Saturday, August 13, 2011

How Lazy Are Liberals?

Last week, a flood of outside money blunted what could have been a historic exercise of democracy in Wisconsin.  As it was, two GOP state senators were recalled, and that's a good thing.  But we needed to get three to block the wholesale assault on worker rights that's going on there.

So, time to give up and go home?  Whine about how we'll never be able to beat the billionaires?

Today, Texas governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for President, and it was like déjà vu, all over again. Here was a smarmy Texas governor, spouting obvious platitudes and lies, knowing his billionaire backers would be running interference for him.  Here's a direct quote from his speech today:
"We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership. Last week, that leadership failed, and the tax and spend and borrow agenda of this President led to the first ever downgrade of the credit rating of the United States of America."
Now for those of you not scoring at home, the recent credit downgrade of the US Treasury from AAA to AA+ came from Standard and Poor's, who explicitly laid blame  for the downgrade on the GOP, which can be read in their report [from page 4]:
"Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."
I am not here to talk about the deficit, very few people are being honest about it anyway.  I only bring up this example of a hired hand (Perry) willing to lie, knowing vast amounts of cash and power will protect him.  In this post-Citizens United era, I guess it's game over, right?  We should all just give up?

In case you hadn't noticed yet, the conservatives never give up.  The Koch Brothers, and their father before them have been supporting right wing causes for decades.  I believe the election of Barack Obama was a great event, but it also created the illusion that the battle was over.  Obama had the ruby slippers, and all he needed to do was click them, and we'd all go home and be happy.

But, then came the 2010 elections.  When Obama didn't give us the magic flying sparkle pony that farts glitter, we got bored. We didn't show up to vote, and the teabaggers took over Congress.  Things were bad enough with the GOP minority in the Senate able to filibuster any meaningful legislation, now there would be none to block!

So, let's wrap this up.  I think nothing is more important than the re-election of Obama, and the defeat of the teabaggers, and the hopeful return of Congress.  So, the question is, is the game already over?  Is it too late? Will the propaganda machine win?

I don't think it has to end that way.


Anonymous said...

If the Dems and centrists of any stripe don't shake off the cobwebs, the Repubs will waltz in and really hammer this country. So, come on, everyone...wake the heck up!

Anonymous said...

I'm increasingly of the mind that Democrats disappointed with Obama's centrism ought to primary him and remind him that for every Tea Party pseudo-libertarian, there are 10 libs who understand that we are a society with collective responsibility for collective well-being. Obama's conceded so much to the GOP, I have to wonder exactly what ideal we should be hoping for under his administration.


Jeff Johnson said...

I don't think there's any doubt that most progressives and liberals will VOTE for Obama. People (at least progressives and liberals) vote based on semi-rational analysis of the choices. The problem is that people don't get out and bust their butts CAMPAIGNING for candidates based on rational analysis. They campaign only for candidates who INSPIRE them deep down in their gut. Obama no longer inspires progressives. He has been focused on winning over the elusive swing voters. He may indeed convince swing voters to vote for him, but good luck getting them to campaign for him. So who's going to campaign for him this time around?

Geoff Gould said...

well, I'd be tempted so far to score this 3 votes for yes, liberals are lazy, but I'm not sure!

Ric said...

I am not convinced that the behaviors you cite are limited to this (political) arena. I think we're seeing the results of the past few decades of our “I want it all and I want it now” society. My college professor brother-in-law recently characterized attitudes of undergraduate students in his classes this way:

1. Consumer mentality--I need not participate unless I choose to
2. Non-committal attitude--I judge nothing to be good or bad as long as you do not restrict my freedom
3. Very low value on planning or the future--nothing is done before the very last minute--one never knows if something more interesting might come up--keep all options open
4. Low confidence that any general answers exist for anything
Admittedly, these are relatively few students, in one location in the Midwest. Still, they reflect a post-modern view of the world that seems to typify the USA now. We who would act will need to convince these younger people that there's a big penalty for them if they don't participate, and that their freedoms may well be restricted if they don't participate. Moreover, we must convince them that _considerable effort, over the long term_, is required to protect their freedoms.

Of course, we'll be suspect, because we'll appear to believe that we have the right answers...