Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Rift

From Hullabaloo:

Obviously, nobody really cares about the silly, useless liberals. But for the first time today, I heard John King and the rest of the CNN clones muse about the coming election being close. And King said he's heard rumblings among political operatives that suppressing the liberal base could turn out to be a mistake. Even though they are never to be taken seriously on the merits, their puppy-like enthusiasm might be required to push the president over the top in a close election. The panel pooh-poohed the idea, saying they have nowhere else to go, so that's that. King pushed back saying that his sources say this could develop into a real problem.

This rift exists --- and the problem is that there's not a lot they can do about it now. The President and the Democrats have handcuffed themselves to this deficit reduction and they have no tools to fix the economy and have shown no fortitude in any of these fights. (And I have a sneaking suspicion that if they think a jobs program can consist of deregulation and free trade deals, this rift will only grow.) I don't see a way out.

More here.

Right, well, the writing's been on the wall for well over a decade now. I mean, that's what Ralph Nader's first run for the presidency was all about back in 1996: the Democrats have been captured by the corporations which means that there is absolutely no political voice in Washington for average ordinary citizens. Indeed, it was fairly obvious then. Clinton ended "welfare as we know it" in August of that year, and had already been extraordinarily friendly to Wall Street, which was his largest campaign contributor. Labor, as a political force, was already essentially impotent at this point, but then, as now, it continued to contribute to and get the vote out for politicians who hate them and never return their favors. Then, as now, Democrats can be counted on, to some extent, to favor the left in the so-called culture wars, which are meaningless to the corporate state, but that's about it. Obvious for years.

Is it possible that this debt ceiling charade fight was the last straw? Are liberals going to stay home in November next year, or will they, gasp, vote for an independent or third party candidate? It would be just desserts for the Democrats, who, like I said, haven't been a liberal party since I was an undergrad. I mean, it would also be awful: the GOP is clearly being run by total psychos who would, once again in control of the White House, do their damnedest to gouge out Lady Liberty's eyes. On the other hand, I'm really starting to wonder if Republican rule would be that much worse than Democratic rule: there's no way the GOP could have gotten away with this under a Republican president; House and Senate Democrats would have galvanized against it. But with a Democratic president leading the way, there was virtually no opposition in Congress, just bickering and bitching about how much to cut, rather than whether to cut at all.

Personally, I welcome an Obama loss in 2012. Perhaps in exile the Democrats will take the opportunity to reevaluate the self-destructive course they've taken, and hopefully liberals, who couldn't possibly be punked again after all this (could they?), will lead the way.

At any rate, Obama was right about one thing: change is better than the status quo. It's just that he's one of the people we need to throw out of office in order to get some of that change.