The political elites currently running the country are the hired hands of the corporate ruling class. They do its bidding without regard to consequences for ordinary Americans. They feel assured, rightly or wrongly, that they will pay no price for their malfeasance. Our recent history demonstrates that, so far, they are correct.
Ordinary, average Americans have disapproved of, but went along with several atrocities, crimes against democracy, without doing a damned thing. Examples include Iran-Contra, the S&L bailout, the Clinton impeachment and, most alarmingly, a Supreme Court that said we don't count the votes.
It was that last one that convinced me that our republic was truly in danger. It wasn't just the decision itself, it was the fact that hardly anyone seemed to have a problem with it. I recall a conversation with a family member. Her response to my rant was, "I don't hear any Democrats making a big deal out it, why are you?" This, from a college-educated, liberal business executive.
I weep for the future when I consider that, even after being swept into power by voters who overwhelmingly oppose Bush's Iraq policies, the opposition party is not going to do anything about it.
One important point: if they move from their prostrate position, Joe Lieberman will jump to the Republican Party and put the senate back in Republican hands. Count on it. The Democratic "leadership" knows this and they are not going to give up their majority.
Add this to the reasons I will not get on the Obama bandwagon: he is engaging in the same old Beltway-centric political calcuations. It is bad for the candidate, bad for the party and bad for the country. It is the opposite of leadership.
It is evidence that Democratic officials' contempt for the Democratic base is still deeply entrenched.
I have no way of proving this, but I believe that this would be less of a problem if we had been able to take Lieberman out. The insiders are still living in the same world, the one where McCain and Lieberman are 'serious' and the people who have been right about everything are dangerous, dirty hippies.
I do not agree that Security Theater, as I understand it, or the terms of the debate were crafted in the 1960s.
By the 1960s, Security Theater already dominated our national discourse. The completely fictitious and utterly meaningless 'missile gap' was a big issue in the 1960 election. The Viet Nam War and LBJ's belief that he had to escalate it or face charges of 'losing Viet Nam' was Security Theater.
This all began in the aftermath of WWII and the apparent success of the New Deal. The generation coming of age at that time had known no other world other than FDR's world. And they were very happy with it.
The Republicans, in danger of fading into history, began to make charges of treason and weakness against the Democrats. It worked. They have been singing the same song ever since.
Security Theater endured not just because of its success with the electorate. It was funded and promoted by massive corporations that owed their existence, let alone their steady flow of income, to massive government spending on Security Theater.
In a hundred years or more, Americans, if there is still a country of people who call themselves by that name, will realize it was all a sham. It will be little noted by anyone other than historians, however. The question of why any free people would make those choices will be a puzzle. But it will be like contemporary historians examining why the great mass of a Europeans, who considered themselves to be Catholic Christians, put up with the Borgia Popes, or why so many people enlisted for the Crusades.
The NRA can be beaten, but it requires two things: a direct attack and party discipline.
The NRA is an adjunct of the Republican Party. The Democrats need to call them that, over and over and over and over.
And, to make the point clear, Democrats have to turn down any contributions, endorsements or other support from the NRA. They have to say that the NRA is a Republican front group and tell them to take their money and shove it.
And to make the message stick, the Democrats, and I mean every Democrat who holds or runs for office, has to pound that message.
I have no illusions that the Democrats will do this, but if they did, the NRA would be worth almost nothing by 2008.
The Year That Trembled, by Scott Lax is not brand new, but it is a fairly recent book. It explores the world of young Americans facing the draft in the late 60s.
It may be that I liked it so much because I am from the time and place in the book. I am from NE Ohio and mised the draft by two years. But I never read any book anywhere that captured what it felt like to be there and be one of the persons considering the Viet Nam War and the draft so late in the war. That is, most of the books I've read, fiction or non-fiction, are written by the earlier generation whose involvement with the war began when it was still widely considered to be, if not a good idea, a necessary thing.
I recommend this book without reservation for anyone who wants insight into that time.
I wonder if the news organizations that are reporting on this story will continue to press Lieberman's staff to make a statement.
Why would they care? They wanted to harm the Lamont campaign, they wanted to build their "bloggers are bad" theme, and they did. Why would they do anything to undermine that?
I don't know what motivated so many people in the press/media to help Lieberman. I don't think he could have succeeded without their help.
I know that they did help him and that it worked. He's in the senate and Lamont is on his way to becoming another footnote. I am sure they are all happy with themselves and see no reason to question anything they did.
No, I don't want to be like The Others, but I do think we need to be aware of what they will do and conduct ourselves accordingly.
Reid's verbiage didn't surprise me. It's typical of Washington. Oliver Willis had a post on a related quote attributed to Chris Dodd. The headline was The Senate Rots Your Brain. There seems to be something to that; the last senator elected president was Kennedy, before the soundbite.
I am a little surprised at your vehemence on this. It is, after all, the normal rattle and hum on a political blog.
The message to the Democratic leadership from the apparently way-too-touchy-for-Chris-Bowers portion of the electorate is simple: do a better job of appearing on TV. It matters.
We can never "move past" parsing public statements because neither the Republicans nor the corporate press/media are ever going to "move past" picking apart everything Democrats say in order to make them look bad.
The idea that Gingrich is so out there that we can sit and laugh reminds me of the widespread belief in 2000 that we could sit and laugh while the corporate press/media promoted George W. Bush as the guy we'd all like to have a beer with.
There is nothing funny about Gingrich. His career of evil has cost us too much.
I know I am talking out of my hat here, but it seems to me that the people of that district, at least the ones who care about who their congressperson is, identify Jefferson as their guy. They are not endorsing corruption, as such, and they are not taking a stand on any particular issue. The only issue is that they are going to fight to preserve what they view as their own.
Remember the voters of Youngstown, Ohio, who continued to support Jim Traficant long after it was clear that he was not only corrupt, but crazy? Traficant was their guy and no "outsider" was going to take their guy away from them.
Jefferson's supporters, like Traficant's, know their guy is a wrong guy. They have to know it at some level of understanding. But they are rationalizing that fact away.
Sounds implausible? Seems ridiculous? Consider the 25-30% of Americans who still think George W. Bush is a bold and courageous leader, a good, Christian man, the best president ever. He's their guy.
Corruption: the public will support an investigation to find out what happened with the money, who got paid and who got paid off.
Iraq: the public will want to know how we got into this mess. Sure, they themselves are to blame for supporting war, but an investigation will explain to them why they made the error and let them off the hook. They will thank the Democrats for giving them the truth.
Homeland Security: in addition to the corruption, Democrats need to expose the political manipulation of this agency.
Taxes: Bush's tax breaks for the rich need to be repealed immediately.
In 1988, it was he who originated the Willie Horton smear against Dukakis
Why repeat right-wing lies? If there is one thing that is really weighing against Al Gore, it's that so many lies have been told about him that they have become fixed in peoples' minds.
In 2000, he beat Bill Bradley, not by touting his own record and stances, but by attacking Bradley as an out-of-touch, effete, liberal snob.
Al Gore did tout his own record and policy positions in 2000. Maybe you weren't paying attention. And Bill Bradley is an out-of-touch snob. Or maybe you could tell us all about the great things Bradley has done since he declared American politics to be "broken" and quit in a juvenile huff.
The Republican voters didn't go for Schlesinger because within 48 hours of the primary Bush, Rove and the Republican Establishment emphatically refused to back him and just as emphatically made it clear that the Republican choice was Joe Lieberman.
The exit poll pie chart shown on CNN showed clearly that without huge Republican support, something like 35%, Lieberman would not have been in the race.
This factor, added to the Democratic Establishment's abandonment of Lamont, gave us six more years of Holy Joe.
I hope that as time goes by it passes into insignificance, but I do fear further problems from Holy Joe.
I cannot stand Joe Lieberman. I hated him before it was cool. I gave money I could not afford to Lamont. I blame the Democratic Party Establishment, the Beltway Money Boys, the Anti-People Democrats for this result.
That said. It's over. We have other battles before us. Let's put the Lamont/Lieberman race behind us. By us, I mean all of us here at mydd, and all over the left blogosphere. We need to stop arguing with each other about this. The future is a little brighter but there is still a lot of work to do. We need each other.
Caveat: If Holy Joe jumps to the Republicans, I will expect apologies across the board from the Democratic Shushkas who helped him keep a job that he did not deserve.