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Random thoughts before the bad moon rises

We are heading into some difficult times. It may very well be that we are at a critical juncture, and that we will never recapture any semblance of representative democratic governance. But while it’s important to resist, it’s also important to remember how we got here. For us Democrats, it’s important that we acknowledge that our party helped get us here by abandoning the working people of this country in exchange for Wall Street dollars, and that formula has helped bring us to where we are today. We might have been able to overcome the racist dog whistles employed by the Republicans to lure the white working class to vote against its interests if we had provided a meaningful alternative, but we didn’t.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in this post at Naked Capitalism, but I think it sums up a lot of our most recent mistakes. We have bought into the deficit hawks view of the universe. Unlike Republicans, who forget about deficits as soon as they are in power, we buy into austerity policies, even when any competent economist could tell you it’s the wrong thing to do. I still believe that Obama gave away his majorities in both houses in 2009 when he settled for a tiny stimulus program, and then, while he still had that majority (as the linked post points out) making deficit reduction a high priority. If the Democrats had passed a good stimulus package in 2009, one that didn’t just stop the bleeding but brought us quickly back, we might have a far different country right now. Sure, the Republicans would have screamed, but they screamed anyway. If it had worked, and it would have worked if done right, none of that would have mattered. Instead of getting swept in 2010 we would have kept control. 2010 might have been the last chance the country had to rein in the plutocrats. It’s unlikely that people will be allowed to vote to turn out the Republicans in 2020. Trump is irrelevant in this equation. The Republicans may find it convenient to shunt him aside, but soon we will all be North Carolina. Votes will be suppressed nationwide, and our choices will more and more be between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Elections in many parts of this country are already a sham, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Sort of riffing off of the above, I direct your attention to this post at Down with Tyranny! which asks a question: how much slack should progressives give to corporate shills like Chuck Schumer, who helped get us here in the first place. On the one hand, it hardly seems like the time to get into an internecine battle, on the other, we’ve been had before. We step up to deliver the goods, and folks like Schumer use our work to transfer those goods to their corporate backers. Think about 2006, when we took over the Congress. You can’t give the corporate Democrats credit for that. We took over in spite of them, not because of them. They then proceeded to do practically nothing, for normal people, with their majority, which was acceptable while Bush was president, but not when the Democrats controlled both the executive and the presidency. The Democrats have specialized, over the last 30 years or so, in squandering their majority’s by concentrating either on screwing workers (e.g., NAFTA), giving presents to Wall Street (e.g., repeal of Glass Steagall), or passing halfway measures that get no political payback (e.g., the inadequate stimulus). Do we ignore that reality, or make it clear while trying to make common cause that we won’t tolerate it happening again. It really is a tough question, for which I’ve no answer.

So, for sure, no blogging tomorrow. It’s impossible to type when you’re wrapped in a fetal position.

One Comment

  1. Fred Shortz wrote:

    I’m sorry to make this point again, but Obama never had the supermajority he needed to push through an agenda. The Republicans brilliantly obstructed Senator Franken from taking a seat until September, 2009, within days of which Ted Kennedy died (to be replaced by ass-hat Scott Brown). The ACA only passed because it garnered the votes for a budgetary measure not subject to the filibuster. Obama never had the chance to pass a meaningful act after that. Yes, he adopted the bullshit arguments of austerity, but by then any other argument was legislatively a non-starter anyway. Hypothetically, I think Obama could have been FDR and gotten nothing more done than he did because the Republicans had the Congress by the throat. In the final analysis, I am very suspect about theories that Obama screwed up. The clearest case against him was his choice of ass-hat (sorry to be repetitive) Tim Geitner, and the fact that no one suffered the penalty from the 2008 financial melt-down. And just to pile on, the war crimes of Bush/Cheney et al should have been prosecuted or at least publicly investigated. But, again, in both of those cases, he would have been obstructed by Congress

    Friday, January 20, 2017 at 2:12 am | Permalink

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