual legislation. That’s an insider strategy that, given how unified the Republicans are, necessarily results in compromise, compromise, compromise. And in this case we can further say that compromise sometimes yields something big (the ACA) but it also can look and feel like capitulation and can result in highly problematic results (the extension of the bush tax cuts, failure to include the public option, failure to start the majority of health care changes right away so people know what they are losing if the Republicans repeal).
I don’t belong in an all or nothing camp. Both legislation and campaigning are necessary: legislation because the country has decisions that have to be made and actions that have to be taken–and campaigning because getting and holding power and an obvious mandate is necessary to good legislation.
I object to the Democrats failing to defend their own policies and prescriptions agressively and failing to attack the Republicans on their weaknessess and their strength. An attack doesn’t have to be complicated–in fact it should be simple–and it has to be repeated from top to bottom of the chain of command.
I realize that Obama is working with a group of Democrats who, from the get go in the Senate, failed to fully support him and his policies. I don’t blame Obama or believe he wouldn’t do better if he could. But I think the Dems as a party need to get their act together and fight like hell for the lower and middle class in an incredibly obvious and emotionally satisfying way if they want to get enough people out of their chairs (or their bunkers) to vote the current Republicans permanently out of office.
@Sebastian Dangerfield: Do I need to force you to actually look at all those speeches? To hear how each of them emphasizes one or more of the planks that form Winning the Future? Or will you continue to lie about their content?
I agree, but “It could be worse” is a hard argument to make, especially to people stupid enough to carry signs saying “Keep the government off my Medicare.”
More generally, I don’t have the heart for these kinds of arguments any more. It seems to me that the days of Obot vs firebagger are past. I still support Obama, but the enthusiasm is just gone.
After the election proving that the American electorate are truly, deeply, such stupid fucking moronic suckers it’s a wonder they know how to breathe……and after the extension of the billionaire tax cuts — which sucked to the CORE, even if you accept that it was a necessary evil……and the increasingly unconcealed reality that this is a government by the rich, for the rich…….I just think we’re fucked, and no Obama, and no nobody, is gonna save us. And we’re too stupid and fucked up for a revolution.
/end sunny thoughts for the day
@kay: Yes, but if you’re benefiting from the FDR social safety net, that’s not a compelling reason to extend the same courtesy to someone else.
The “social1sm” goal posts get moved depending on who’s doing the talking. How do we stop that? If not using public policy, then how do you frame it? Because it’s pretty clear that a lot of people out there are so stupid that they will reap the benefits of the social programs while decrying “social1sm”. The case for these social programs would be a lot more evident if they were not there.
LOL, sunny outlook indeed. i agree with you of course. But somedays, I can’t resist standing on the deck of The Titanic, shouting at the moon, that Viva La Elvis! just for the hell of it.
That’s fine, but Obama was in an almost uniquely poor position to be running around telling people: “those food stamps you’re getting? Came from me and my Party!”.
The President can’t do that, seem to be pointing to safety net programs usage as a success. But liberals could have. And people would have been receptive, because they were relying on those same programs.
The unemployment rate at the height of the Great Recession in this county was 16%. Food stamp usage went to an all-time high. People who had never dreamed they’d need food stamps were getting them. While this was happening, I was reading liberals wondering why people weren’t out in the streets, enraged. They weren’t out in the streets because they weren’t hungry. It wasn’t that they were “watching American Idol”. They weren’t hungry, so they weren’t lining up for bread.
That’s a liberal success, because presumably a good and persuasive reason to retain these safety net programs is because people rely on them when the free market fails. I wish we had spent more time pointing that out, and less time pointing at D.C. or Wall Street. I think we could have done a better job with that.
We know how to do it, too, because we’ve done it with Social Security. I just think there’s merit to pointing to liberal policy successes, and the mitigation of the effects of the Great Recession is a liberal success and one that was widely shared with (again) people who never thought they’d need a safety net.
This isn’t really Obots vs Firebaggers, to me.
I didn’t read anyone, in either group, saying :”jeez. a doubling in food stamp availability and usage when the economy collapses is a success if your intent in setting up safety nets is to save people”.
Which was, actually, what we intended when we set them up.
The same thing is happening with Medicaid. Conservatives are screaming because Medicaid costs have gone up. Well, no shit. Medicaid is a safety net program, and a hell of a lot more people were eligible for it, when markets failed. Liberals and Democrats never seem to make that connection. I know it’s politically tricky, which is why politicians don’t do it (you have Medicaid, whiner, what more do you want!”) but I think liberal advocates could use it effectively.
I don’t think anyone here said “I’m benefiting from the FDR safety net”.
I don’t think I literally and specifically have to draw that connection for them. I DO think “I” could have been more effective at promoting broader liberal ideas if I had spent more time pointing out to people that they work. They just did.
Mike Kay (True Grit)
Booman and Newell don’t account for the power of the corporate media that sides with the wingers.
If Pelosi called for a trillion dollar stimulus, David Gregory and George Will would set their hair on fire and scream bloody murder because it’s a Democratic Party initiative.
That it. Period. They had no problem with Bush pushing a trillion dollar tax cut or a trillion dollar prescription drug scheme or a trillion dollar war. Ditto, when Reagan was president. You didn’t hear a peep from the corporate media about Bush’s hot checks.
The corporate media doesn’t care about runaway deficits when a Republican is president.
If Romney were to become president in 2015, discussion about the debt would drop to zero, in a new york newsroom minute.
Unfortunately, the media does have a significant affect on public opinion, and they side with the rich buddies in the GOP.
It’s like swimming up stream. It’s hard enough to swim in still waters, like a pool, but when the force of the river is against you, going forward takes a long time.
@kay: I did not mean “you” as in “kay”, I meant “you” as a generic subject.
I know. Sorry if I was short with you. This is my own theory. I’m not really urging immediate adoption or anything. Looking back, “we” might have made a different argument, or gone at it from a different direction. It’s all hindsight.
I agree. Simply put, I am agrguing that the GOp does not want to do anything for two reasons: their stated doctrine prevents taking action. And, rewarding their friends is the other eason for doing nothing.
You are right in that the Democrats do not agree upon what to do.
Mike Kay (True Grit)
Obama has only been in office 2 years, 1 month.
F’baggers — you’ve got 6 more years of anger and hate to spew, pace yourselves, don’t blow it all so quickly.
Ya get ya self so worked up, you’ll forget to put your tags on your license plats.
Mike Kay (True Grit)
By the time Obama boards Marine One for the final time on January 20, 2017, half of the F’baggers will be dead from coronaries, and the other half will have their cars towed from driving around in circles without their registration tags.
No. At the top, both sides are bought out, either with money or through intellectual capture.
Probably only some of the Republicans consciously think ‘eff the middle class’. But more of them rationalize everything to get their blood money.
I think more of the Democrats rationalize through intellectual capture by bankrupt unregulated ultra free market economics, via people like Rubin and Summers (who are not a brilliant as they think they are).
But at the top, both sides are bought out. I think that is clear. If a big man or big corporation with a lot of walking around money wants something, well, that just has to be the right thing for us all, one way or another. That is their mindset.
I think that should be very clear by now.
Edit: forgot to say I think some Democrats are bought out through cowardice and lack of conviction in anything much at all. They are bought by fear of what will happen in the next election if the other side has more cash. Big dawg Bill said ‘the GOP always has more money, so what?’ (something like that). Most other Dems do not have his nerves.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
i wonder how much research would be involved in, or if someone has already done what i will call, for a lack of a better name, the pneumatic fuck wrench index.
the pnuematic fuck wrench index is the amount of money corporations and “small businesses” spend on lobbying, individually, versus how much they pay in federal taxes on earnings, annually.
the resulting number is the pnuematic fuck wrench indicator of how much a corporation or small business needs to stfu.
Kind of like what’s happening in WI you mean? Where public polling is shifting dramatically against Walker?
You mean consistent messaging like that?
Oh, you mean stirring defenses of social security and medicare like the following? Please.
Pimping the deficit is not helping. And stuff like “The President lays out his principles to strengthen Social Security and has called on Congress to work on a bipartisan fashion to keep this compact with future generations” — to the extent it has any actual content at all — is code for benefits cuts.
So yes, the burden is on you to show that the “Winning the Future” pablum is the kind of ringing endorsement of liberal success stories that we think is needed. Sheesh.
@Sebastian Dangerfield: Congratulations. You finally looked and found the one you could use as a club. Cherry-picking is a form of lying, liar.
@Raenelle: Oh, yes indeed, as compared to what we’re looking at, there wasn’t much daylight between the two. But Luxemburg’s critiques of reformism are pretty spot-on, mutatis mutandis, with regard to American “liberalism” — i.e., what you summed up as “sell you out.”
My brother says we should pour more money into the Americans for Prosperity, but I told him we’d get more bang for our buck by investing in FDL, and looking at this thread, I was right.
@Sebastian Dangerfield: Thanks for the clarification. It’s satisfying to me to know that I’ve come down on Rosa’s side of the argument.
@Mike Kay (True Grit):
Yes, you do.
Because critical thinking is hard, you see.
Yes, there are clear differences between the parties, Wisconsin shows that. It is equally clear that both parties have been complicit in writing the laws and implementing the policies that cause an extreme disparity of income and wealth. Over the last thirty years, we have had both Republicans and Democrats with simultaneous control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency. We have had periods of mixed control.
What we’ve gotten is the Republicans pushing the scales strongly toward the wealthy, with help from some of the Democrats. There have been several key pieces of legislation, all of which Democrats had a hand in. The shameful Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act is just one example of Democratic sellout. Biden had a key hand in the drafting, other Senate supporters were Bayh, Byrd, Reid, and of course the usual DLC Democrats. (Clinton was the only abstention).
Yes, Democrats are clearly not on the scale of evil that the Republicans are. They are the lesser of evils, but we should not kid ourselves that all (or even most) of the Democrats in Congress are on the side of the middle class.
When push has come to shove, key Democrats have provided the margin to pass laws that harm ordinary Americans, or to block laws that would help them. We’re in a class war, one that has grown large and destructive from having both political parties on the side of the wealthy. Rhetoric notwithstanding, too few Democrats have stood by ordinary Americans when the wealthy called.
@Allan: As all you seem to be able to offer is puerile name-calling, you’ve forfeit any claim you might have had on our attention. Oh, and you’re a git.
lol I call bullshit.
Oh come on! Multiple people moved to Washington DC and spent their entire lives on the quest to say that doctors ought to be reimbursed for telling patients that we can dope you up but that’s about it? wtf?!