Archive for November, 2010

The Neverending Con

November 5, 2010

The only positive thing I can say about what happened on Tuesday is that at least Sharron Angle, John Raese, Carly Fiorina and Ken Buck all lost and the abominable Blue Dog Caucus was decimated and halved overnight.

Well, the rank and file people on the street have spoken and once again have voted in the very same culprits responsible for the tattered, devastated and defiled economic predicament our nation finds itself in.  They have yet again voted entirely and unequivocally against their own economic interests.  An example of what I mean: Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich, sterling Fixed Noise style man of the people, immediately killed a statewide passenger rail project saying, in his best John Wayne/Gordon Gekko voice, “that train is dead,” according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Besides the absurd, piss-ant bluster with which he uttered these words and everything else positive this project could bring the struggling state, it will cost Ohio an estimated 8,000 jobs.  But according to Kasich, his number one priority is “creating  jobs.”  Hmmm…saying with a straight face that you mean to earnestly create jobs while gleefully wiping out a project that the Department of Labor estimates would actually have created 8,000 jobs is blatant hypocrisy couched in Orwellian linguistic black magic so daring and bold that I almost admire it.  But this is what you voted for Mr. and Mrs. No-More Manufacturing Jobs in Your Neighborhood and One Illness Away From Bankruptcy and Foreclosure, Ohio, U.S.A.   I try to refrain from calling people ‘dumb,’ even though I have let my frustration get the best of me on this blog, because that lets you fall into the dreaded “elitist” trap but when are these people EVER going to get it.  Sometimes there seems to be no other answer.  I know the Fox/Limbaugh echo chamber misinforms millions of people all day/every day, but sooner or later you have to get wise to the con.  Kasich worked at Lehman Brothers for Chrissakes.  He even bragged about it at first.  Yet I’m sure many poor, blue-collar Ohioans voted for Kasich to teach those pesky Democrats “Never Again!” regarding those damn bailouts.  There’s nothing like showing how fed-up you are with these snooty, worthless bankers by electing one of them to the Governor’s mansion.  People like Kasich don’t even try hard to conceal what they are and what they’re about (deregulation, privatization, tax-cuts for millionaires like themselves, union-busting, outsourcing) anymore and voters still, time and again, willingly give them the power to cut their throats.

I’m reading Thomas Frank’s extraordinary What’s the Matter with Kansas and it describes this self-defeating phenomenon, which he terms the “Backlash,” in the most devastating and articulate manner I’ve yet encountered.  One of the core tenets to Frank’s argument is that by constantly stoking the various passions and fervors of the culture wars to get rank and file voters to the polls, big business conservatives are continually able to win elections and further their agenda of deregulation, consolidation etc.  Karl Rove and George W. Bush made this into an art form in 2004, fomenting outrage over gay marriage to get fundamentalists to turn out and in actuality cast a vote for social security privatization.  We see this happen again and again.  But as Frank notes, and there were similar grumblings from parts of the Christian Right near the end of Bush’s second term, the Republicans never deliver any solid, appreciable legislation or leeway on the core issues “culture warriors” care about and elect Republicans to take care of.  Yet the True Believers keep on sending them to DC every few years anyway, a textbook example of Einstein’s definition of insanity.

Thomas Frank:

“For decades Americans have experienced a populist uprising that only benefits the people it is supposed to be targeting…The angry workers, mighty in their numbers, are marching irresistibly against the arrogant.  They are shaking their fists at the sons of privilege…They are massing at the gates…hoisting the black flag, and while the millionaires tremble in their mansions, they are bellowing out their terrifying demands.  “We are here,” they scream, “to cut your taxes.”                                                                                                           p.109  What’s the Matter with Kansas

Some critics have suggested that F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “the Jazz Age” into existence.  Frank wrote these words in 2004, 5 years before the onset of the Tea Party, and even though the machinations of the inverted populist backlash he so eloquently and caustically describes here had been in motion for years, it’s hard to read those words and not think of how perfectly they describe the pathetic deluded, Reverse Robin-Hoods of the Tea Party.

Will you marks ever wise-up?

Advertisements

Electioneering

November 2, 2010

I’ve been traveling and otherwise in flux so this will be short post with some predictions of all things electoral.

House-

I think that the Democrats, unfortunately, will lose the House, but not by the margins endlessly and gleefully predicted by Beltway pundits and the Faux-News Noise machine.  I think the Dems will lose between 35-48 seats, but I really hope that I’m wrong.  I do not see or believe that these ridiculous glazed eye pundit predictions of a 60-70 seat Republican tidal wave will come to fruition. Longshot prediction: Tom Perriello will hold on to keep VA-5.  It is one of my election day sorrows that I no longer live in this district so that I can help ensure his victory.

Senate-

I think the Democrats do way better than expected here.  Big Money/Big Business shills John Raese, Carly Fiorina and Linda McMahon will lose (to the chagrin of Chris Matthews and his never-ending “I was in the peace corps” hard-on regarding Dick Blumenthal).  I’d love to add Ron Johnson’s name to the “will lose” list, but I’m not sure that I can.  People are predicting a last-minute upset for Senator Feingold and I hope to god it happens, but I’m not ready to predict it here.  I think that Rand Paul will win win, unfortunately.  Look, I’m not happy with Senator Reid and the work he’s done as Senate Majority leader, but Sharron Angle is a scary, delusional embarrassment that has absolutely NO business being anywhere near the United States Senate.  It will be a blow to our nation’s standing and reputation (what’s left of it after the Bush years) if this women is elected to serve in the Federal Government.  I think Senator Reid pulls it out by one percentage point on the strength of the Latino vote.  Joe Sestak is one of the best candidates of the entire cycle and I’m predicting that he pulls out an upset in Pennsylvania.  Pat Toomey has done a good job of disguising his true self, but I’m hoping that enough Pennsylvanians will realize that he is the worst possible fit for our state.   Predictions-I think the hideous Ken Buck will win in Colorado and that Scott McAdams will win the three-way race in Alaska.

Governor-

I think the Democrats will do better here than people think as well.  I think John Hickenlooper will hold off Tancredo in Colorado.  I predict that Chris “I’m black because I was in the NBA” Dudley will lose in Oregon.  Jerry Brown will cruise in California.   Paladino finally fades into oblivion.  Prediction-Alex Sink will defeat Republican fraud-king Rick Scott.  Super-longshot prediction-Ted Strickland pulls out an upset for the ages.

Bullshit narratives already written that will be unveiled tomorrow regardless of what happens:

1. President Obama and the Democrats “overreached” and were “too liberal” for this “center-right nation.”  No part of this sentence/narrative is true, but that won’t stop its appearance early and often.  Case-in-point: a significant number of people polled who express displeasure with the Healthcare reform bill do so because they feel the President and Congressional leadership didn’t reach far enough.  Not that this information is ever used as a disclaimer when pundits are taking about people who don’t like this bill.  They like giving the impression that large percentages of the country doesn’t like this bill because it is “socialism” because it fits this easily concocted ready-made narrative they will trot out tomorrow; same thing with the Financial Regulation legislation.  Many, many people are disappointed with this legislation because they feel that President Obama ceded too much ground and trust to Wall Street and didn’t allow this bill to go as far as it should have in closing loopholes, restoring robust regulatory oversight and curbing reckless behavior.  CEOs, lobbyists and brainwashed Fixed Noise viewers are the only people crying crocodile tears over the “obstacles” placed in front of the bankers and traders as they come up with ever more confusing, clinical and cynical ways to rob people’s pensions and confiscate their homes.

Tea Party, Tea Party, Tea Party: Never has a group gotten so much publicity while accomplishing so little.  The majority of these people consist of racists too dumb to be ashamed of their hatred of the President exclusively due to his skin tone, Rush Limbaugh listeners and plain ole Republicans by another name, yet the media must insist that they are some diverse and spontaneous uprising and not just bitter, old white people voting expressly against their own interests and survival.   The Tea Partiers were actually able to derail truly big gains by Republicans when they nominated laughing stock, extremists like Christine O’Donnell and Joe Miller whose appearances on ballots in Delaware and Alaska immolated the GOP’s hopes to regain the Senate.  Incidentally both of those people were endorsed by Sarah Palin and she’ll be hailed as some sort of political power broker that must be paid heed to even though these disastrous candidacies snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and cost the GOP at least one crucial Senate seat.  Palin will inexplicably be labeled a political force by the mainstream media even though more than 50% of Americans think negatively of her.  But hey-she has a million Facebook followers and a slight majority of the minority of white christian conservatives think she’s just swell…so her every word must be reported and elevated as important for some reason, got that.

Lack of Bipartisanship: David Broder and others will trot this one out like clockwork.  This one is truly only dishonest and convenient enough to be brought when Democratic Presidents and Democratic controlled congresses are involved.  When Bush was in the Oval Office, Bipartisanship was a naive and unnecessary thing sought after by clueless, effete liberal pussies.  But when Democrats run DC it is the lifeblood of all that’s good, holy and American–and how dare voters be deprived of it.  President Obama, to his out and out detriment, tried again and again to involve Republicans in governing  and crafting important pieces of legislation only to have them openly admit they were just interested in creating a “waterloo” for him that would destroy his presidency.  This was admitted in broad daylight.  Republicans don’t care about the majority of Americans and their lives and concerns.  They care only about short-term power and petty self-perpetuation of career and party.