They’ll Just Get Madder
Horrified and appalled anew this morning at one of the worst and offensive political deals ever shoved down the throats of the Democratic base (it’s a disaster just on the payroll tax alone, and the estate tax!) I have a few thoughts before I gratefully close up my mental political shop for the year. We’re all junkies here, right, but I can say with extreme confidence we’re all so ready for the three wise dudes, flammable fruit cakes, adamant atheists, and some modest holiday excesses, let’s wrap this 2010 shit up and go, god.
I suspect for a lot of base members--in the same extreme range of bafflement as I on how we could get so smashed over just a freaking unemployment extension—have completely underestimated the DC village environment of liberal loathing. Here in the bloggy ether of truth and reason, totally insulated from the incessant ranting of liberal-hating talk radio and ruthless lobbying corporate culture of DC, it can be easy to miss just how much any liberal position is relentlessly attacked outside our pixel confines, especially if one ignores Fox News, as any sane person would.
The Obama people are afraid of Fox News, that’s been empirically true since the flaming Sherrod fiasco. They’re not afraid of being cast as liberals, not necessarily, they just make sure they never do one liberal thing. The alleged health care and finance reforms are embarrassments, not hardly liberal accomplishments, littered with bitter broken promises and smashed lives of the little people. Forget about any liberal goals being accomplished for the rest of the Obama term, if not loathed they are instantly avoided in ways not completely clear until now.
I have no idea what will happen with the 2012 Presidential election, which is just an extraordinary statement, for the Republicans still have nothing with nobody. It was just 24 months ago the Republicans were smashed to hell and back, dead on the cover of Time magazine, yet here in 2010 the House is theirs and 2012 totally in play. With an awful record and approximately 25% of the Democratic base totally disengaged for the election, can Obama make it? I don’t know.
I hope the strident Obama supports who loudly point out the limitations of Executive power and how he just can’t control the Democratic caucus remember how far dead and gone the Republicans were in 2010. It’s truly an amazing political feat to lose to those hosers, and even more of leap to earn condemnation from me, a guy who has made atrocious mistakes in this life and never judges others lightly, you really have to consistently fuck up to get rejection from my perspective.
Even if Obama wins in 2012 expect nothing in federal liberal progression for the country, no single-payer health care, no high speed rail, no new electricity grid, no wage gains (making the vast assumption employment becomes a priority), with continued gross erosion in poverty, inequality, infrastructure, education and the environment. Unless you’re in your late 20’s get ready for a national perspective of what-could-have-been, a broken country that could have been great but that always sputters with awful dysfunctionality, the broken lives of the little people ignored.
If one is fortunate to live in a really big state, as I do in California, there is at least the potential to construct meaningful government that mimics federal functionality. We can build an excellent single-payer health care system here if we so choose, a new electricity grid, high speed rail, our own economic and environmental regulations to stave off the worst excesses of capitalism.
We could, of course, presently the Golden State is the hands of one Austerity Jerry, a fossilized re-tread politician who never met a principle he couldn’t chuck to the winds if it didn’t fit his immediate political goals. These are, naturally, nothing to do with the needs of the little people and everything to with the squirrelly ego of Austerity Jerry, so at least for the next four years California functionality is like federal, you know, fucked.
I vividly remember 2004 and the crushing loss to that Sarah Palin clone, George Bush, how liberals and progressives had every reason to pack it and quit but manifestly, resolutely did not with an adamancy that still surprises me. Even with this abominable deal in 2010, even if Obama should lose 2012, passionate liberal and progressive junkies will dive into politics to loudly promote the liberal agenda, it’s what patriots and junkies do.
Then the Right and Republicans will loathe us even more and get more berserk against liberals, for as Digby so wisely knows, Teabaggers and Republicans are authoritarians to the bone, they do not seek to accommodate liberals in any sense, they seek to destroy and totally silence. When we won’t shut up and keeping scoring small wins it enrages them even more than liberal policy.
Win or lose, they just keep getting madder. Something to keep firmly in mind in the future as we reach for whatever liberal goals are available to us.