Saturday, June 09, 2012

Out-classed

"Watch the Dems Sell Out Public Unions":
"Corporate money was a factor, no doubt, as was conservative propaganda, but all the money and spin in the world won’t help you win if most people just flat out don’t agree with you. The fact is, demagogic appeals to people’s fear and envy almost always trump good will and common sense. Nowhere is this more true than in America, where the only thing we love more than money is kicking someone in the guts when they’re down.
But, say lefties like Michael Moore, poll after poll shows that Americans usually come down on the progressive side of the issues. Well, maybe, but election after election keeps putting reactionary Republicans and conservative Democrats back in office. Why is that?
I don’t care what any poll says. This country is firmly, staunchly, stupidly center-right. It doesn’t matter if a poll says most Americans favor single-payer health care, because those same people will turn right around and vote for some right-wing demagogue who cries that it’s 'socialism!' Most Americans would benefit from bigger stimulus spending, extended unemployment benefits, and a strong labor movement, but all of that’s irrelevant. Rational considerations like that get thrown out the window as soon as a politician or a talk show host tells people that the dirty fuckin’ Mexicans are stealing their jobs, or that lazy government workers are prospering on their dime, or that class warfare against multimillionaires in the form of the capital gains tax is wrecking our economy.
If Americans are so damn progressive, why do we live in the least progressive nation of all the advanced industrial democracies? Why does public policy always, always, drift in favor of the rich and powerful? The divide and conquer tactics employed by the likes of Scott Walker succeed because so many American fundamentally agree with them. When they’re told about wicked teacher’s unions, they remember the high school civics teacher who always gave them detention and think, 'Yeah, fuck teachers!' When they hear about public service workers getting higher pensions than themselves, they remember some petty government department that levied a fine on them for some minor infraction, and they think, 'Yeah, fuck government workers!'"
"Why People Vote Against Themselves" by Sam Smith. Note that this is almost entirely, and tragically, wrong.

"Facing Facts in Wisconsin":
"Let’s first get rid of the false Big Money argument.  The truth is that no amount of money can turn an election when the public is fired up over a cause or a candidate. What Big Money on one side of an issue or on behalf of one candidate can do is rally the people who are on that side, to get them out to the polls.  On the margins, it might help sway a few undecided people who can be duped or scared, but this is of very limited help, because such people tend to be disinterested in politics and voting, so even if they are convinced by the propaganda, they are unlikely to turn out.  That can only make a difference if the other side fails to get all its supporters out."

Right so far, but then he gets stupid by blaming it all on Obama and the Democrats. The state of the Democrats is a symptom of a problem that is much, much deeper.

"Pablo Solon, former Bolivia ambassador to UN: At the crossroads between green economy and rights of nature"  When the 'progressives' run  politics on class issues, they always lose, always, all over the world (except in some places in South America).  It is like watching a character in a slapstick comedy run into a door, over and over.  Protecting the planet is going to become more and more obviously necessity.  Is it time to reconfigure the 'progressive' message?
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