We need to tell people why taxes, always defined as the price of civilization, have now become even more necessary. We shouldn't be shy about backing higher taxes on the rich and corporations; we should be demanding them!
We need to learn how to challenge the right's preposterous economics, and forcefully demonstrate that much higher taxation of the rich would protect and create jobs and start us on the path towards a sustainable economy. - Bill Resnick, Labor Notes, March 2010
What an exciting night Election Night 2008 was! And followed up by Obama’s inaugural address, in which Washington D.C was filled with his supporters from around the nation. A new day had finally dawned in Washington.
Boy, were we played for chumps. Almost from the beginning, Obama’s core constituency, the passionate folks who had put him in office, were treated as some sort of embarrassing back-woods cousins, only good for sending in checks to the Democratic Party.
With dismay, we saw our president hold up important legislation, trying to reach out to Republicans in Congress whose only goal was to bring his administration to a halt. Time and time again - the definition of insanity? - he did this, fiddling while Rome burned.
And in the end, what did we get for it?
No public option.
We still support countries that “recruit” child soldiers.
Guantanamo Bay remains open.
Gay Americans linger in the same legal limbo they were under George Bush.
But it isn’t just Obama. For the most part, the Democratic Party has been tepid, at best, in the last 20 months. Instead of shouting from the rooftops each and every success they have had in Congress - and they had several major ones - they have allowed the Republicans, plus a lazy and intellectually shallow media, to set the agenda.
And then came along the Tea Party. Instead of standing up to them and their John Birch ideas when they first crawled out of the baseboards, most Democrats ran way like King Arthur’s Knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Worse, some joined the rabbit’s side.
The media allowed the Tea Party to set the political agenda for the rest of the country.
The Democratic Party and the White House, not taking any of it seriously, of course, never took any of this seriously until - what? A month before the election? Were you guys that smug?
In the final days of the campaign we were treated to the shameful sight of administration figures chiding voters for losing faith, and for considering sitting this election out.
Well if they did, you have only yourselves to blame.
How to demoralize your political base - Chapter 7
From the beginning, the base of the Democratic Party were the last to be asked to dance, if at all. Hell, Republicans found their way to the dance floor far more often than labor, advocates for the poor, the environment or the disadvantaged.
As soon as FOX News or conservative commentators took a rabid dislike to someone in the White House, they were out the door.
You reap what you sow, President Obama.
And that’s not even talking about members of Congress who were Democrats in name only, and who shamelessly campaigned in the past few months bragging about how often they stood up to the president.
History was on the side of the American people in November 2008. It is one of the great tragedies of our age that our trust was put in the hands of folks with such pedestrian ideals. It would take a political miracle that this White House and this current Democratic Party may be simply incapable of bringing about to bring those supporters back into the fold.
The Orcs are Coming! The Orcs are Coming!
Along with that tremendous victory in 2008, Obama and the Democrats had millions of Americans who were willing to stand head and shoulders with him. Lacking vision, they frittered away that golden opportunity, instead seeing those supporters merely as financial donors to a party committed to business-as-usual.
Well, the Tea Party helped the Republicans win their seats in Congress this year - and they will be rewarded as they lead us off into our very own Cultural Revolution.
The Shock Troops of the New Right will be everywhere you look, and newspapers and TV pundits, too lazy to look beyond the surface, will see them as the new, legitimate majority in this country. They will bully their way into every facet of American culture, with few brave enough to stand against them.
No more Mister Nice Guys?
Maybe the Democratic Party should start to run people who are more aggressive - intellectual bikers, perhaps?
We need people who can get in the faces of these cretins who like to spout cliches and bumper sticker slogans and say, “Oh, no! Here’s we’re you’re wrong, Goldfish Brain,” and overwhelm them with facts and figures.
That would be a pleasant surprise for the Orcs who embroider political cliches and bumper sticker slogans on pillow cushions as Christmas presents.
I’ll never tell you how I’ll vote before an election, but . . .
When it came down to it this year, every time I saw a Green Party candidate on the ticket, my vote went to them. The Greens still embody what the Democratic Party used to proudly represent.
I didn’t want to waste my time my casting my vote for those who would give lip service to the old Democratic ideals, and then right after the election, go right back to business-as-usual.
I know that the Democratic Party looks at the Green Party with both panic and disdain. They have two clear choices. They could try to understand why people support them, and change their ways, or they could try their damndest to keep folks from ever taking them seriously.
Gee, I wonder which way they’ll go?
Quote of the Day
Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. - Danny Kaye