Thursday, November 27, 2008

Marking Sand

Mary Soderstrom kindly remarked today on my post: Where is the Start of Half a Circle?
Right on, Martin!

Still and all, I think Obama will at least appoint better Supreme Court judges than McCain would. And I must say that it is good to see that there hav been some changes for the beter in race relations--40 years ago the idea of an African American as president would have been unthinkable.



So perhaps I should make my thoughts a tad less murky, to wit:

My reaction to our election of an African American to the Presidency: About bloody time. But why isn't he succeeding a female?

My reaction to the election of a Democrat, any Democrat: Thanks for the breathing room to try to clean up the mess, that includes moving the Supreme Court away from the extreme right wing and restoring the force of law bound in the Constitution and the various treaties that were broken in the last eight years.

My reaction to electing Obama specifically is that he is an excellent choice for ordinary times. That is times when the business cycle is not too exaggerated; when the rule of law is firmly established; when politicians, will he nil she, accept responsibility for their actions.

This is not one of those times.

This is a time that calls for radical (that is: to the root) change. We need to make our democracy serve all its people, not just the wealthy few. We need economic democracy as well as political democracy.
To get there we need to examine the events of the past forty years. There are ideas we were taught to accept about politics and the economy which do not work to most people's benefit. Rather they take from most to give too much to a very few who do little to earn it. This need not be a search for justice or retribution. It needs to be a sorting of good ideas from bad, with the bad thoroughly noted as such so that no snake oil salesman can peddle them to us in future.
To get there we need to consider ideas from all points of view. That we ignore every idea from the political left hobbles our creativity.
My fear is that Obama will give less attention to these ideas then they merit because the right of center is more congenial to him. To succeed in this country in the past two generations required this of every Democrat from Ted Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich to Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman.
I hope to be proved wrong. I hope that Obama, and his administration, will rise to the times even more effectively than Franklin Roosevelt did.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Where the half circle ends

Steve Benen notes:
 the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins insisting, "Moderates never beat conservatives.... What Tuesday was, was a fact that people wanted change, and it's a rejection of a moderate view."

So the shorter version of my previous post is:
Republicans win by moving right.
Democrats win by moving right.
There is no left.
There is no center.
Everything is hunky-dory.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where is the start of half a circle?

Via Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly comes this quote of James Kirchick in the New Republic:
For the past 40 years, the Democratic Party has been most successful when it has governed from the center -- when it has governed at all
!! [consternation]!!

Lets see: Forty years back would be 1968. That year we rejected a worthy Democrat tainted by a stupider than usual war to pick a complete felon who continued the war another six years or so while establishing the broad strokes of the conservative kleptocratic agenda. Resigned to avoid responsibility for his crimes he left us in the hands of an inept, gently bumbling, incompetent who might rate an honored niche in history had he stayed in Congress. '76 brought a rare aves: a nuclear engineer who didn't pat the appropriate bums as they required. His policies, if continued, would put us ahead of the curve now so far as energy and climate change are concerned. But he was an engineer, so he was conservative -- except in a context of right wing conservative ideology. Not being a politician, he fell to a consummate sock puppet for the second run at the conservative kleptocracy. The befudlement of the populace continued apace through twelve years. Then we rejected a second term for the CIA apparatchik/aristo to elect another good ol' boy. This Democrat was a thorough going politician, and a DLC conservative. He did a few good things that hurt a hell of a lot, except not the capitalist aristocrats. He did a few bad thing's that hurt a hell of a lot, except not the capitalist aristocrats . So, after two terms we elected his Vice President and then stood by sucking our teeth while the Supreme Court, an organization with no part in elections, appointed his oponnent. This creature capered and preened as his staff constructed the grand Lazy Fair Kleptocratic Con With New 24/7 Open Vault at the fed. He opened Branch offices in exotic vacation spots like the Arabian Peninsula and Iraq. He created a meritocratic government in which the only merit was a expertise in particular fairy tales. These myrmidons rewrote laws to suit themselves. Tortured all and sundry. Drowned a city. Made even stupider than stupid wars. And generally assert the divine right of assholes, just not yours.
With the exception of the Watergate Investigations the Democrats in Congress spent the period taking care of any bidness but the people's. For the past thirty years these fine speciman's have honed their abilities as forelock tuggers.
The result of all this "centrism" is a complete conservative victory. The economy is in ruins due to greed and government is incapable due to corruption. We've elected another conservative Democrat and accept the label "liberal" applied to him by the con/kleps. The punditocracy is in full cry to hobble him.

Kirchick may call this "success". He may call it "centrist".
I think anyone with an understanding of the two terms as used by most of the world, would disagree.